Information Technology

Program and its main Categories

A computer is a device that follows the instruction given to it. A well-defined set of instruction given to the computer is called a Computer Program. A computer program is written in programming language.

Who is a programmer?

A person who develops program called Programmer.

Programming Language

A set of words and symbols used to write programs is called Programming Language. The programming languages are used to write computer programs. A programming language is a means of communication between a user and computer.

Type of Programming Language

There are two types of computer programming languages:

  1. Low Level Language
  2. High Level Language

1. Low Level Language

Low Level language are near to computer hardware and far from human languages. The low level language are divided into the following two main categories:

  • Machine Language
  • Assembly Language
a) Machine Language

A type of language in which instructions are written in binary form is called machine language. It is the only language that is directly understood by the computer. It is the native language of the computer.

A program written in machine language can be executed very fast by computer. The computer does not need any translator to understand this language. The programs written in machine language are machine-dependent. Every computer has its own machine language.

Machine language is difficult to understand and learn. The process of writing and modifying program in machine language takes a lot of time.

b) Assembly language

Assembly Language is a low-level language. It is one step higher than machine language. In assembly language, machine instructions are replaced with English-like words known as mnemonics. It is pronounced as Ne-Monics.

Programs written in assembly language are easier to write and modify than machine language. Assembly language is mostly used for writing system software. The programs written in assembly language cannot be executed by the computer directly. A translator called assembler is used to convert assembly language programs into machine language.

2. High Level Language

A type of language that is close to human languages is called high level language. The instructions in these languages are similar to English language such as input and print etc. These languages are easy to understand.

What is Syntax?

A set of rules for writing programs in a high level language is known as syntax. Each language has its own syntax. The instructions must be written according to the syntax of the language. Any error in the program is identified by the language translator. A program cannot be converted into machine language if it contains any syntax error.


Some examples of high-level languages are as follows:

C/C++ It is used to write system software and application software.
Java It is a popular programming language and provides strong features for network programming.
Pascal It is used for both scientific and business application.
FORTRAN It stands for Formula Translation. It has very powerful mathematical capabilities.
BASIC It stands for Beginner All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. It was used mainly by student to use the computer to solve simple problems.
COBOL It stands for Common Business Oriented Language. It is used to write business applications.

Q. Describe the characteristics of high-level programming language.

Some important characteristics of high level language are as follows:

  1. Easy to learn
  2. Easy Error Detection
  3. Standardized Syntax
  4. Deep Hardware Knowledge not Required
  5. Machine Independence
  6. More Programmers
  7. Shorter Programs
1. Easy to learn

High-level language are closer to human languages and far from machine language. These are English-like languages and are easier to learn.

2. Easy Error Detection

High-level languages are easy to read and modify. It makes it easy to find errors in programs written in high-level languages.

3. Standardized Syntax

The syntaxes of high-level languages are standardized. These languages describe a well-defined way of writing programs. Different organizations work to determine standard syntax of these languages. An important organization is American National Standard Institute also known as ANSI.

4. Deep Hardware Knowledge not Required

These language do not require deep knowledge of hardware or machine architecture. A programmer can write efficient programs without a deep knowledge of hardware. He can concentrate on solving the program rather than concerning the human-machine interaction.

5. Machine Independence

High-level language provide machine independence. It means that the programs written in high-level language can be executed on different types of computers. For example, a program written in C can be executed on Intel processors and Motorola processors.

6. More Programmers

Programming in low-level languages is very difficult. But high-level languages are easy to learn. It encourages more people to learn these languages. So many programmers of high-level languages are available.

7. Shorter Programs

Programs written in high-level languages are shorter than low-level languages. One instruction of high-level language is equivalent to many instructions of low-level language.


The main difference between low-level and High-level language is as follows:

High-Level Language Low-Level Language
1. High-level languages are easy to learn. 1. Low-level Languages are difficult to learn.
2. These are near to human languages. 2. These are far from human languages.
3. Programs in high-level languages are slow in execution. 3. Programs in low-level languages are fast in execution.
4. Programs in high-level languages are easy to modify. 4. Programs in Low-level languages are difficult to modify.
5. High-level languages do not provide much facility at hardware level. 5. Low-level languages provide facility to write programs at hardware level.
6. Deep knowledge of hardware is not required to write programs. 6. Deep knowledge of hardware is required to write program.
7. These languages are normally used to write application software. 7. These languages are normally used to write system software.
8. There are many programmers of high-level languages. 8. There are a few programmers of low-level languages.

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