In this post, we will learn about high-level programming languages, their discoverers, examples of high-level programming languages, as well as the advantages and disadvantages they offer.
What is high-level language?
A high-level language is a programming language that is designed to be easily understood and used by humans. It uses English-like words and symbols to represent concepts, rather than the binary code that computers understand. It provides a level of abstraction that is closer to natural language. This makes high-level languages much easier to learn and use than low-level languages, which are closer to the machine code that computers understand. It allows programmers to write code in a more intuitive and readable manner.
High-level languages are characterized by their use of variables, data structures, control structures (such as loops and conditionals), and built-in functions or libraries that simplify common programming tasks. They often have extensive standard libraries that provide pre-written code (such as Python Standard Library) for various operations, reducing the need for manual implementation.
Examples of High-level language
Some of the most popular high-level languages include:
High-level languages are often used for developing software applications, web applications, and mobile applications. They are also used for data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
High-Level Programming Languages and Their Discoverer
Here is a table of the most common high-level computer languages along with the year they were created and the names of their discoverers:
|BASIC||1964||John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz|
|Python||1991||Guido van Rossum|
Important Facts about high-level programming Language
▪ Fortran was the first high-level programming language to be widely used. It was originally developed for scientific and engineering applications, but it is now used for a wide variety of tasks.
▪ COBOL is another early high-level language that was designed for business applications. It is still widely used today, especially in the financial industry.
▪ Lisp is a very powerful language that is often used for artificial intelligence and functional programming. It is not as widely used as some other languages, but it has a loyal following among programmers.
▪ BASIC was one of the first high-level languages to be used for personal computers. It is still a popular language for teaching programming, but it is not as widely used for commercial applications as some other languages.
Plankalkül, created by Konrad Zuse, is often regarded as the first high-level programming language designed for computers. However, due to World War II and other circumstances, Plankalkül was not implemented during Zuse's time.
▪ Pascal is a structured language that was designed to be easy to learn and use. It is often used for teaching programming, and it is also used for some commercial applications.
▪ C is a powerful and versatile language that is used for a wide variety of tasks, including operating systems, compilers, and embedded systems.
▪ C++ is a successor to C that adds object-oriented features. It is a very popular language for commercial applications.
▪ Java is a general-purpose language that is designed to be portable and secure. It is a very popular language for web development and mobile applications.
▪ Python is a general-purpose language that is known for its simplicity and readability. It is a popular language for scripting, data science, and machine learning.
High-level Language Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages of High-level Language
High-level languages offer several advantages over low-level languages. Here are some of the most important advantages:
Easy to learn and Use
High-level languages use English-like words and symbols, which makes them much easier to learn and use than low-level languages, which use binary code.
High-level languages are designed to be portable, meaning that they can be run on different types of computers. This makes them ideal for developing software that needs to be used on a variety of platforms.
High-level languages can be used to write more compact and efficient code than low-level languages. This is because high-level languages allow programmers to abstract away the details of the underlying hardware, which allows them to focus on the logic of the program.
High-level languages are often easier to maintain than low-level languages. This is because high-level languages use more abstract concepts, which makes it easier to understand and modify the code.
High-level languages can help programmers to be more productive. This is because high-level languages allow programmers to write code that is easier to read, write, and debug.
High-level languages often come with libraries of pre-written code, which can be reused by programmers. This can save programmers a lot of time and effort.
Abstraction. High-level languages allow programmers to abstract away the details of the underlying hardware. This allows programmers to focus on the logic of the program, rather than the details of how the program is implemented.
Overall, high-level languages offer several advantages over low-level languages. They are easier to learn and use, more portable, more efficient, and more maintainable. They also allow for greater productivity and reusability. However, they can be slower and less flexible than low-level languages.
Disadvantages of high-level language
High-level languages offer several advantages over low-level languages, but they also have some disadvantages. Here are some of the most important disadvantages:
Slower execution speed
High-level languages are often slower than low-level languages because they need to be translated into machine code before they can be executed. This translation process can add overhead, which can slow down the execution of the program.
High-level languages are often less flexible than low-level languages because they are designed to be used for a wider range of tasks. This can make it more difficult to optimize the code for a specific task, which can lead to slower execution speeds.
More complex code
High-level languages often use more complex syntax than low-level languages. This can make it more difficult to read and understand the code, which can make debugging more difficult.
More memory usage
High-level languages often use more memory than low-level languages because they need to store the translated code. This can lead to problems with memory management, especially on devices with limited memory.
Less control over hardware
High-level languages abstract away the details of the underlying hardware, which means that programmers have less control over how the program is executed. This can be a problem in some cases, where it is necessary to have fine-grained control over the hardware.
More difficult to debug
High-level languages can be more difficult to debug than low-level languages. This is because the translated code is often more complex and harder to understand.
High-level languages are often less portable than low-level languages. This is because high-level languages are often designed for a specific platform or operating system.
Despite these disadvantages, high-level languages are still the most popular choice for most programming tasks. They offer a good balance of ease of use, portability, and efficiency.
Overall, high-level languages offer several advantages over low-level languages, but they also have some disadvantages. The specific disadvantages that are most important will depend on the specific application.
Difference between High-level language and Low-level language
The following table summarizes the differences between high-level language and low-level language:
|Features||High-Level Language||Low-Level Language|
|Abstraction||Provides a high level of abstraction, closer to human language.||Provides a low level of abstraction, closer to machine code.|
|Readability||More readable and understandable by humans.||Less readable and understandable by humans.|
|Portability||Portable across different platforms and operating systems.||Less portable, often specific to a particular computer architecture.|
|Development Time||Requires less time and effort for development.||Requires more time and effort for development.|
|Memory Management||Automatic memory management (garbage collection) is usually provided.||Manual memory management is required.|
|Code Efficiency||Generally less efficient in terms of execution speed and memory usage.||More efficient in terms of execution speed and memory usage.|
|Error Handling||Better error handling and debugging capabilities.||Limited error handling and debugging capabilities.|
|Programming Skills||Requires less technical knowledge and expertise.||Requires more technical knowledge and expertise.|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The high-level programming language C was developed by Dennis Ritchie at Bell Laboratories in the early 1970s.
A compiler is a software application that converts a program written in a high-level language into the machine language understood by a computer.
A high-level programming language is designed to be moderately easy for humans to read and write. It is typically more relative to human languages than to machine languages, and it uses abstractions to represent concepts that are difficult to express in machine code.