Computer Programming Language Comparison

A wide variety of computer programming languages exist, with varying levels of sophistication, compatibility, and learning difficulty. Read on for a comparison of some of the major languages and the benefits or drawbacks which apply to them…

“C”/”C++”: C and C++ (an improved version) are in widespread use for creating applications and operating systems. According to wikipedia.org, this programming language can be used to make executable programs for multiple operating systems. It has sophisticated capabilities, but is considered more difficult to learn in comparison to QBASIC or Turbo Pascal.

TURBO PASCAL: A significant benefit of this programming language in comparison to most others is that some versions are legally available for free. Wikipedia.org indicates that TP versions 1, 3.02, and 5.5 have been freely released. It also states that this language is still taught in some universities, and (like QuickBASIC 4.5) has a convenient all-in-one programming interface with a built-in program compiler (for creating executables). Screenshot

BASIC: Many different versions of this programming language exist (GWBASIC, DEC, MSX, etc.), each with similar syntax but somewhat different capabilities. BASIC is one of the easier languages to learn, but has fewer capabilities in comparison with “C” or QBASIC; many versions cannot create executables, so users of the programs must have the same version of BASIC to use them.

QBASIC: QuickBASIC/QBASIC offers more commands and a better programming interface than BASIC. QuickBASIC 4.5 can create executable programs which can be used on operating systems ranging from DOS 2.11 to Windows XP, although graphical programs won’t work in XP. Although there are more commands, the improved interface and help feature make it potentially easier to learn than regular BASIC. Another advanced version of BASIC is TrueBASIC, which has a website at truebasic.com. Screenshot

VBASIC: The Visual BASIC language makes it easier to code window-based programs, not that this isn’t possible in other programming languages. Early versions of VB created DOS programs, whereas the latest versions generate programs which will run in Windows but not DOS. It is in more widespread use than Turbo Pascal or QBASIC at present, and some colleges offer programming courses for it. Screenshot

COBOL: This is among the oldest programming languages still being used in business and government, according to wikipedia.org. The COBOL language is relatively easy to learn (probably easier in comparison to “C”), partially thanks to its syntax which allows commands to be entered using entire English words in a sentence-like format. It enables creation of programs for multiple operating systems and has more sophisticated capabilities in comparison to QuickBASIC.

Other noteworthy programming languages include Fortran, Python, and FORTH, as well as online/web languages like HTML and PHP.