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The label of second-generation programming language (2GL) is a generational way to categorize
assembly language In computer programming Computer programming is the process of designing and building an executable computer program to accomplish a specific computing result or to perform a particular task. Programming involves tasks such as analysis, gene ...
s."Computer Hope, Generation languages"
/ref> The term was coined to provide a distinction from higher level machine independent
third-generation programming languageThird generation may refer to: * ''Third Generation'' (album), a 1982 album by Hiroshima * ''The Third Generation'' (1920 film), an American drama film directed by Henry Kolker Joseph Henry Kolker (November 13, 1874 ome sources 1870– July 1 ...
s (3GLs) (such as
COBOL COBOL (; an acronym An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (lingui ...

COBOL
, C, or
JavaScript JavaScript (), often abbreviated JS, is a programming language A programming language is a formal language In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), ma ...

JavaScript
) and earlier
first-generation programming language A first-generation programming language (1GL) is a machine code, machine-level programming language. A first programming language generations, generation (programming) language (1GL) is a grouping of programming languages that are machine level l ...
s (
machine code In computer programming Computer programming is the process of designing and building an executable In computing, executable code, an executable file, or an executable program, sometimes simply referred to as an executable or binary, c ...
)


Second-generation programming language

Second-generation programming languages have the following properties: *Lines within a program correspond directly to processor commands, essentially acting as a mnemonic device overlaying a first generation programming language. *The code can be read and written by a programmer. To run on a computer it must be converted into a machine readable form, a process called
assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the body of ethics, Procedural l ...
. *The language is specific to a particular processor family and environment. Second-generation languages are sometimes used for parts of
kernel Kernel may refer to: Computing * Kernel (operating system), the central component of most operating systems * Kernel (image processing), a matrix used for image convolution * Compute kernel, in GPGPU programming * Kernel method, in machine learnin ...
s or
device drivers In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and softwa ...
, and are sometimes used in video games, graphics programs, and other intensive programs. In modern programs, second generation assembly languages are rarely used. Programming in second generation languages may yield speed benefits, but several disadvantages have led to its decline: * Programming is expressed in terms of individual processor instructions, rather than higher level logic. * Low-level memory and hardware details must be manually managed which is often bug-prone. * Programs are
machine-dependentMachine-dependent software is software that runs only on a specific computer. Applications that run on multiple Computer architecture, computer architectures are called machine-independent, or Cross-platform software, cross-platform. Many organisatio ...
, so different versions must be written for every target machine architecture. The vast majority of programs are written in a
third-generation programming languageThird generation may refer to: * ''Third Generation'' (album), a 1982 album by Hiroshima * ''The Third Generation'' (1920 film), an American drama film directed by Henry Kolker Joseph Henry Kolker (November 13, 1874 ome sources 1870– July 1 ...
or a
fourth-generation programming language A fourth-generation programming language (4GL) is any computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generi ...
. Assembly's main advantage, speed, has degraded by the fact that well written C code can often be as fast or even faster than hand written assembly Second generation languages are perhaps most significant in their place in computing history. For a long time, Second generation assembly languages were the only good option for development for many machines, such as the
NES The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is an 8-bit In computer architecture, 8-bit integer (computer science), integers or other data#Uses of data in computing, data units are those that are 8 bits wide (1 octet). Also, 8-bit cent ...

NES
or the
Commodore 64 The Commodore 64, also known as the C64 or the CBM 64, is an 8-bit In computer architecture In computer engineering, computer architecture is a set of rules and methods that describe the functionality, organization, and implementation ...

Commodore 64
. Second generation languages represented a massive step away from the tradition of programmers conforming to the needs of a machine, and the first step towards the machine accommodating for the programmer, a phenomenon that would be repeated in all subsequent programming language generations.


See also

*
First-generation programming language A first-generation programming language (1GL) is a machine code, machine-level programming language. A first programming language generations, generation (programming) language (1GL) is a grouping of programming languages that are machine level l ...
*
Third-generation programming languageThird generation may refer to: * ''Third Generation'' (album), a 1982 album by Hiroshima * ''The Third Generation'' (1920 film), an American drama film directed by Henry Kolker Joseph Henry Kolker (November 13, 1874 ome sources 1870– July 1 ...
*
Fourth-generation programming language A fourth-generation programming language (4GL) is any computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generi ...
*
Fifth-generation programming language A fifth-generation programming language (5GL) is any programming language A programming language is a formal language comprising a Instruction set architecture, set of instructions that produce various kinds of Input/output, output. Programming ...


References

{{Programming language generations Programming language classification