By Michael Marcotty

The earth, seen during the window of an aircraft, exhibits a regularity and reptition of positive factors, for instance, hills, valleys, rivers, lakes, and forests. however, there's nice neighborhood version; Vermont doesn't appear like Utah. equally, if we upward push above the main points of some programming languages, we will be able to parent positive aspects which are universal to many languages. this can be the programming language panorama; the most beneficial properties contain variables, forms, regulate buildings, and input/output. back, there's neighborhood edition; Pascal doesn't appear like uncomplicated. This paintings is a large and accomplished dialogue of the important positive aspects of the main programming languages. A learn of thoughts The textual content surveys the panorama of programming languages and its beneficial properties. each one bankruptcy concentrates on a unmarried language proposal. an easy version of the characteristic, expressed as a mini-language, is gifted. this permits us to review a subject matter intensive and relative isolation. each one bankruptcy concludes with a dialogue of how within which the concept that is included into a few recognized languages. this enables a fairly entire insurance of language issues.

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Typically, such descriptions introduce terminology and notations that have a special meaning with respect to the computer language. One of the keys to the precision and clarity with which a language is described is the terminology used. Consider the simple and familiar term value. A value presumably denotes some object that can be constructed in a program. Thus, it makes sense to speak of the value of an expression, the value existing on some input or output device, or the value returned by a function.

While it is true that the sequence of letters in the alphabet is likely to be consistent, other important details are not. The two most popular character encodings are the ASCII set, which is a standard in the United States, and the EBCDIC scheme of IBM. In the ASCII code, the digits precede the letters; in EBCDIC, the letters come first. The choice of character set is generally made by the manufacturer of the hardware and is "built into" the hardware. It would therefore be difficult to implement a language that called for the ASCII character set on a machine that was designed for EBCDIC.

The convention might be improved by making the end-of-line an alternative terminator. • Start the comment with a special symbol and continue to the end of the line. This is the convention used in Ada and is the one we have adopted for the mini-languages used in this book. This method seems to have advantages in readability, convenience of use, and reliability. Semicolons It has become common practice to use semicolons as punctuation in programs. There are, however, two views on their usage. They can be used either to terminate or to separate statements.

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