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High Level Languages - General

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APL/360 Dyadic Transpose Function notes, 1981
Credit: I. P. Sharp Associates, Palo Alto

High Level Languages

The first computers had to be programmed in a numerical “machine language” that was directly executed by the computer from its main memory. Writing big programs was a tedious and error-prone task. In the early 1950s, “assembler language” programs were written using alphabetic symbols instead of numbers. The first “high-level” languages developed in the late 1950s allowed programs to be written using more understandable mathematical formulas or even English words. The most popular languages were FORTRAN, for scientific programming, and COBOL, for business programming. Eventually dozens of different high-level languages were created to ease the programming task for specific applications.

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