First-generation programming language

related topics
{system, computer, user}
{math, number, function}
{language, word, form}
{mi², represent, 1st}

A first-generation programming language is a machine-level programming language.

Originally, no translator was used to compile or assemble the first-generation language. The first-generation programming instructions were entered through the front panel switches of the computer system.

The main benefit of programming in a first-generation programming language is that the code a user writes can run very fast and efficiently, since it is directly executed by the CPU. However, machine language is a lot more difficult to learn than higher generational programming languages, and it is far more difficult to edit if errors occur. In addition, if instructions need to be added into memory at some location, then all the instructions after the insertion point need to be moved down to make room in memory to accommodate the new instructions. Doing so on a front panel with switches can be very difficult. Furthermore, portability is significantly reduced - in order to transfer code to a different computer it needs to be completely rewritten since the machine language for one computer could be significantly different from another computer. Architectural considerations make portability difficult too. For example, the number of registers on one CPU architecture could differ from those of another.

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