Even though there’ s not just a definite answer, Plankalkü l, pronounced “ Plan Calculus”, is undoubtedly the world’ s first high-level program writing language for computers. Created by German engineer Konrad Zuse between 1942 and 1945, the language didn’ t receive much attention. The favorite languages that followed Plankalkü l were Fortran and Lisp.
E very other day, we come across the release of some new programming language. While popular languages like Java and C++ continue to impress us making use of their timeless nature, comparatively newer languages like Go and Swift are attracting the newer crowd.
But, did you ever wonder what was the world’ s first program writing language? Since Ada Lovelace (1840s) is widely regarded as the initial programmer, the “ group of symbols” she was using would comprise the first programming language– right? Probably because Babbage’ s machine was never built and that he didn’ t have whatever could be called a program writing language.
There are others who find solace in Alan Turing’ s work and cite the descriptions Of Turing machine (1936). In his papers, he has written programs and mathematical simulations.
The answer to the world’ s first programming language may be the tricky one. But, if we just take the high-level non-von Neumann languages for a computer as a basis, Plankalkü l, pronounced “ Plan Calculus”, is widely considered the first program writing language (Source: Wikipedia, StackExchange). Plankalkü l was created by way of a German engineer Konrad Zuse for engineering purposes between 1942 and 1945.
Here’ s how exactly to write Hello world! in Plankalkü l, the world’ s first programming language for computers:
R1. 1(V0[:sig]) => R0
R1. 2(V0[:m x sig]) => R0
0 => i | m + 1 => j
[W [ i < j -> [ R1.1(V0[i: m x sig]) => R0 | i + 1 => i ] ] ] END
R1. 3() => R0
‘ H’; ’ e’; ’ l’; ’ l’; ’ o’; ’, ’; ’ ‘; ’ w’; ’ o’; ’ r’; ’ l’; ’ d’; ’! ’ => Z0[: m x sig] R1. 2(Z0) => R0
In the past, Zuse didn’t gather much feedback. In 1972, Plankalkü l was comprehensively published and implemented in a dissertation. Later in 1998 and 2000, there have been instances of other independent implementations.
Just in case you’ re wondering about the literal meaning of Plankalkü l, this means “ formal system ( kalkü l ) for planning ( plan )”.
In this discussion, I’d also prefer to mention Fortran, the first widely-popular high-level programming languages. Lisp was yet another early language that was beaten by Fortran by a couple years.
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