Understanding Data

Lesson Details:
July 10, 2020


I: Introduction

In this paper, you will learn about different programming languages. You will learn how to write a program in any of these languages. In today’s competitive world, the role of computers and software is increasing rapidly. In fact, computers have become an inseparable part of our daily life. It is very important that you know how to write a good program for any of the programming languages presented in this paper. This programming language can help you in your career growth. If you are a programmer, this programming language will definitely help you in your work. Therefore, it is very important that you learn one or more programming languages.

II: Body

A: Understanding data

Data is the basic element of any computer program. It contains information about the persons, places, events and things that we want to include in our program. Data is stored in the computer’s memory and the way we store the data depends on the programming language we use to write our program.

The two most common ways of storing data in a computer’s memory are:

1) As numbers (numeric data).

2) As text (alphanumeric data).

Numbers we use every day like 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are called integer values or whole numbers. Numbers with decimal points like 2.5 or 3.14159 are called floating point numbers or real numbers. They contain fractional parts and are more accurate than integers. We can also represent numbers as hexadecimal numbers where each number is represented by four symbols, 0 to 9 and A to F. The main reason why we need non-integers is because they enable us to represent fractional amounts of money and other quantities. There are many other number representations we can use in a computer program such as octal and binary numbers.

Text is what we normally see on a computer screen or on paper or hear on a radio or on a television set for example. In a computer program, text has to be converted into numbers for the computer to store it in its memory. This process is called parsing and it is done automatically by the compiler. To represent text in computers, we use special characters called ASCII characters or American Standard Code for Information Interchange characters. A character can be a normal character like “a” or “z” or a special character like “%” or “$”. For example “$” represents the dollar sign and “%” represents the percent sign. Since there are only 127 ASCII characters, we cannot represent all possible alphanumeric characters with them. In that case, we use escape sequences which are combinations of ASCII characters that have special meanings in a computer program. For example “t” represents a tab character and “n” represents a line feed character. Computer programs can convert each of these escape sequences back to their corresponding alphanumeric characters when they read them from a file. There are many other kinds of escape sequences too such as C-style escape sequences which begin with a backslash and HTML-style escape sequences which begin with an ampersand & .

B: Different Programming Languages

1) C Language: C is one of the oldest programming languages in use today and was introduced in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie at Bell Laboratories when he was working on the UNIX operating system. It is used when you need high-level control over your code and when you need to minimize memory and CPU usage during runtime. C language compilers come integrated in most modern operating systems like Windows and Linux and therefore provides an easy way to interface with these operating systems without having to develop your own operating system layer. Because of this, C language has been widely used for developing operating systems such as UNIX and LINUX and commercial software such as Microsoft Windows and Adobe Photoshop. The main advantage of learning C language is that it doesn’t require any kind of high level support from the underlying operating system or hardware architecture unlike Java or Python which need Java Virtual Machine or Python interpreter respectively to run properly on the underlying hardware and operating system architecture. Also C language is used to develop low level software such as device drivers and kernels of operating systems so if you learn C language, you will be able to develop low level software also. The disadvantages of learning C language is that it requires a lot of debugging time because it doesn’t have any built-in error handling mechanism like Java or Python do have. It also requires more memory space than other languages because it allows the programmer to directly manipulate data in memory rather than manipulating program counters according to some predefined code structure like Java does do.

2) Java Language: Java was developed at Sun Microsystems in 1990 by James Gosling along with other developers for use in embedded devices like mobile phones that didn’t have much RAM available for running programs on them. The key features of this language are that it uses virtual machine abstraction layer to provide platform independence, automatic memory management using garbage collector so that programmers don’t have to worry about memory leaks because the garbage collector frees up unused memory for reuse later by other programs, automatic exception handling so that programmers don’t have to worry about writing try catch blocks everywhere in their code to handle exceptions etc., built-in libraries for system programming tasks like networking etc., easy to read syntax compared to other programming languages because it doesn’t allow programmers to write low level code using assembly instructions etc., great documentation written by developers themselves so that developers can easily understand various java constructs used in java programs etc., successful deployment on various platforms including mobile phones which has led to adoption of java by many companies like Google, Oracle Corporation etc., use of javascript for web development work etc., easy access to java platform by almost everyone because Java Virtual Machine (JVM) comes bundled with almost all popular operating systems like Unix, Linux etc., cross-platform compatibility i.e., ability to run java programs on multiple platforms without having to recompile them using different compilers like .NET Framework does in Microsoft Windows, Google App Engine does in Google Chrome etc., easy availability of development tools like eclipse integrated development environment (IDE), NetBeans IDE etc., ability to use general purpose programming constructs like objects etc., ability to extend existing java classes so that users can write their own custom classes which extend existing java classes etc., easy way to write concurrent programs i.e., programs which run without interruption so that if one thread of execution is waiting for some input from the user or waiting for some I/O operation to complete then other threads can continue working without interruption etc., ability to write client side scripts using javascript so that users don’t have to install anything locally on their personal computer i.e., no need for installing applets or plugins on their personal computer i.e., just visiting websites accesses java scripts embedded on those websites etc., compatibility with windows, mac os x and linux operating systems on client side i.e., ability to run java applications on windows computers, mac os x computers and linux computers without having to install java on those computers first etc.. The main disadvantage of learning java is that it is very verbose unlike many other programming languages so if you want to write complex programs using java then you have to write a lot of code every time unlike other programming languages which allow you to write less lines of code for doing complex tasks compared to those tasks being performed by those lines of code written by java programmers etc.. Another disadvantage of learning java is that it has a steep learning curve since it uses many advanced concepts which are hard for beginners but once you master these advanced concepts then writing complex programs becomes easy but mastering these advanced concepts takes time hence it increases the learning time required for learning java compared to other programming languages like python etc.. Another disadvantage of learning java is that it doesn’t provide automatic memory management using garbage collection unlike C++ does do i.e., java compiler generates garbage collector explicitly inside compiled java source code hence if you forget about this garbage collector during program development then your program might crash because you will not free up memory allocated by new operator at any point after creating an object using that new operator i.e., memory leaks may occur if you don’t free up memory allocated by new operator after creating an object thereby causing your program to crash sometimes during runtime due to out of memory error inside this garbage collector hence it poses a big problem for beginners who often forget about garbage collector during development phase etc.. Another disadvantage of learning java is that it uses bytecode as intermediate language rather than using native machine code as intermediate language as c++ does do i.e., if you compile your java source code using javac compiler then it converts your java source

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