By Nicholas Soer
Differences in computer languages is a topic that many people are not familiar
with. I was one of those kinds of people before I started researching on this topic. There
many different computer languages and each one of them are similar in some ways, but
are also different in other ways, such as: program syntax, the format of the language, and
the limitations of the language.
Most computer programmers start programming in languages such as turbo pascal
or one of the various types of basic. Turbo pascal, Basic, and Fortran are some of the
oldest computer languages. Many of today's modern languages have been a result of
one of these three languages, but are greatly improved. Both turbo pascal and basic are
languages that are easy to understand and the syntax is very easy and straightforward.
In Basic when printing to the screen you simply type the word 'print', in turbo pascal you
would type 'writeln'. These are very simple commands that the computer executes. To
execute a line of code in a language such as C, or C++, you would have to type in much
more sophisticated lines of code that are much more confusing than the previous two.
The format and layout of the various languages are very diverse between some,
and between others are somewhat similar. When programming in Basic the user has to
type in line numbers before each new line of code. In an updated version of Basic called
QBasic, numbers are optional. Turbo pascal does not allow the user to input numbers, it
has preset commands that seperate each part of the program. This is similar to QBasic,
but is much more sophisticated. Instead of using the command gosub in Basic, the user
would make a procedure call.
Another new language is C. C is a spinoff of turbo pascal but is capable of doing
more things than turbo. The format and layout are similar, but the syntax is much more
complex than turbo is. When C first came out, there were many major flaws in the
language so a new version had to be put out, C++. The main addition from C to C++ is
the concept of classes and templates. Many other small flaws were fixed when this new
version of C came out also.
Many of the languages have different limitations on the tasks that they came
perform. The newer the language, the more things you can do. Things that are being
accomplished today, were thought to have been impossible 20 years ago. Despite the
differences between the many languages I have mentioned, and the others that I have not,
the limitations are starting to go higher and higher as technology improves.
This is a subject that one could write on and on about the minute differences
between the many languages. After researching these main languages I found out that
there are just as many simmilarities between languages as there are differences.