Hello World

Hello World

Published: April 22nd, 2009

OK – I maybe crazy, entering a contest less than two weeks before itis over. But, it certainly wouldn’t be the strangest thing I have everdone.

“Hello World” is the traditional ‘first program’ used as an examplewhen learning a new programming language. It dates back to “The CProgramming Language” by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie.Architecturally independent, “C”, is one of the most commonly usedprogramming languages of all time. (Extra points if you know theprogramming language that preceded “C” at Bell Labs.)

“C” is a compiled language. Which means the code you write has to beprocessed by a compiler that generates the executable code. Compilersare hardware specific. For many hobbyist, such as myself, the cost andavailability of a compilers in the early 1970’s was a problem, so I,like many others, started by using assembly language.

Variations of Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, or“BASIC”, developed in 1964 by John George Kemeny and Thomas EugeneKurtz soon became available for most micro computer systems and waswidely adopted by hobbyists. An interpreted language, BASIC was easy touse but lacked many features needed for writing efficient programs.“Q-BASIC” and “Visual Basic” overcame many of these problems, with“Visual Basic” still being used as a development tool for smallerWindows programs.

I have dabbled in a number of programming languages, most had someversion of a ‘Hello World’ program. On my first system, the only outputwas an LED on a serial port. ‘Hello World’ is just a way of letting youknow your system is alive.

So – Hello World – I will be writing on anything that interests me. Hopefully, it will interest you too.

BTW – “B” preceded “C”. Now, what preceded “B”?

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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