How programming languages ​​appeared: a historical excursion into the origins of the programming world

How programming languages ​​appeared: a historical excursion into the origins of the programming world
How programming languages ​​appeared: a historical excursion into the origins of the programming world

Programming languages ​​have been created and developed over the years. Some of them are still in the process of development, as consumer needs grow, new hardware is being developed and programmers have to look for new solutions, as well as principles of working with innovations.

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The very concept of “programming language” can be interpreted as a formal sign system that programmers use to write computer programs. However, engineers began to think about the language of machines much earlier than they had the opportunity to write in it and create programs.

The idea of ​​creating the language of machines was first proposed in the 19th century by the scientist Charles Babbage. He is considered the founder and father of the world’s first computer. At that time, his ideas were only speculations. He did not know about monitors and microcircuits, but he managed to accurately describe the basic principles of computers. Over time, engineers have come to the grandiose conclusion that the efficient use of computers lies in the right algorithms.

How programming languages ​​appeared: a historical excursion into the origins of the programming world 2
How programming languages ​​appeared: a historical excursion into the origins of the programming world 2

The development of programming languages ​​peaked in the 50s of the 20th century. Then, in order to program, engineers had to know completely the entire architecture of a computer and understand its machine codes. In the 50s, you couldn’t be a programmer if you didn’t know how a computer is assembled and what it consists of. Computers of that time did not even have a keyboard, but there were punched cards, which did not greatly simplify the everyday life of the then software engineer.

When a person needs to simplify his work, make it more automated, he begins to come up with new ideas and invent things that could make his life easier. This is how the first programming languages ​​began to appear.

At that time, software engineers were forced to study all machine instructions in detail, and then carefully write the code, checking it thoroughly each time. To somehow simplify the task, programmers needed to translate the numeric designations of operations into letters. This is how the first programming language appeared – Assembler (from English “assemble”). Now it is considered a low-level programming language, but at one time it made a splash. The programs written in Assembler were quite efficient and workable.

How programming languages ​​appeared: a historical excursion into the origins of the programming world 3
How programming languages ​​appeared: a historical excursion into the origins of the programming world 3

Then the programmers needed to create a higher-level language that would focus on writing and running algorithms. In 1954, a new programming language was invented – FORmula TRANslator or simply FORTRAN. He is still alive and quite in demand in Data Science. There are many versions of Fortran, but the first and original of the many versions was used on punch cards, just like Assembler. Then the introduction of new types of digital devices prompted programmers to move forward and create new machine languages.

How programming languages ​​appeared: a historical excursion into the origins of the programming world 4
How programming languages ​​appeared: a historical excursion into the origins of the programming world 4

After Fortran, the Algorithmic Language or Algol was invented in 1958. It was created on the basis of isolated blocks. It is an algorithmic language that no one uses anymore. In fact, he can be called dead. However, in 58 it was in great demand, as it was intended for scientific reports and publications.

The desire of programmers to transform the programming language into a kind of human language influenced the creation of COBOL in 1959. Its syntax was significantly different from Assembler and Fortran and was similar to natural English. This has become a new trend in the world of programming, as programmers have the opportunity to work with text and records, and not machine code.

How programming languages ​​appeared: a historical excursion into the origins of the programming world 5
How programming languages ​​appeared: a historical excursion into the origins of the programming world 5

All of the above programming languages ​​have already become history. They are very old and almost nobody uses them. On their basis, more modern languages ​​were created, such as C, C ++, C #, Java and many others. We have prepared a series of narratives about them for you, which we will start publishing from next week. You will have the opportunity to learn more about the benefits and history of modern programming languages. All information will be simple and straightforward.

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