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and diverse, nearly all rely on a few essential concepts. Knowledge of these concepts is essential to programmers, compiler writers, and many other computer users. A programming language, like any formal (artificial, strictly structured) language, must use a specific alphabet. As almost all programming languages have been designed in the United States and other English-speaking countries, the 7-bit ASCII character set that encompasses the Roman characters used in English is the most common alphabet, used with older programming languages such as C. However, this does not allow for the use of umlauts and other singular features; these are found with characters in European languages (such as Ç, ä, etc.) Nor does the 7-bit ASCII allow characters from other scripts, such as C. For instance, Java allows the 16-bit Unicode character set to be used. Even if 7-bit ASCII is used, as is most common, the strings are converted internally into the equivalent 16-bit Unicode. A programmer can define either variables, which are named entities that can take on different logical, numerical, or textual values, or constants, which are assigned a value which is never changed. These variables are given names, which are strings in the program's alphabet. However, every programming language has some reserved words which are already used as identifiers, that is, are assigned special meanings, and are used in assignments, declarations, and so on; these are not available to the programmer for use in naming variables. A program works with two kinds of data, problem data and control data. Problem data are associated with the computations performed, and may include numerical data, logical data, and descriptive data, obtained from the program's input. The control data, such as labels, addresses, and offsets, is internal to the program and is fixed by the creator of the program. The numerical data used by the program and assigned to its variables and constants can be of several types, including fixed-point, floating-point, signed integer, unsigned integer, character, and so on. In modern programming languages, it is essential for a variable to be declared as being of a certain type, before it is used. Some languages, such as C, are weakly typed, meaning that they allow variables to be used in a manner different from their declaration (for example, a character variable may be dealt with as an integer), but other languages such as Java are "strongly typed" and do not allow this practice. It is not a good idea for a variable to be used in a manner inconsistent with its definition, even if the language allows it. Strongly typed languages are considered to have greater security than weakly typed ones.
types World of Computer Science. logical functions (such as comparison). Other operators. sequence and control functions. A + 3 x B is evaluated as A + (3 x B). types . the programmer should use parentheses to force the precedence in complex expressions. such as C++. 2007 Programming languages. Programming languages. However. are called prefix operators. For example. Gale Science In Context. but this is rare in newer languages. data movement. by AND in COBOL. the same symbol used for regular arithmetic addition. 2010. However. Gale. because they come in between their operands." World of Computer Science. it is possible to define an addition operator that acts on sets instead of numbers.AND. and an algebraic notation such as A + B is preferred. Source Citation: "Programming languages. it is possible to write a C++ program in which the set-addition operator given above is also invoked by +. Some advanced languages such as C++ and Java allow programmers to define their own operators. which are usually proprietary or special operators acting on data structures used within the program. with the same meanings. such as the negation operator. in Fortran. which is the use of a standard operator representation to stand for a newly defined operator as well. most programming languages have nearly the same set of operators. The actual representation of some operators may vary: the logical "and" operator is denoted by . because they come prior to their operands. based on the context. Some languages. allow operator overloading. The language compiler is able to know which operator is meant. operator overloading should be used with care. 20 Sept. theory. 2007. Statements in programming languages that involve multiple operators are evaluated according to standard mathematical operator precedence. Older programming languages such as COBOL allowed the use of English-like statements such as ADD A TO B. Some of these are: arithmetical functions (such as addition). These functions are available to the programmer through the use of "operators" such as the addition operator + or the multiplication operator x. and by && in C and C++. For example. by & in PL/I. However. The expressions are internally converted to Reverse Polish Notation during compilation. Web.A programming language allows a variety of functions to be performed on mathematical data. Operators such as the addition operator are called infix operators. with the result of adding two sets being a larger set with the elements of both sets. and input and output. For example.
such as simulation. One reason for the higher execution speed is a procedural language's reliance on the von Neumann architecture. the ability to manipulate the sequential flow of control is a defining characteristic. This allows the programmer to focus on the instructions for solving the problem.It cannot be easily shared between programmers. The computer simply obeys the instructions in the sequence it is told. higher-level programming languages were developed to overcome these limitations. mathematical or science. In other computer architectures. With sequential flow of control. Usually designed for compilation rather than interpretation. They are more like natural languages. business. and repeat this procedure until each item has been compared to all other items in the list. a programmer would have to give the computer step-by-step instructions on how to sort. to sort a list.000 programming languages. Currently there are over 1. flow of control does not . procedural languages sacrifice programming convenience for speed of execution. They are machine-independent. High-level languages have the following features: They are less error-prone and easier to debug. and systems software. the programmer defines the set of executable instructions and the exact sequence in which those instructions are to be executed. Starting in the 1950s. Procedural languages execute faster than other types of languages but tend to be harder to write in. In the von Neumann architecture. They are easily shared between programmers. procedural (imperative) and non-procedural (declarative). In a procedural language. It does not resemble natural language. It does not produce a significant enough improvement in shortening program length. Procedural Languages There are two categories of high-level programming languages. Many are designed for specific applications. most of them high-level. determine if its value is greater than or less than the value of the next item. the programmer can define the order in which instructions are executed. High-level languages leave the problem of tracking memory addresses up to the computer. For example. The sequential instructions would compare each item to the next item on the list.
