Why are there so many programming languages?

each language has been developed for specific tasks.Here is a small selection:

C is designed to write the Unix operating system.Here it was important to be able to access the hardware directly (driver). But this also means that you can’t take the data types very seriously. An interface usually only returns bytes and these must then be converted into an integer, for example. However, many devices provide entire data blocks, so you don’t want to have to call a function for every byte. Also, an operating system must be able to access all the memory, it must be able to load and set up programs. However, this can also make a system crash.

Pascal (now Delphi, Modula and Oberon) is more the opposite.Pascal was developed according to didactic aspects, actually only as a school language. Anything “indecent” is not possible in Pascal, as well as direct access to the hardware and memory. Pascal then adds a sociological component. After graduation, the students could only Pascal. Because you have learned with the completion of your studies. then everything had to be programmed in Pascal in the industry. Accordingly, Pascal was then adapted to the practice and the didactic specifications were partially gone.

BASIC was, as the name suggests (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code), a first attempt at a beginner’s language to be used in general.However, BASIC was not fully developed and there was no institution that required standardisation. As a result, each manufacturer added special commands and properties to BASIC, creating a myriad of dialects. In the 60s and 70s BASIC was actually the operating system of smaller computers. After switching on, you landed in the BASIC interpreter.

Fortran (FORmula TRANslation) was optimized primarily for mathematical problems.

With APL, the adaptation to mathematics was pushed to the point.APL has a single symbol for each operator. Even complex matrices operations have their own operator symbol. The string processing was then rather loveless lyrized on it and is only rudimentary present. The spread of APL was slowed by the need for special, graphic-character-capable terminals. Today, this is no longer a problem, but in the 1960s telegraphs were still used for data.

COBOL (COmmon Business Oriented Language) is intended for commercial tasks.At COBOL, they tried to approximate the programming language to the normal English language and one idea was that the secretary could also write programs. One problem with COBOL is that you get sore fingers when programming. 🙂

FORTH was supposed to be called FOURTH (Fourth), but the operating system used only allowed 5 characters for a file name. It was used as a compact, fast language on small computers (interpreter and program had to be in 16KB, respectively32KB space.), designed to control telescopes.

ADA was designed to replace all existing programming languages and was developed in a large body of government and industry.The DoD took over the management. ADA is based on Pascal, but is even stricter in programming. The main disease of ADA is that many mechanisms are implemented on 3 different, mutually incompatible variants. If you inadvertently mix the commands of 2 variants, the behavior of the program becomes unpredictable. Most of the original developers of ADA are therefore now opponents of the language and warn against ADA. However, the DoD insists that all programming jobs must be developed in ADA. Meanwhile, the nuclear missiles are also controlled by ADA!

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