Why Are There so Many Programming Languages?


This post is part 5 (out of 6) in a series of blog posts: 

  1. Computers Today
  2. Where Computers Came From
  3. Computer Hardware
  4. Computer Programs
  5. Why Are There so Many Programming Languages? (this blog post)
  6. Where Did BASIC Come From?

  

Why so Many Programming Languages?

Hundreds of high-level programming languages were developed over the years. Among the famous ones are: FORTRAN, BASIC, Pascal, C, C++, Python, Java, and C# (pronounced C Sharp). Each language has its own set of rules, keywords, and grammar. These examples show how a simple program that displays the string "I wish I was Small Basic" looks in some high-level languages:

                  

 C:

#include <stdio.h>
main()
{
printf ("I wish I was Small Basic\n");
}

  

 C++:

#include <iostream.h>
int main()
{
std::cout << "I wish I was Small Basic" << std::endl;
}

      

Java:

class HelloApp
{
public static void main (String args[])
{
System.out.println("I wish I was Small Basic");
}
}

      

Python:

print("I wish I was Small Basic\n")

   

Small Basic:

TextWindow.WriteLine("I’m so glad I’m Small Basic")

 

All these programs do the same thing: display "I wish I was Small Basic" on the screen (well, almost all). Which might make you wonder, "Why are there so many different languages?”

Well, each language was designed for a different reason, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Some things are easier to do in one language than others. For example, FORTRAN makes it easier to perform numerical calculations. C lets the programmer control the computer’s hardware. C++ helps you develop large applications, Java makes developing Internet applications a breeze, BASIC was made so more people could learn how to program, and Small Basic is awesome (and for all ages to learn how to program)!

       

Do you have any questions? Ask us! We're full of answers and other fine things!

Head to the Small Basic forum to get the most answers to your questions: 

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/smallbasic/threads/   

And go to http://blogs.msdn.com/SmallBasic to download Small Basic and learn all about it!

     

Next, continue reading the 6th part in this series (or start with Part 1 if you skipped it): 

  1. Computers Today
  2. Where Computers Came From
  3. Computer Hardware
  4. Computer Programs
  5. Why Are There so Many Programming Languages? (this blog post)
  6. Where Did BASIC Come From?

   

Have a Small and Basic day,

   - Ninja Ed & Majed Marji


Comments (2)

  1. UPDATE: Added the links to the other articles in this series… to the bottom of this post.

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