2.5- Languages and IDEs

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Low Level Language

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1

Low Level Language

A language that is close to what a CPU would actually do and written for specific hardware

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Examples of low level language

  • machine code

  • assemble language

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Machine Code

the lowest level programming language consisting of 0s and 1s. CPUs can directly process it as a string of CPU instructions. 1st generation

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4

pros of machine code

  • more flexibility with commands

  • commands can be directly executed without a translator

  • faster to process as CPU doesn’t have to translate

  • more memory efficient

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5

cons of machine code

  • usually written for 1 type of machine or processor- wont work on others

  • very hard for programmers to read and understand

  • programmer requires knowledge of internal structure of CPU

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6

Assembly Language

2nd generation language that uses mnemonics to form instructions. Each mnemonic corresponds with a machine code instruction.

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pros of assembly language

  • much easier to read and understand that machine code

  • more accessible to programmers

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8

cons of assembly language

  • not as easy to use as high level languages

  • requires translation

  • requires an assembler

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9

high level languages

3rd gen programming languages that are easy for humans to understand

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10

examples of high level languages

  • python

  • java

  • C++

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pros of high level languages

  • one instruction of high level=many instructions of machine code

  • portable- same code works for many different machines and processers

  • easy for programmer to store data (e.g. in arrays) without knowledge of memory structure

  • code is close to english so is easy to read and understand

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cons of high level languages

  • must be translated for computer to understand

  • programs are less memory efficient and slower to execute

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13

translator

a program that allows source code to be understood and executed by the computer

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types of translator

  • compiler

  • interpreter

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15

compiler

type of translator that translates all of the source code at once and creates one executable file

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pros of compiler

  • only required once to create executable file

  • returns a list of errors for the entire program once compiling is complete

  • once compiled program runs quickly

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cons of compiler

  • compiling can take a long time, so program isn’t immediately executed

  • not good for debugging

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18

interpreter

translates and runs the source code of one instruction at a time

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pros of interpreters

  • will return first error it finds and then stop-good for debugging

  • more immediate execution of the program

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cons of interpreters

  • doesn’t create an executable file

  • needed every time you want to run the program

  • programs will run more slowly

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21

IDE

Integrated Development Environment- A piece of software to help a programmer develop programs

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features of IDEs

  • code editor

  • run-time environment

  • error diagnostics and debugging tools

  • breakpoints

  • translator

  • GUI

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23

Code Editor

  • where code is written

  • will usually have:

    • line numbering

    • colour coding

    • auto-correct

    • auto-indentation

    • auto-complete

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24

runtime environment

allows code to be run quickly within IDEs- done using start/run button.

can help identify logic errors as programmer can see which part of code is running when errors occur.

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GUI

helps programmer design a user interface by building it up graphically rather than having to design it using source code.

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