Computer language

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Computer languages are formal languages that were developed for the interaction between humans and computers .


At the beginning of the digital revolution , computer languages ​​were essentially used to program the central processors . In the course of technical development, more and more highly organized computer languages , that is, computer languages that are more and more removed from the machine and programming languages , have been developed for more complex tasks . These languages ​​are neither understood directly by the processors, nor can they be translated directly into machine language by interpreters or compilers , but extensive operating systems and software packages are interposed as additional levels .

With the development of the Internet , especially since the 1990s, many web- based computer languages ​​have been developed that are largely independent of the individual computer systems. These languages ​​include B. Browser- enabled markup languages ​​and languages ​​for website design .

Programming languages

The code that a processor can read and execute directly is called machine language . Each type of processor has its own machine language, i.e. a system of directly executable machine commands, the processing of which is determined by the electronic circuitry of the processor.

Since the machine language commands are usually difficult to read for humans and only allow the smallest processing steps, human-readable programming languages ​​were developed soon after the development of the first processors . The first of these languages was in the 1940s the Plankalkül of Konrad Zuse , which was never used in practice. Fortran (1953) is considered to be the first high-level programming language ever actually implemented .

Higher computer languages ​​are mostly notated in characters and words that are borrowed from human language , and like this have a fixed syntax and grammar . Computer processors cannot read and process these languages ​​directly, but every high-level computer language includes programs that translate them into the machine language of the respective computer. This can either be done in real time (by so-called interpreters ), or the entire program is translated into machine language beforehand and saved (by so-called assemblers and compilers ).

Database languages

With the help of database languages, users or external computer programs can communicate with database systems. The best known query language is SQL .

Descriptive languages

Well-known languages ​​for markup and formatting of texts are HTML , CSS and LaTeX . PostScript can describe text and vector graphics and is also a page description language. SVG is also widely used for vector graphics . Markup languages ​​for data are e.g. B. JSON and YAML . XML is a " metalanguage " or a set of rules for markup languages ​​on the basis of which

  • for text documents, both purely descriptive languages ​​such as TEI and DocBook and the stylesheet language XSL
  • the XQuery database query language
  • also the vector graphics language SVG
  • Languages ​​for describing graphical user interfaces such as XUL and XAML
  • Data formats

among others (see there ) were created.

Computer languages ​​developed for the Internet , e.g. B. for the World Wide Web , and therefore not specifically tailored to certain computers, are subject to a variety of ideas and interests of different users, browser and device manufacturers and international organizations in their development . The coordination of these interests is often controversial and can drag on for many years. So it has after the final recommendation ( Recommendation ) for HTML in 1999 ( 4:01 HTML lasted 15 years) until the new standard HTML5 October 2014 to the level of a recommendation of the World Wide Web Consortium was launched.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Computer language  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. HTML5. W3C Recommendation. World Wide Web Consortium, October 28, 2014, accessed November 4, 2014 .