The generations of programming languages also indicate the increasing capacity of the power of the programming language. The generation of the programming language was further also categorized in a manner of their usage and capabilities. Let’s see these generations in more details
First-generation of computer
The first generation of computer language is also known as the machine level language and they were used in the earliest computer before the transistors were invented and the vacuum tubes were used for processing of the instructions.
During that period of time machines can understand two things and that is either it was in On state or it was in OFF state and this was indicated by the binary codes of zeros and ones. All the instructions that were provided to the machine were first written in binary zeros and ones and then the vacuum tubes were closed and open to provide the instruction to the machine. They were interred through the front panel switches of the computer system.
The machine-level language is also known as the computer’s own language and there was no requirement for the translator such as compiler or interpreter that is used in the high-level language. These languages were prone to error and were a very tedious task to write and more difficult to learn by the human programmer.
Second Generation of computer language
The second generation of the computer language is also known as the assembly language and this was developed by IBM in the 1950s. The assembly language is much easier than the machine language because they used mnemonics code for each instruction and this made it very easy to write the code by the programmer. As the computers were only able to understand the machine level language therefore a translator was needed and they were known as the assembler, the work of the assembler is to convert the assembly language mnemonic code into a native binary. They were easier to learn and understand the machine language but assembly language gave more control to the hardware.
Third Generation of computer language
The third generation of computer language was more machine-independent and was a programmer-friendly language. The third-generation language involved using natural language and direct mathematical operators and alphanumeric characters, this made this generation of computer language much easier to understand. The third generation of language was improved on the second generation of language by having computers to take care of unnecessary details or automate many tasks. These languages were introduced in the year of 1950s and BASIC, COBOL, and Fortran were some of the earliest programming languages of the third generation. The third generation of the language also required interpreters and the compiler for their translation to the machine language. This generation of programming languages was also classified into the structured programming language and object-oriented programming language. The advantages of the third generation of programming languages were that it was much more readable than the second generation and were platform-independent and portable which the second generation of programming languages was not. As they were more hardware independent therefore the more resources were able to be developed by the programmer and better documentation was provided in these generations. These languages were poor in hardware control as mostly they were focused on the development of the application software and left the hardware operation to be automated.
Fourth generation of programming language
The fourth generation of programming language was more focused on the development of the specific programming domains such as database management, Graphical user interface, web development, etc