The Philosophy of a Computer Language


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An Article for the Young Programmers

Language is a means of communication between individuals for each and every species in the world. A cat has its own tone. sometimes it meows being jolly and sometimes in anger.

There can be some margin for error in the language used by living beings. But a computer can’t afford to have such margins for errors. This happens because of the absence of common sense, although AI (Artificial Intelligence) is trying to achieve this but let me give you an example.

A sick person goes to a doctor and asks for cough pills. Then what do you think that the doctor would give him? A pill to cure cough or a pill to enhance his sickness. 

We know that common sense is very uncommon but it is the common sense of a doctor, who gives him some pills to cure that cough. However, for a computer, in absence of common sense, it can give you either of them or it will not work between two equally prior options.

Our speech is full of multitasks or ambiguities and How we say is more important than what we say. This is why computers can’t work using our common language. A special kind of language is preferred which results in only one task at a time or multiple tasks defined in parallel but fully defined. In the absence of any such qualification, it shows you a syntax or a logical error.

Now, let us move towards the second part of this article.

A cat meows, and we can’t understand its language but its expressions & impressions can show us what it wants? On the other hand, a computer can only understand a machine language (Binary), which means on (1) or off (0). Besides, it can’t show its expressions & impressions and this is the reason of all the problem.

Moreover, in the present scenario, the technical relationship between human and computer have become much more important than the relationship with a cat. It’s not being cruel to the animal but a technical issue. So, please keep it technical only. In fact, we have no need to understand cat’s verbal language but today we have to understand it in case of computers. This gives birth to a computer language equipped with well-defined syntax.

A Hindi & a Chinese speaker can’t communicate with each other but the presence of a person who knows both languages (Translator) can be helpful. Hindi and Chinese speakers cannot communicate fast using dictionaries.

Similarly, we may learn to work with bare machine language but it is not an efficient way. So, we plan to design a compiler to reduce the time of translation. Thus, a compiler knows both languages and facilitates both human and computer to understand each other.

Computer languages are just based on these two philosophies. Our understanding towards these philosophies can make us a better programmer. So, have fun and enjoy a computer language.

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