the programmer defines only the problem. Both Manager and Cashier inherit all the characteristics of the parent Employee class. Procedural languages include Fortran. However. department. These objects are instances of a class. The programmer has done all the work. or hierarchically higher. Inheritance allows abstract data types to inherit or retain data and functionality from parent. provide greater data security. and Pascal. such as employee number. you can have a class called "Employee" with instances of the class called Manager and Cashier. Since the programmer is giving an explicit set of instructions to the computer. classes. C++ is an example of an object-oriented language. The term non-procedural is relative in that it changes as languages continue to evolve. in this case an object. Objects are sent messages stating which operations to execute. the computer does not have to determine how to solve a problem. thereby causing slower execution. which are structures in which the data and its operations are defined together in a single unit. the computer is not limited to a set of precise instructions. In other procedural languages. Object-oriented languages. A drawback to this is that the burden is put on the programmer to not only understand the problem. Objectoriented languages use abstract data types.exist. A class defines the properties of its objects. the operations of the Manager object are different from the operations of an Employee object. and be easily re-used. the computer determines the necessary steps to solve the problem. can reduce development. the operations are defined in procedures that are separate from the data on which they act. Ada. to sort a list. Object-oriented languages differ from other procedural languages in that the objects contain a description of the operations that can act upon them. the programmer instructs the computer to output a list in which adjacent items are in increasing or decreasing order. be more accurately coded. A major characteristic of object-oriented languages is inheritance. Instead. but design the best way to solve the problem. non-procedural languages emphasize the result (or what) is to be achieved rather than the methods (or how) a result is achieved. Object-oriented languages are a major class of procedural language. In essence. Advantages and Disadvantages of Procedural Languages Programming in procedural languages can be very efficient. and so forth. For example. For example. the computer simply has to execute the steps. What was considered non-procedural several decades ago might be . though requiring more initial analysis. Non-procedural Languages In non-procedural languages. Some question whether procedural languages will continue to be able to handle the increasing complexity of large programs and the ability to support concurrent execution of programs.
or inputs. if X is the mother of Y. the saved data is recovered. The computer may not select the "best" method for solving the problem. they will not replace procedural languages. Users can be interrupted by another user and then re-enter the program. most non-procedural programming languages cannot be defined purely as such. and methods for solving large problems this way still need to be developed. Until computers are designed on which functional languages can execute more efficiently. many have features of both procedural languages as well. resulting in the computer taking longer to solve it then if the programmer had provided it with a set of explicit instructions. Programming in a non-procedural language allows the programmer to concentrate on understanding and describing the problem. Advantages and Disadvantages of Non-procedural Languages Much of the effort of designing a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem must taken on by the computer. Given inputs. In logic languages. Re-Entrant Program A capability of some procedural and non-procedural programs is the coding of a reentrant program. the computer determines if the declarations are true. the programmer defines the problems through declarations or facts. For example. When a user re-enters the program. they are not as efficient as other languages. A re-entrant program allows multiple users (a user can be a program or person) to share the same program at the same time. functional and logic languages. Examples of functional languages are LISP and Miranda.considered procedural today because computer hardware and programming capabilities have improved. Logic languages have the potential to be powerful and flexible. Functional languages apply functions to given parameters. . Functions are statements that return a single value based on the arguments. However. then X is a parent of Y. Declarations are propositions that can be written in symbolic logic or as ifthen statements. such as an operating system or network protocol. Prolog is the best known logic language. Good methods that allow non-procedural languages to solve large problems efficiently are yet to be developed. while the computer does the work of figuring out how to solve the problem. it is passed. This interruption is possible because the program's instructions are not modifiable and each user's data is stored separately from any other users. A disadvantage of this type of language is that efficiency can suffer. Additionally. There are two major classes of non-procedural languages. Functional programs attempt to act like mathematical functions. They are harder to implement efficiently than procedural languages.
Academic Journal A comparison of common programming languages used in bioinformatics.  References Since the birth of I¢ORTRAN.e prepared ten mini-languages. Special section p1-9. (AN 35701279) Subjects: PROGRAMMING languages (Electronic computers). BMC Bioinformatics.The web site Programming Language Popularity aggregates statistics and charts on language popularity across a number of methodologies. Programs in these languages generally contained more lines of code. C++ (Computer program . In this endeavor. to examine critical issues raised by the myriad of languages and to try to isolate certain important features that seem common to many programming languages. Gillings. at this juncture. 1 Chart. Abstract: Background: The performance of different programming languages has previously been benchmarked using abstract mathematical algorithms. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]. 5 Graphs. Programs for the Sellers algorithm. DOI: 10.. We compared the memory usage and speed of execution for three standard bioinformatics methods. Michael R. Vol. It seems wise.org/ benchmark/ Conclusion: This benchmark provides a comparison of six commonly used programming languages under two different operating systems. Mathieu. The relative performance of the tested languages did not change from Windows to Linux and no clear evidence of a faster operating system was found. By: Fourment. implemented in programs using one of six different programming languages. the notion of higher-level programming languages has led to a proliferation of special-and generalpurpose programming languages. ALGORITHMS. we hav. but not using standard bioinformatics algorithms. The overall comparison shows that a developer should choose an appropriate language carefully. 2008. C++. taking into account the performance expected and the library availability for each language. Source code and additional information are available from http://www. C#. each presenting in capsule form one or two features taken from existing programming languages • 4. Perl and Python.bioinformatics. C (Computer program language). BIOINFORMATICS. Java.1186/1471-2105-9-82. Results: Implementations in C and C++ were fastest and used the least memory. the Neighbor-Joining tree construction algorithm and an algorithm for parsing BLAST file outputs were implemented in C. Java and C# appeared to be a compromise between the flexibility of Perl and Python and the fast performance of C and C++. 9p. 9.
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