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What are the different types of programming languages?


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December 11, 2015 7:49PM

A type of programming language could be a domain, paradigm, or family; the related links give taxonomies according to all of these factors. The below answer addresses the question as regards families.

It would be impossible to list them all, but a few of the most common are as follows (listed in alphabetical order):

BASIC - This was the language Bill Gates released for the C64 and other computers. It quickly became a very popular language and matured into Visual Basic, which further matured into Visual Studio. The current implementation is very expensive, however Microsoft have released Express versions of the Visual Studio series which are free, at the expense (removal) of some functionality. There is also a very young cross-platform (Windows, Linux) Free and Open Source (FOSS) implementation of BASIC called FreeBASIC, which I personally program in and find very easy to use. It aims for compatibility with QuickBASIC while giving easy access to the host platform's system functions (the Windows API on Windows and system calls on Linux).

C, C#, C++ - These I don't have much knowledge about, I can only make reference to the existence of "gcc", a cross-platform (the amount of platforms it can compile to is mind-boggling) FOSS compiler. Visual Studio also has compilers for C++ and C#.

Perl, PHP, Python - These are mainly the "web languages" of today. PHP is the most widely used, mainly because of the fact that support for it is compiled into Apache, "the" web server for Linux (which also has ports for Windows and if I'm not mistaken, Mac OS). Perl and Python are also used very widely too, as it's as simple as installing mod_perl into Apache for Perl to work with the same, and I'd imagine Python integration is as easy too.
Computer programming is the craft of writing useful, maintainable, and extensible instructions which can be interpreted by a computing system to perform a meaningful task. Programming a computer can be performed in one of numerous languages, ranging from a higher-level language to writing directly in low-level machine code (that is, code that more directly controls the specifics of the computer's hardware) all the way to writing microcode (which does directly control the electronics in the computer). Using programming languages and markup languages (such as XHTML and XForms) require some of the same skills, but using markup languages is generally not considered "programming." Nevertheless, many markup languages allow inclusion of scripts, e.g. many HTML documents contain JavaScript. There are exceptions where markup languages do represent programming such as SuperX++ ( and o:XML ( Computer programming is one part of a much larger discipline known as software engineering, which includes several different aspects of making software including design, construction and quality control. The subject of this book is software construction, that is, programming. Computer programming is also a useful skill (though not always necessary) for people who are interested in computer science. Whereas software engineering is interested specifically in making software, computer science tends to be oriented towards more theoretical or mathematical problems.