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Computer Languages

Second-generation Language

Assembly or assembler language was the second generation of computer language. By the late 1950s, this language had become popular. Assembly language consists of letters of the alphabet. This makes programming much easier than trying to program a series of zeros and ones. As an added programming assist, assembly language makes use of mnemonics, or memory aids, which are easier for the human programmer to recall than are numerical codes.

Second-generation language arose because of the programming efforts of Grace Hopper, an American computer scientist and Naval officer. Hopper developed FLOW-MATIC, a language that made programming easier for the naval researchers using the ENIAC computer in the 1940s. FLOW-MATIC used an English-based language, rather than the on-off switch language the computer understood. FLOW-MATIC was one of the first "high-level" computer languages. A high-level computer language is one that is easier for humans to use but which can still be translated by another program (called a compiler) into language a computer can interpret and act on.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Cluster compound to ConcupiscenceComputer Languages - First-generation Language, Second-generation Language, Third-generation Language, Fourth-generation Language