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History and characteristics of programming languages

In this article, we are going to learn about the history of programming languages and the characteristic of a Good programming language.
Submitted by Prerana Jain, on June 27, 2018

History of programming Language

The history of the programming languages are interlinked with the evaluation of computer system. As the computer system became smaller, faster, and cheaper with time, the programming language also becomes more and more user-friendly. Ada Augusta Lovelace a comparison of Charles Babbage was considered as the first programmer in the history of programming languages. In the year 1843, Ada Augusta Lovelace wrote a set of instructions to program the analytical engine by the users into binary form before being processed by the computer system.

During the 1940s machine language was developed to program the computer system. The machine language which used binary codes 0s and 1s to represent instructions were regarded as a low-level programming language. The instructions written in the machine language could be executed directly by the CPU of the computer system.

During the 1950s assembly language which is another low-level programming language was developed to program the computer system. The assembly language used the concept of mnemonics to write the instruction of a computer program. Mnemonics refer to the symbolic names that are used to replace the machine language code.

The high-level programming language developed and designed in the 1990s are considered as the fifth generation programming language. During this period Internet technology evolved tremendously. Therefore the basic purpose of the programming languages of this period was to develop the with-based application.

Characteristics of a good programming language

The popularity of any programming language depends upon the useful features that it provides to its users. A large number of a programming language are in existence around the world but not all of them are popular. These are some important characteristics of a Good programming language.

  • The programmer can write simple, clear and concise programs in any of the programming languages.
  • The language must be simple to use so that a programmer can learn it without any explicit training.
  • The glossary used in the language should be very close to the one used in human language.
  • While developing an application the function can be easily obtained by the use of the function library.
  • The various programming constructs supported by the language must match well with the application area it is being designed for.
  • The language must be consistent in terms of both syntax and semantics.
  • The Graphical User Interface (GUI) of the language must be attractive, user-friendly and self-explanatory.
  • The programs developed in the language must make efficient use of memory as well as other computer resources.
  • The language must be platform independent i.e the program developed using the programming language can run on any computer system.
  • The language must allow the programmer to focus only on the design implementation of the different programming concepts without requiring the programmer to be well acquainted with the background details of the concept being used.
  • There are tools which must be incorporated into a single environment known as Integrated Development Environment which enables the programmer to use them easily. These tools are necessary for the development testing debugging and maintenance of a program.
  • The language must be Object-oriented in nature so as to provide various features such as inheritance, information hiding and dynamic Binding to its programmers.

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