A Comprehensive History of Computer Languages
The history of computer languages can be traced back to the 1940's. In that day, the primitive nature of computers forced programmers to write hand-tuned assembly code. This was tedious and demanding. In 1948, a man named Konrad Zuse, published a paper to promote his programming language, Plankalkül. However, the language never really caught fire. Important languages developed during this time include C-10, and the ENIAC coding system.
In the 1950's the first recognizable computer languages began to emerge.
These include the FORTRAN, Lisp, and COBOL. FORTRAN is a classic compiled language, meaning a compiler, a special piece of software, converts your FORTRAN code into machine-readable code, thus producing a binary program. This style was all the rage for many years and is still dominate today.
The late 1960’s and 1070’s saw some of the development of fundamental paradigms. This begin to set the standard all languages to come. This era also saw the beginnings of “structured programming”, which eliminated the use of expressions like GOTO. An example of this (written in C) would be:
void print ()
printf(“This is a function, part of structured programming”);
printf(“Calling a function...”);
Some important languages developed during this time would be:
C, Pascal, Forth, Smalltalk, Prolog, Ml, and SQL.
The 1980’s brought about a shift in the direction of languages. Consolidation, modules and performance became issues. C++’s unique combination of object-oriented and systems programming made it a major player. Work on speeding up preprocessors and compilers began. Some important languages developed during this time include: Ada, C++, Eiffel, Perl, and FL.
The 1990’s began the internet age. The focus of language development slowly to shifted toward an emerging technology, the internet. A newer breed of...