Talking Languages

A new programming language for the new year?

So, it's 2016...

...and you've got a killer idea for a new project.

But what do you write it in? There's just so many to choose!

And how did it get so complicated anyway?

Ever since we've had machines...

...we've needed a way to control them.


The roots of modern programming can be traced to Jacquard's loom - first demonstrated in 1801 - which was operated by punch cards.

Ada Lovelace famously devised a mathematical encoding of instructions for Babbage's Difference engine.


Unfortunately her early death and Babbage's... personality meant it was never put to practical use.

In the mid 1940's, von Neumann developed two major breakthroughs: the shared program technique - where he stated computer hardware should be kept simple and not program bespoke - and the 'conditional control transfer': the mother of all subroutines! 

However, it wasn't until Grace hopper invented the compiler in 1951 that languages as we know them were born.


Before her invention, programmers had to write out algorithms in byte code - 0s and 1s. The compiler translates language commands into computer language (byte code) for the programmer.

In 1957

Fortran, the first of the major languages was invented.


Although great at numerical commands, it was't so good with input and output, so  with the rapid increase in business programming, COBOL was created in 1959.

Since then,

thousands of new languages have been created. Many were designed to tackle new problems and make use of new computer programming concepts - e.g. Object Oriented software.


Others were designed just for fun!


Talking Languages

By FINOkoye

Talking Languages

A very brief, initial introduction to Computer languages for the Midlands Ada's List meet up in January.

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