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Computer Programming: A Brief Overview

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Autor:   •  November 1, 2010  •  727 Words (3 Pages)  •  344 Views

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INTRODUCTION

Computer programming (often simply programming) is the craft of implementing one or more interrelated abstract algorithms using a particular programming language to produce a concrete computer program. Programming has elements of science, mathematics, and engineering.

PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES

A programmer writes source code in a particular programming language.

Different programming languages support different styles of programming (called programming paradigms). Part of the art of programming is selecting one of the programming languages best suited for the task at hand. Different programming languages require different levels of detail to be handled by the programmer when implementing algorithms, often resulting in a compromise between ease of use and performance (a trade-off between "programmer time" and "computer time").

The only programming language a computer can directly execute is machine language (sometimes called "machine code"). Originally all programmers worked out every detail of the machine code, but this is hardly ever done anymore. Instead, programmers write source code, and a computer (running a compiler, an interpreter or occasionally an assembler) translates it through one or more translation steps to fill in all the details, before the final machine code is executed on the target computer. Even when complete low-level control of the target computer is required, programmers write assembly language, whose instructions are mnemonic one-to-one transcriptions of the corresponding machine language instructions.

In some languages, an interpretable p-code binary (or byte-code) is generated, rather than machine language. Bytecode is used in the popular Java programming language by Sun Microsystems as well as Microsoft's recent .NET family of languages and Visual Basic previous to the .NET version.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF PROGRAMMING

The earliest of computer programs were made using a soldering iron and a large number of vacuum tubes (later transistors). As programs became more complex, this became almost impossible, as one mistake would likely render the whole program useless. As data storage media became more advanced, it became possible to re-use one program for many things according to the content of the memory. A person would spend quite some time making punch cards that would hold a list of instructions for a computer. Every model of computer would be likely to need different instructions to do the same task. As computers became more powerful, and storage media became re-usable, it became possibe to use the computer to make the program. Programmers quickly began to favor text over 1s and 0s, and punch cards were phased out. Over time, computers have become extremely powerful, and this has resulted in a branch of programming called scripting. Programming has become gradually easier as new languages are invented but this has opened the scene to script kiddies, who are generally seen as an annoyance because of their lack of skill whilst often claiming to be hackers.

EXAMPLES OF PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES

C++ is an object oriented compiled programming language and one of the most widely-used programming languages currently available. It is often considered to be the industry-standard language of game development, but is also very often used to write other types of computer software applications.

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