If you’re interested in programming, then please note that programming languages are usually separated in two classes: High-Level and Low-Level, and each has its own purpose. Knowing which one is best for you, depends a lot on your knowledge, which is why we’ve decided to explain the differences between both.
Low-level and High-level Programming languages
Today, we are going to explain the definition of high and low-level programming, and the different types. When you’ve completed reading this article, it is expected that you’ll have some idea of which language to focus on going forward.
Bear in mind that programming is not easy, not even for professionals because things can go wrong at any time. If you are not built for solving complex problems, then chances are learning to code is not your thing.
1] What is a high-level programming
Now, from what we’ve come to understand over the years, there are a few characteristics that define high-level programming and were going to look at some of them.
OK, so high-level programming is more akin to human language due to the fact it is readable, or more so. Furthermore, these languages do not take part in memory management and feature abstraction.
The main examples of high-level programming languages are C#, Python, Java, Ruby, and more.
2] What is Low-level programming
The first thing you’ll notice is how much of an opposite low-level language are when compared to High-level. You see, they do not feature abstraction, but when it comes down to memory management and the ability to be read by computers, they are ahead.
Additionally, these languages are not close to human language at all, so reading them is not easy.
As for examples, look to machine code and assembly language to get an idea of what we’re talking about.
3] Deeper interpretation of high-level programming languages
OK, so here’s the thing. High-level languages all feature abstraction as explained above, and this is good because it makes them easier to use and understand. If we look at the line of code below, we can see how it is readable and more human-like:
# Create the data for the graph. v <- c(9,13,21,8,36,22,12,41,31,33,19) # Give the chart file a unique name. png(file = "histogram.png") # Create the required histogram. hist(v,xlab = "Weight",col = "yellow",border = "blue") # Save the file. dev.off()
As you can see, it’s just simple lines of code, and if you read it properly, you will understand what you’re getting what comes after. Furthermore, there is no need to manage memory with high-level language.
In terms of some of the most important parts of coding in high-level, they are variables, objects, routines, and loops. You see, these are the abstractions that make high-level languages so easy to use when compared to their lower-level counterparts.
Also, coding from the high-level allows the user to send dozens of commands with just a single line of code. Furthermore, one should note that each high-level programming language has its own way of writing syntax, therefore, some will be easier than others.
4] Deeper interpretation of low-level programming languages
As we’ve stated above, low-level programming languages are more aligned with the computer system rather than human language, therefore, reading it in a normal fashion is impossible. One of the most known low-level programming languages out there is Machine code, and it’s all about random numbers.
You see, Machine code only contains the individual guidelines passed down to the computer, which means, it lacks abstraction.
Now, we should not that Machines only understand bytes, although they are mainly represented in decimal, hexadecimal notation, or binary. We understand that binary is used more than the others.
Example of machine codes:
000000 00001 00010 00110 00000 100000
As you can see, it’s impossible to read the above code in order to get an idea of what it will do. The computer, on the other hand, is very much capable of reading this language as long as the programmer specifies clear directions.
5] Should you learn one or both types of programming languages?
That’s a difficult question to answer since both languages have benefits and cons. You see, high-level languages are easier to learn and grasp. Not to mention, high-level languages are safer because they contain certain safeguards to make it harder for programmers to write code designed to destroy a computer.
Low-level languages are the complete opposite, and as such, they are not used for writing code for the web or apps, but primarily driver software or operating system kernels.