A Comprehensive Look At The Development Of The Computer Programming Language, Focusing Partially On C++.

1908 words - 8 pages

Microsoft, Ebay, Intel - none of these companies could have been created if it weren't for the development of computer programming languages, especially the language of C++. The base of any computer program is the language that it was written with. There are several different computer languages that exist today; however, C++ is the most universally known and used. The specific intent of this paper is to recall the history and types of the computer programming languages; as well as, explain why C++ exists, and how it works.Throughout the history of the computer programming language there have been several different types of languages, all attributing to the many great leaps and bounds of technology. There are two basic types of computers that use a programming language. The first is an Electro-mechanical computer. (Electro-mechanical computers rely on gears and wires to operate.) The first electro-mechanical programming language was the difference engine, developed by Charles Babbage in 1822. His engine executed tasks by changing the gears, which controlled the calculations. This made physical motion the first programming language. In 1942, however, the US Government built the ENIAC. Although more precise and variable, the ENIAC still followed my of Babbage's principles; such as the required presetting of switches, and the total rewiring for each calculation. The advancements made using electro-mechanical computers may not be evident, but they still contributed to the overall growth of programming languages. With the arrival of the electronic computer, programming languages began to develop into sophisticated applications. The second computer used in programming was the electronic computer. In 1949, the first programming language for an electronic computer was introduced. It required the programmer to change its statements into 1's and 0's by hand; however, it was the first step toward today's complex languages. In 1951, Grace Hooper created MATH-MATIC. It used the characters A-0, and a compiler that translated the input from the user into 1's and 0's that the computer can understand. MATH-MATIC served as the first widely known and used language. As Tim Sweeny put it:"The MATH-MATIC language enabled users and budding developers to write programs, inasmuch as you no longer had to own a soldering iron to join in the fun. MATH-MATIC programmers lived and breathed CPU registers and instructions all day long, so the focus was on low-level programming. These programs tended to be very fast, even in places where they didn't need to be, and where development time could have been dramatically reduced by using a higher-level language."In 1957 FORTRAN (FORMula TRANlating system) appeared, providing low-level access to IBM's scientific computing. FORTRAN calculated numbers well; however, it lacked a sufficient input and output directive. It was quickly replaced by COBOL in 1959. COBOL was similar to FORTRAN; though, COBOL offered a superior input and out put...

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