What kinds of computer languages are used in the development of modern day software? Many to be exact, but to fully understand this question, we must first understand what a computer language is. A computer language is defined as a formal language in which computer programs are written. The definition of a particular language consists of both a syntax and semantics. The syntax, or the rules governing construction of a machine language, is the main part of defining a language. The semantics or the logic of the language is the second defining factor. Many computer languages are available, but only a few are used in modern, or fifth generation, programming. The Computer Language C++ has not only a distinctive and interesting history, but also many features and uses that separate it from the other languages.
FORTRAN was one of the first high-level programming languages. FORTRAN is an acronym for FORmula TRANslation system. FORTRAN was designed by John Backus at IBM in nineteen fifty-four, and it was a landmark for the computing industry. The language appeared in a time when computers still had very small memories and were slow. These computers ran using very primitive operating systems. During this time making a language to program in machine code was impossible, so FORTRAN used an assembly language. An assembly language is language of words, so each computer required a different program. The language caught quickly because programs that ran important equipment, like a nuclear reactor, took only days to program instead of weeks and required less programming knowledge, making the software less likely to fail or crash. The success of FORTRAN was phenomenal and because of this success, FORTRAN II was released in nineteen fifty-eight (Ritchie 2). FORTRAN II added many improvements over FORTRAN. One the most notable was the ability to separate the compilation of the program modules.