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Apr
4

Design Criteria for Programming Languages

Design Criteria for Programming Languages

last updated
8/24/15

What are the goals of the language?  Below are a list of guiding principles
in the design of programming languages.
Most of which are listed in your textbook.
Principles may be conflicting.  No language can accomplish all goals.


Language Goals

During 1950s–1960s – Compile programs to execute efficiently. 

  • There was a direct connection between language features and hardware – integers, reals, goto statements
  • Programmers cheap;
  • Machines expensive;
  • Keep the machine busy

But today

  • Compile programs that are built efficiently
  • CPU power and memory very cheap
  • Direct connection between language features and design concepts – encapsulation, records, inheritance, functionality, assertions

 

 

 

 


General attributes of a good language

Clarity, simplicity, and unity – provides both a framework for thinking about algorithms and a means of expressing those algorithms 

Orthogonality -every combination of features is meaningful

Naturalness for the application – program structure reflects the logical

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