A programmin leid is a formal leid designed tae communicate instructions tae a machine, particularly a computer. Programmin leids can be uised tae create programs that control the behavior o a machine an/or tae express algorithms precisely.
The earliest programmin leids precedit the invention o the computer, an wur uised tae direct the behavior o machines such as Jacquard looms an player pianos. Thoosands o different programmin leids hae been creatit, mainly in the computer field, an still mony are being creatit every year. Mony programmin leids require computation tae be specified in an imperative furm (i.e., as a sequence o operations tae perform), while ither leids utilize ither furms o program specification such as the declarative furm (i.e., the desired result is specified, nae hou tae achieve it).
The description o a programmin leid is uisually split intae the twa components o syntax (furm) an semantics (meanin). Some leids are defined bi a specification document (for example, the C programmin leid is specified bi an ISO Staundart), while ither leids, such as Perl 5 an earlier, hae a dominant implementation that is uised as a reference.
- Ettinger, James (2004) Jacquard's Web, Oxford University Press