Second-generation programming language
The term was coined to provide a distinction from higher level machine independent third-generation programming languages (3GL) such as COBOL and earlier first-generation programming languages (machine code)
Second-generation programming languageEdit
Second-generation programming languages have the following properties:
- Lines within a program respond directly to processor commands, essentially acting as a mnemonic device overlaying a first generation programming language.
- The code can be read and written by a programmer. To run on a computer it must be converted into a machine readable form, a process called assembly.
- The language is specific to a particular processor family and environment.
In modern programs, second generation assembly languages are rarely used. Second generation languages may have their advantages, mainly in speed, but programming in low level assembly language has its downsides. Downsides such as the requirements for programmers to:
- To think in terms of individual processor instructions, rather than higher level logic
- Manage all of the particular details of memory and other hardware related issues
- Write different versions of a program for every target machine architecture, a concept called machine dependence.
have all lead to the decline of assembly . The vast majority of programs are written in a Third-generation programming language or a Fourth-generation programming language. Assembly's main advantage, speed, has degraded by the fact that well written C code can often be as fast or even faster than hand written assembly
Second generation languages are perhaps most significant in their place in computing history. For a long time, Second generation assembly languages were the only good option for development for many machines, such as the NES or the Commodore 64. Second generation languages represented a massive step away from the tradition of programmers conforming to the needs of a machine, and the first step towards the machine accommodating for the programmer, a phenomenon that would be repeated in all subsequent programming language generations.
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