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Like LISP (described in the next section), ALGOL had recursive subprograms—procedures that could invoke themselves to solve a problem by reducing it to a smaller problem of the same kind.ALGOL introduced block structure, in which a program is composed of blocks that might contain both data and instructions and have the same structure as an entire program.LISP also uses the list structure to represent data, and, because programs and data use the same structure, it is easy for a LISP program to operate on other programs as data.
Block structure became a powerful tool for building large programs out of small components.
ALGOL contributed a notation for describing the structure of a programming language, Backus–Naur Form, which in some variation became the standard tool for stating the syntax (grammar) of programming languages.
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Computer programming language, any of various languages for expressing a set of detailed instructions for a digital computer.
Such instructions can be executed directly when they are in the computer manufacturer-specific numerical form known as Machine and assembly languages are “low-level,” requiring a programmer to manage explicitly all of a computer’s idiosyncratic features of data storage and operation.
It uses short mnemonic codes for instructions and allows the programmer to introduce names for blocks of memory that hold data.
One might thus write “add pay, total” instead of “0110101100101000” for an instruction that adds two numbers.
Machine language is difficult to read and write, since it does not resemble conventional mathematical notation or human language, and its codes vary from computer to computer.
Assembly language is one level above machine language.