Programming languages provide the commands, grammar and syntax for instructing digital devices and computers to perform specific tasks. These artificial languages are machine-readable and often comply with a written specification for both syntax and semantics. For example, the C programming language complies with a specification from the International Standards Organization (ISO). Typically, programming languages describe computations as a sequence of commands; however, languages that support logic programming or functional programming may use other descriptive methods.
Programming languages enable programmers and developers to build software products, software applications, and software packages. Common programming languages include Assembler, C, and C++. Assembler is an older programming language that is still used to access system services and hardware, and for maximizing program efficiency. C is used with applications that affect both system services and the user interface. C++ adds object oriented programming (OOP) to the C programming language. A programming paradigm, object oriented programming uses objects called data structures to help design software applications.
Programming languages that use OOP enable developers to use techniques such as information hiding and inheritance. FORTRAN, Java, Perl, Python, and Tk are examples of common programming languages. An abbreviation for “formula translation”, FORTRAN is well-suited for physics and mathematical calculations. FORTRAN features highly-efficient compilers and portable code. Java is a newer, OOP language that is now more popular common than FORTRAN, COBOL, or Basic. These older machine-readable languages are still used for specific data-gathering tasks, however. Perl is an interpreted programming language that is optimized for scanning text files, extracting information, and printing large reports. Perl is also suitable for many system management tasks. Python, another interpreted language, is both interactive and an OOP. Unlike some other programming languages, Tk is an X11 toolkit that can be used with Perl and Python.
Some programming languages provide tools and resources for text and source code handling, debugging and binary code management, and compiler construction and language grammars. Text and source code editors include ASCII text editors, Java editors, and source code analysis utilities for other specific programming languages. Debugging and binary code management includes resource compilers, resource editors, source checkers, and debuggers. Programming languages with compiler construction tools and programming language grammars are also available.