Programming languages are used to convert sets of instructions into a vocabulary that a computer can understand. The goal is to compile instructions into a format that will allow the computer to complete a specific task (see Figure 7.1). Over the years, these languages have evolved into generations:
Figure 7.1. Programming languages.
After the code is written, it must be translated into a format that the computer will understand. These are the three most common methods:
Hundreds of different programming languages exist. Many have been written to fill a specific niche or market demand. Examples of common programming languages include these:
Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a modular form of programming that supports object technology. It allows pieces of software to be reused and interchanged between programs. This method of programming has been widely embraced because it is more efficient and results in lower programming costs. Because it makes use of modules, a programmer can easily modify an existing program. New modules can be inserted into the program that inherit features from existing objects. Objects that share a particular structure and behavior are said to belong to a particular class. Code from one class can be passed down to another through the process of inheritance. Java and C++ are two examples of OOP languages.
Some of the major concerns and issues of OOP include these:
Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) is vendor-independent middleware. Its purpose is to tie together different vendor products so they can seamlessly work together over distributed networks. The heart of the CORBA system is the Object Request Broker (ORB). The ORB simplifies the process of a client requesting server objects. The ORB finds the object; transparently activates it, if necessary; and then delivers the requested object back to the client.
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