History of Programming


History of Programming

History of programming
History of programming 

Programming has changed the way we used the computer. The computer was basically invented to perform arithmetic operations, to perform simple tasks on an everyday basis in a short span of time. Programming gives a clear chance to us to give commands to the computer and produce the result we need.  Ever since the invention of Charles Babbage’s difference engine in 1822, computers have required a means of instructing them to perform a specific task. This means is known as a programming language. The computer languages of the last fifty years have come in two stages, the first major languages and the second major languages, which are in use today. In the beginning, Charles Babbage’s difference engine could only be made to execute tasks by changing the gears which executed the calculations. Thus, the earliest form of a computer language was physical motion. This process proved to be very tedious. In the 1940s, the first recognizably modern electrically powered computers were created.

The first functioning programming languages designed to communicate instructions to a computer were written in the early 1950s. John's Short Code, proposed in 1949, was one of the first high-level languages ever developed for an electronic computer. The program had to be translated into machine code every time it ran, making the process much slower than running the equivalent machine code.

In 1954, language FORTRAN was invented at IBM by a team led by John Backus; it was the first widely used high-level general purpose programming language to have a functional implementation, as opposed to just a design on paper. It is still a popular language for high-performance computing.

Pascal was begun in 1968 by Wirth. Its development was mainly out of necessity for a good teaching tool. In the beginning, the language designers had no hopes for it to enjoy widespread adoption. Instead, they concentrated on developing good tools for teaching such as a debugger and editing. Pascal was designed in a very orderly approach, it combined many of the best features of the languages in use at the time, COBOL, FORTRAN, and ALGOL. The combination of features, input/output, and solid mathematical features, made it a highly successful language.

C was developed in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie while working at Bell Labs in New Jersey. C uses pointers extensively and was built to be fast and powerful at the expense of being hard to read. But because it fixed most of the mistakes Pascal had, it won over former-Pascal users quite rapidly. Ritchie developed C for the new Unix system being created at the same time. C is very commonly used to program operating systems such as Unix, Windows, the Mac, OS, and Linux.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, a new programming method was being developed. It was known as Object Oriented Programming, or OOP. Objects are pieces of data that can be packaged and manipulated by the program.

C++ was designed to organize the raw power of C using OOP, but maintain the speed of C and be able to run on many different types of computers. C++ is most often used in simulations, such as games. C++ provides an elegant way to track and manipulate hundreds of instances of people in elevators, or armies filled with different types of soldiers. It is the language of choice in today’s AP Computer Science courses.

In the early 1990s, interactive TV was the technology of the future. Sun Microsystems decided that interactive TV needed a special, portable (can run on many types of machines), language. This language eventually became Java. In 1994, the Java project team changed its focus to the web, which was becoming “the cool thing” after interactive TV failed. The next year, Netscape licensed Java for use in their internet browser, Navigator.
Though Java has very lofty goals and is a textbook example of a good language, it may be the “language that wasn’t.” It has serious optimization problems, meaning that programs written in it run very slowly. And Sun has hurt Java’s acceptance by engaging in political battles over it with Microsoft.

Visual Basic is often taught as a first programming language today as it is based on the BASIC language. BASIC is a very limited language and was designed for non-computer science people. Statements are chiefly run sequentially, but program control can change based on IF...THEN, and GOSUB statements. Microsoft has extended BASIC in its Visual Basic (VB) product. The heart of VB is the form or blank window on which you drag and drop components such as menus, pictures, and slider bars. These items are known as “widgets.” Widgets have properties (such as its color) and events (such as clicks and double-clicks) and are central to building any user interface today in any language.

Perl has often been described as the “duct tape of the Internet,” because it is most often used as the engine for a web interface or in scripts that modify configuration files. It has very strong text matching functions which make it ideal for these tasks. Perl was developed by Larry Wall in 1987 because the Unix tools (used for text manipulation) were no longer strong enough to support his needs. Depending on whom you ask, Perl stands for Practical Extraction and Reporting Language or Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister.
Programming languages have been under development for years and will remain so for many years to come. The first major languages were characterized by the simple fact that they were intended for one purpose and one purpose only, while the languages of today are differentiated by the way they are programmed in, as they can be used for almost any purpose. So we have dived into a history flashback of the language, everyone would have enjoyed it.

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