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Smalltalk - 1972-1980 – The Purest Object-Oriented Langauge
It was developed at Xerox PARC, initially by Alan Kay and then later by Adele
Goldberg. It is the first full implementation of an object-oriented language (data
abstraction, inheritance, and dynamic type binding) and the purest object-oriented
language yet! It pioneered the graphical user interface everyone now uses.
C++ - 1985
It was developed at Bell Labs by Stroustrup. It evolved from C and SIMULA 67.
Facilities for object-oriented programming, taken partially from SIMULA 67, were
added to C. It also has exception handling. It is a large and complex language, in part
because it supports both procedural and OO programming. Rapidly grew in popularity,
along with OOP and ANSI standard was approved in November, 1997.
Java - 1995
Java was developed at Sun in the early 1990s and is based on C++. It is significantly
simplified as compared to C++ and supports only OOP. It eliminated multiple
inheritance, pointers, structs, enum types, operator overloading, and goto statement and
added support for applets and a form of concurrency.
C# - 2002
It is part of the .NET framework by Microsoft. It is based upon C++ and Java and support
component-based software development. It has taken some ideas from Visual Basic. It
brought back pointers, structs, enum types, operator overloading, and goto statement. It
has safer enum types, more useful struct types, and modified switch statement.
Introduction and Historical Background (Lecture 1-8) VU
© Copyright Virtual University of Pakistan
Scripting Languages for Web
These languages were designed to address the need for computations associated with
HTML documents. JavaScript and PHP are two representative languages in this domain.
JavaScript – client side scripting
Primary objective of JavaScript is to create dynamic HTML documents and check
validity of input forms. It is usually embedded in an HTML document. It is not really
related to Java
PHP (Personal Home Page) – server-side scripting
It is interpreted on the Web Server when the HTML document in which embedded is
requested by the browser. It often produces HTML code as an output and is very similar
to JavaScript. It allows simple access to HTML form data and makes form processing
easy. It also provides support for many different database management systems and hence
provides Web access to databases.
Programming Language Evolution
Over the last five decades, programming languages have evolved after going through
several phases. These phases are briefly described below:
• 1950’s – Discovery and description of programming language concepts
Programming language design in this period took an empirical approach.
Programming languages were regarded solely as tools for facilitating the specification
of programs rather than as interesting objects of study in their own right. In this era
we saw development of symbolic assembly langauge, macro-assembly, FORTRAN,
Algol 60, COBOL, and LISP. Many of the basic implementation techniques were
discovered which include symbol table construction and look-up, stack algorithms for
evaluating arithmetic expressions, activation record stack, and marking algorithms for
garbage collection.
• 1960’s – Analysis and elaboration
This was the era when programming language design took a mathematical approach.
Here we saw theoretical research as an end in itself and a lot of analysis was carried
out for the purpose of constructing models and theories of programming languages.
Representative languages of this era include PL/1, Simula, Algol 68, and Snobol.
These languages elaborated the earlier languages and attempted to achieve greater
richness by synthesis of existing features and generalization. This resulted in greater
complexity. This was the time when formal languages and automata theory with
application to parsing and compiler theory as well as theory of operational and
mathematical semantics were defined. There was a lot of emphasis on program
correctness and verification.
• 1970’s – Effective software technology
Decreasing hardware cost and increasing software cost resulted in more complex
software requiring support for software engineering in the programming languages. It

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