High level language vs Low Level Language: Definitions and Differences

A programming language is a set of symbols, syntactics, semantic rules and keywords that allows you to create code with instructions to control the actions of a machine. In other words, it is a form of communication between human and computer. But did you know that these languages ​​can be classified as high level language or low level language?

That’s right, and this classification is based on the level of abstraction of each language . Want to understand more about this subject? Just continue reading the post to check out the following topics:Low level languages

  • Understand what high level language is
  • See what low level language is
  • Find out the difference between them and which one is the best.
  • See an example of high and low level language code

Good reading!

Understand what high level language is

Going straight to the point, we call a high level language the one whose syntax is geared towards human understanding . This means that this type of language is much more intuitive, user-friendly and easier to learn, especially for beginners in the programming area .

To make this possible, high level languages ​​abstract machine-oriented concepts and synthesize commands . For example: “print” and “delete” are common instructions in these languages ​​that, as the terms suggest, serve to display information on the screen or to delete some data, respectively.

Did you see how it is something intuitive for the human being? That said, let’s now get to know some of the main high level languages. Look:

high level language

  • JavaScript.
  • Java;
  • Ruby ;
  • Python ;
  • Ç#;
  • Swift;
  • PHP.

Advantages and disadvantages of high level languages

Python

Regarding the advantages of high level languages, we can say that the main one is the ease of learning , but this is not the only point. Another great benefit is the productivity that the programmer gains when using this type of language.

That’s because the abstraction provided by the high level language allows you to write more code in less time , which is extremely positive when working on complex systems.

Also, if someone else needs to check your code, they will be able to more easily understand what was done. In this way, the maintenance process is also simplified.

On the other hand, high level languages ​​have some disadvantages. There are cases, for example, in which the performance of a program can be harmed, as it requires more processing time. They also typically take up more memory when compared to a low-level language.

See what low level language is

Unlike high level languages, low level languages ​​are geared towards machine understanding . Therefore, they have a more complex syntax and do not have such intuitive commands.

For example: remember the “print” and “delete” instructions we mentioned at the beginning of the text? Despite being easy for a person to assimilate, it is evident that the computer is not capable of understanding such commands, right?

level languagesThat’s because the machine language consists only of sequences of 0 and 1, the so-called binary code. So, low level languages ​​have more direct instructions for the processor so they are closer to the machine language.

Therefore, to use them it is necessary to know not only the language, but also the hardware of the device with which you will work. In addition, the main low level language we have is Assembly.

Advantages and disadvantages of low level languages

Undoubtedly, the main advantage of a low level language is faster processing time than a high level language. In addition, the architecture of the devices is better used with this type of language.

Read More:

Higher level and lower level languages

In contrast, the person using this low level tool may take longer to understand and master the syntax. Not to mention that it will still be necessary to know the hardware of the machine in depth, which requires more investment in study and training.

Furthermore, since the written code is more processor-oriented, portability is also impaired , as it may not run on processors of different families.

Find out the difference between them and which one is the best.

As you can see, the main difference between high level and low level languages ​​is the purpose that each one has. While one seeks to facilitate human understanding, the other is closer to machine language. But at this point we find another interesting difference.

Returning to the example of the “print” and “delete” commands that were mentioned, remember that we said that the machine does not understand such instructions? Well, for the computer to understand, codes written in high level language need to be compiled or interpreted .

Thus, when a code is compiled, another file is generated that contains all the code translated to something closer to the machine language (in this case it is an assembly program). When the code is interpreted, each command line is “translated” at execution time. This is precisely what increases processing time.

level
level language

The low level language is “translated” by what we call an assembler, which is responsible for converting the assembly program into a set of instructions in machine language. With this, we can see that the Assembly also acts as a kind of interface between the high level language and the machine language.

Bearing all this in view, we cannot say that one language is better than the other. In fact, they may just be more suited to specific needs.

In this way, the evaluation of which one is better must be done based on the requirements of the project on which you are going to work, as each one of them has positive and negative aspects that can weigh more or less according to the needs of the application .

See an example of high and low level language code

Finally, let’s now show an example of high level and low level language code. Remembering that both functions do the same thing: print the message “Hello, world” on the screen.

PythonExample in Python:

print('Hello, world!')

 

 

Example in Assembly:

section	.text

   global _start   

_start: 

   mov	edx, len  

   mov	ecx, msg  

   mov	ebx, 1 

   mov	eax, 4  

   int	0x80   

   mov	eax, 1 

   int	0x80   

section	.data

msg	db	'Hello, world!',0xa

len	equ	$ - msg

Now, the difference between a high level and a low level language is already pretty clear to you, right? Just don’t forget that all languages ​​have their particularities and that’s what differs for which purposes they are best suited. Therefore, it is up to you to analyze which ones you want or need to work with.

c++A programming language is a set of symbols, syntactics, semantic rules and keywords that allows you to create code with instructions to control the actions of a machine. In other words, it is a form of communication between human and computer. But did you know that these languages ​​can be classified as high level language or low level language?

That’s right, and this classification is based on the level of abstraction of each language.

Good reading!

Now, the difference between high level and low level languages is already pretty clear to you, right? Just don’t forget that all languages ​​have their particularities and that’s what differs for which purposes they are best suited. Therefore, it is up to you to analyze which ones you want or need to work with.

other programing language
Cobol is an also programing language
High Level Language Low Level Language
Programmer friendly Machine friendly
Less memory efficient Highly memory efficient
Easy to understand for programmers Tough to understand for programmers
Simple to debug Complex to debug comparatively
Simple to maintain Complex to maintain comparatively
Portable Non-portable
Can run on any platform Machine-dependent
Needs compiler or interpreter for translation Needs assembler for translation
Widely used for programming Not commonly used in programming

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