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#1 sh0elace  Icon User is offline

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Relatively speaking, high or low level language?

Posted 06 August 2007 - 09:17 PM

Okay, this is a question about the C language itself, not a specific code example gone wrong or anything like that. In past reading I have read that C, in the whole scheme of things, is a rather lower-level language assuming assembly code is lowest you can go. And now, whilst reading the C Programming wikibook, I come across a brief line stating that C is a high-level language. Would the fact that C is object-oriented make it a "higher level" language? I guess my real question is which source is right (low or high level programming language)? I'm officially curious and in need of opinions.

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#2 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Relatively speaking, high or low level language?

Posted 06 August 2007 - 09:53 PM

I would have to say, in my opinion, that the C language is a high level language, unlike Assembly which has little or no abstraction, allowing algorithms and functions to be written without any specific knowledge of the hardware environment its being run in.

There are a lot of differing opinions on what is a high level language (low level is pretty much set, Assembly, Machine Code), some say C isn't a high level language and that C++ is "getting there", still others say that C# & VB.Net are high level languages. I think this is a debate that will last for eternity, but in my opinion C++ is a high level language, C not so much.
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#3 sh0elace  Icon User is offline

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Re: Relatively speaking, high or low level language?

Posted 06 August 2007 - 10:06 PM

Ahh, I didn't realize this is something of debate and not a straight up fact. I wish I knew enough about the topic to have an opinion, but that'll happen eventually :D
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#4 Xing  Icon User is offline

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Re: Relatively speaking, high or low level language?

Posted 06 August 2007 - 10:37 PM

View Postsh0elace, on 7 Aug, 2007 - 09:47 AM, said:

Okay, this is a question about the C language itself, not a specific code example gone wrong or anything like that. In past reading I have read that C, in the whole scheme of things, is a rather lower-level language assuming assembly code is lowest you can go. And now, whilst reading the C Programming wikibook, I come across a brief line stating that C is a high-level language. Would the fact that C is object-oriented make it a "higher level" language? I guess my real question is which source is right (low or high level programming language)? I'm officially curious and in need of opinions.

Language is just a tool to get your work done. Choose the language which can get your work done easily and effectively. That's the only thing that matters.
Personally I prefer C, C++ & Python. Almost all my work is done in these languages.
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#5 sh0elace  Icon User is offline

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Re: Relatively speaking, high or low level language?

Posted 06 August 2007 - 10:49 PM

View PostXing, on 7 Aug, 2007 - 12:37 AM, said:

View Postsh0elace, on 7 Aug, 2007 - 09:47 AM, said:

Okay, this is a question about the C language itself, not a specific code example gone wrong or anything like that. In past reading I have read that C, in the whole scheme of things, is a rather lower-level language assuming assembly code is lowest you can go. And now, whilst reading the C Programming wikibook, I come across a brief line stating that C is a high-level language. Would the fact that C is object-oriented make it a "higher level" language? I guess my real question is which source is right (low or high level programming language)? I'm officially curious and in need of opinions.

Language is just a tool to get your work done. Choose the language which can get your work done easily and effectively. That's the only thing that matters.
Personally I prefer C, C++ & Python. Almost all my work is done in these languages.


I just recently started off attempting to dive into C++, and was quickly told to try out C first, just to get it under my belt. So here I am with C, plugging away, and after coming across that bit of information about C being a low-level language it sparked my curiosity as to the matter. Originally, did you start off learning to program with C or C++?
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#6 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Relatively speaking, high or low level language?

Posted 06 August 2007 - 11:03 PM

I feel its always better to start off with C, to get the basics of the language, syntax and others stuff, then move into C++ once you feel you have a firm grasp of C
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#7 Xing  Icon User is offline

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Re: Relatively speaking, high or low level language?

Posted 06 August 2007 - 11:17 PM

View Postsh0elace, on 7 Aug, 2007 - 11:19 AM, said:

Originally, did you start off learning to program with C or C++?

I started with C++ and then did C and now I am comfortable in both the languages. Personally I feel it's better to learn C++ first and C is no prerequisite for it. Although it can help.

This post has been edited by Xing: 06 August 2007 - 11:19 PM

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#8 codefreak.  Icon User is offline

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Re: Relatively speaking, high or low level language?

Posted 18 July 2009 - 02:24 PM

I'm learning C++; I'll take on C once I feel comfortable in C++.
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#9 KYA  Icon User is online

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Re: Relatively speaking, high or low level language?

Posted 18 July 2009 - 02:30 PM

I like to think of C as a "low high level language".
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#10 codefreak.  Icon User is offline

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Re: Relatively speaking, high or low level language?

Posted 18 July 2009 - 02:44 PM

It is regarded as a middle-level language, as it comprises a combination of both high-level and low-level language features.
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#11 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Relatively speaking, high or low level language?

Posted 18 July 2009 - 02:59 PM

It is better to think of languages as generations than high/low level languages. I consider C and assembly a low level language because it is often used to implement second generation items like device drivers due to its ability to directly access computer memory. I consider everything else a high level language even though some are higher than others. They are also all third generation languages because they typically refine second generation languages. C++ is a refinement of C and C# is a refinement of C++.

You will have a better understanding of where languages sit in comparison to one another by examining the idea of generations. :)
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#12 codefreak.  Icon User is offline

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Re: Relatively speaking, high or low level language?

Posted 18 July 2009 - 03:39 PM

C# is not a refinement of C++.
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#13 KYA  Icon User is online

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Re: Relatively speaking, high or low level language?

Posted 18 July 2009 - 03:40 PM

View Postcodefreak., on 18 Jul, 2009 - 03:39 PM, said:

C# is not a refinement of C++.



I would say it. Perhaps a tack onto the sentence:

C# is a refinement of C++ and Java.
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#14 Bench  Icon User is offline

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Re: Relatively speaking, high or low level language?

Posted 18 July 2009 - 03:54 PM

Most Universities teach 4th generation languages to students who have never programmed before (e.g Java/C#/etc) - The simple reason behind this is that 'low level' languages are generally full of 'gotchas' and require far more awareness of how the system is working behind the scenes - This makes them notoriously frustrating for beginners with little or no programming background. The general consensus among lecturers and teachers has been that students are far more likely to be successful at learning when they aren't being overwhelmed by those caveats and minor details.

High level languages with all their extra built in features and safety nets make the whole experience considerably less frustrating while learning the basics (i.e. the kinds of constructs and ideas which apply to most programming languages - sequence, selection, repetition, procedures, strings etc.). There's really not much benefit from being able to learn such constructs in a low level language since they're generally the same anyway.

If the language you wish to learn is C, then by all means pick C as your first language. Don't expect for C to be easier to learn than C++ as a first language - it isn't; Its like being thrown into the deep end of the swimming pool without the floatation aids. C++ lets you start a little bit closer to the shallow end and provides a few more life lines to make the experience less traumatic - Instead you can choose when to reach the deep end and kick off the floats once you're comfortable to do so.

This post has been edited by Bench: 18 July 2009 - 03:59 PM

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