Learning a New Programming Language Part 1: Getting Started - What is a Programming Language?
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Believe it or not, this is a question that can spark heated debate among experienced programmers. You would think this wouldn't be such a hard question to answer. The Encyclopedia Britannica offers the following definition of "programming languages."
"Any of various languages for expressing a set of detailed instructions for a digital computer. Such a language consists of characters and rules for combining them into symbols and words."
The debate among programmers seems to stem from personal preference and maybe a little ego. Some programmers that work with assembly or C++, for instance (I love you guys, really), that have the tendency to boast (not all of them, mind you), will declare that any other languages, especially those that are normally classified as scripting languages, are not true programming languages.
To use another analogy from my music days, I met many musicians and sound engineers that, being rather full of themselves, would declare that any brand of instrument or other equipment that they didn't use was junk. This assessment rarely had anything to do with reality, and at best had to do with an unreasonable expectation or a bad experience with a particular defective mass-produced item. This kind of attitude never helped anyone.
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