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A high-level language is a programming language intended to streamline computer programming. High-level source code consists of easy-to-read structures that are later translated into a low-level language, which can only be perceived and run by a specific CPU. A high-level language is abstracted further away from the computer itself, and focuses more on programming logic rather than on basic hardware elements like memory address and register usage.
A low-level programming language is a programming language that provides little or no abstraction from a computer's instruction set architecture —commands or functions in the language map closely to processor instructions.
Generally, this refers to either machine code or assembly language. Because of the low hence the word abstraction between the language and machine language, low-level languages are sometimes described as being "close to the hardware".
Programs written in low-level languages tend to be relatively non-portable , due to being optimized for a certain type of system architecture. Low-level languages can convert to machine code without a compiler or interpreter — second-generation programming languages use a simpler processor called an assembler — and the resulting code runs directly on the processor. A program written in a low-level language can be made to run very quickly, with a small memory footprint.
An equivalent program in a high-level language can be less efficient and use more memory. Low-level languages are simple, but considered difficult to use, due to numerous technical details that the programmer must remember. By comparison, a high-level programming language isolates execution semantics of a computer architecture from the specification of the program, which simplifies development. Machine code is the only language a computer can process directly without a previous transformation.
Currently, programmers almost never write programs directly in machine code, because it requires attention to numerous details that a high-level language handles automatically. Furthermore, it requires memorizing or looking up numerical codes for every instruction, and is extremely difficult to modify. True machine code is a stream of raw, usually binary , data.
A programmer coding in "machine code" normally codes instructions and data in a more readable form such as decimal , octal , or hexadecimal which is translated to internal format by a program called a loader or toggled into the computer's memory from a front panel.
Although few programs are written in machine language, programmers often become adept at reading it through working with core dumps or debugging from the front panel. Example: A function in hexadecimal representation of bit x86 machine code to calculate the n th Fibonacci number :. Second-generation languages provide one abstraction level on top of the machine code.
Typically, one machine instruction is represented as one line of assembly code. Assemblers produce object files that can link with other object files or be loaded on their own. Most assemblers provide macros to generate common sequences of instructions. In this code example, hardware features of the x processor its registers are named and manipulated directly. Note that in this assembly language, there is no concept of returning a value. The result having been stored in the EAX register, the RET command simply moves code processing to the code location stored on the stack usually the instruction immediately after the one that called this function and it is up to the author of the calling code to know that this function stores its result in EAX and to retrieve it from there.
This code is very similar in structure to the assembly language example but there are significant differences in terms of abstraction:. These abstractions make the C code compilable without modification on any architecture for which a C compiler has been written.
The x86 assembly language code is specific to the x86 architecture. One method for this is Inline assembly , in which assembly code is embedded in a high-level language that supports this feature. Some of these languages also allow architecture-dependent compiler optimization directives to adjust the way a compiler uses the target processor architecture.
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Machine Language Guide Basic Program The basic template of a machine language program is shown below. Assembly language is almost certainly the most difficult kind of computer programming, but keep in mind that we're speaking in relative terms here. Machine language vs. The Compilation System. The main difference between machine and assembly language is Machine languages are platform-dependent, and their features vary accordingly.
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In computer science , a high-level programming language is a programming language with strong abstraction from the details of the computer. In contrast to low-level programming languages , it may use natural language elements , be easier to use, or may automate or even hide entirely significant areas of computing systems e. The amount of abstraction provided defines how "high-level" a programming language is. In the s, high-level programming languages using a compiler were commonly called autocodes. The first significantly widespread high-level language was Fortran , a machine-independent development of IBM's earlier Autocode systems.
A programming language defines a set of instructions that are compiled together to perform a specific task by the CPU Central Processing Unit. Each programming language contains a unique set of keywords and syntax, which are used to create a set of instructions. Thousands of programming languages have been developed till now, but each language has its specific purpose. These languages vary in the level of abstraction they provide from the hardware. Some programming languages provide less or no abstraction while some provide higher abstraction.
Differences between Low-level and High-level Languages:. Upload to Fundamentals of 3. Learn It: What are the different levels of Programming Languages? A programming language - Is a formal language, which comprises a set of instructions that produce various kinds of output. Programming languages are used in computer programming to implement specific algorithms.
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