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You should now feel pretty comfortable describing a high-level language, and you probably know enough about Ruby, Python, and Lua to be a source of interesting conversation at a local coffee house. You might be able to name a few predecessors of each language and have an idea of how each is related (check out the big family tree in Figure 1.4 to put this history in perspective). You should definitely understand what a scripting language, interpreter, and compiler are before you go onto the next section. If you can also pull facts about OOP and open source, give yourself an A and move on to Chapter 2.
Important points from this chapter:
Languages possess a syntax that defines the order, arrangement, and structure of the system of communication.
All computers CPUs have an internal machine language that they execute directly.
All data in a modern digital computer is stored as binary on and off states. The tools used to manipulate these on/off states are coded in a numerical representation, normally consisting of two pieces of information: operation codes and addresses.
Assembly language is one step higher than machine language and consists of numeric instructions for specific computer architecture.
High-level languages act as translators between programmers and low-level computer instructions and closely resemble everyday human language, making them much easier to learn than their low-level equivalents.
Interpreted languages translate code step-by-step during runtime.
Compiled languages translate code before a program is run in a process called compiling that turns written code into a runable executable or runable byte-code .
A scripting language is a high level language designed for "scripting" the operation of a computer.
High-level languages save human time, low-level languages save computer time.
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