Programming Languages

1 January 2017

When working with programming languages, what is meant by “syntax”? Give one or more examples. A syntax is a symbolic representation illustrating form and structure. Syntax in the form of text is completed through a series of characters. In a graphical environment, a syntax is illustrated in the form of symbols. An example of a graphical syntax is the symbol of a speaker is a representation of volume or sound. An example of a text syntax is the paragraph mark in a Word document. 2. When working with programming languages, what is meant by “semantics”?

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Give one or more examples. Semantics describe the meaning of the syntax. Using the examples above: The graphical representation of the speaker in the call center world serves as instruction for the program to play an announcement to the caller. The paragraph mark in Word used in a text syntax tells the program to perform a carriage return so the end user can continue the entry of letters and formatting. 3. What does it mean to say that a programming language is machine independent? A program language that is machine independent does not rely on a specific machine language to run.

A caveat to this is the third generation programming languages. While it is machine independent to a point, it requires a complier to actually run the program effectively. 4. Compare and contrast 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation computer languages and give one or more examples of each. First Generation computer languages were written using 1s and 0s. While simplistic in nature for the actual machine, it was very difficult for humans to read and understand. These languages were hard to edit in the event of errors.

Second Generation computer languages were written using code that was easier to understand by humans. However, it required a complier to covert the information into binary code which is recognized by the computer. Third Generation computer languages introduced variables that are easily read and understood by programmers. These programs include C++, Cobol, Basic and Fortran. Fourth Generation computer languages took the third generation languages to the next level and enabled communication and interaction with items such as databases.

The foundation for the Fourth generation languages came from the Third generation languages. 5. Tell what programming languages have you studied and discuss any previous programming experience, if any? If you had the opportunity, choose a language from the list you created in question #4 and explain why you would like to learn this language over any of the others. If I had an opportunity to learn a language, I would like to learn C++. I have very little exposure to C++ but found the language easier to understand and easy to remember.

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