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High Level vs Low Level Programming Languages

Computer Languages are used to write computer programs. There are two board categories of programming languages i.e. Low level and high level languages. We will discuss briefly High Level vs Low Level Programming Languages in this article.

1. Low Level Languages:

Low level languages are divided into two broad languages i.e. machine and assembly language.

Machine Low Level Language:

 Machine Language is the native language of the computer. The computer does not need any translator to understand this language. Programs written in any other language must be converted to the machine language instruction consists of strings of binary 0’s and 1’s. As it is very difficult for human beings to remember long sequences, therefore writing programs in machine language are very difficult and error prone. So it was thought to replace the long sequences of 0’s and 1’s in machine language with English like words. The idea provided by the basis for the development of the assembly language.

Assembly Low Level Language:

In assembly language, machine language instructions (long sequences of 0’s and 1’s) are replaced with English like words are also known as mnemonics. As assembler translator is use for the assembly language to convert the program into machine language.

2. High Level Languages:

Programming Languages whose instructions resemble the English language are called high level languages. Every high level language defines a set of rules for writing programs called syntax of the language. Every instruction in the high level language must confirm to its syntax. If there is a syntax error in the program, it is reported by the language translator. The program does not translate into machine language unless the error is removed.

Some common high level languages are C, Java, C++, FORTRAN, BASIC, and COBOL etc. we will discuss these languages details in other article here is the link of that article. Although each of these languages were designed for specific purpose; all are used to write variety of application software. Some of these languages such as C and C++ are used to write system software as well. Each of these languages has some advantages and disadvantages over the other e.g. FORTRAN has very powerful mathematical capabilities while the COBOL is ideal for writing business applications, C and C++ are very handy for writing system software while Java is equipped with strong network programming features.

Characteristics of High level Languages:

  • There are English like languages, hence are close to human languages and far from the machine languages and very easy to learn
  • Programs written in high level languages are easy to modify and debug and more readable
  • These languages let the programmers concentrate on problem being solved rather than human-machine interaction.
  • These describe well defined way of writing programs
  • These do not require a deep of understanding of the machine architecture
  • High level languages provide machine independence. It means programs written in a high level languages can be executes on many different types of computer with a little modification. For Example programs written in C can be executed on Intel processor as well as on Motorola processors.
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