A programming language is a universal language used in information and communication industry. It is used to operate different types of machines. A good example of machines where programming language is used includes computers. In these machines, programming languages are used to create programs. One of the fundamental aspects of computer programs is the ability to control the behaviour and operation of the machine. More importantly, the programs are used to express algorithms used in calculations and other forms of data processing (Friedman, Wand, & Haynes, 2001).
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There are different types of programming languages used by experts today. The current paper is written against this background. In this paper, the author focuses on a number of major programming languages used in designing a web-based service desk application. They include Java Script (JS), Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML), and Extensible Markup Language (XML). In addition, the author provides an explanation about SQL, PHP, and MVC programming languages. The author provides a description of the usefulness of these languages in the generation of a new application.
Programming Languages: An Overview
According to Hofstedt (2011), programming languages have a relatively long history. Hofstedt is of the view that the earliest programming language was used on Jacquard Loom and player piano. The language was invented and used way before the invention of computers. The Jacquard Loom is a machine that was commonly used in the textile industry. The machine is characterised by complex patterns like brocades and damask. It has a long chain of cards, which are crucial to its operations. It is these cards that help in the formation of different patterns produced by this machine. On its part, the piano is used in the music industry to produce different sounds. With regards to programming languages, pre-programmed music was created on perforated paper, which was then mounted on the piano (Friedman et al., 2001)
To date, thousands of programming languages are in use. Each year sees the creation of more languages, something that highlights the dynamic nature of this industry. For any programming language to be successful, an ‘imperative’ form is required. To this end, programming paradigms are used in shaping a given programme state. The paradigms describe the computation process in terms of the statements used to alter a given state (Wilson & Clark, 2008).
Programming language is comparable to natural language used by human beings in communication. For example, it is noted that in natural language, commands are expected to elicit given actions. The same case applies to programming language. In this case, an imperative statement stipulates a specific sequence of commands that have to be followed or acted on by the computer (Wilson & Clark, 2008).
Web development is a term used to describe the process of creating a website. It is commonly used in relation to the World Wide Web (www). It is also used in reference to an intranet. The latter occurs in the case of a private network. Programming languages have evolved to accommodate the increased use of websites in the world today. To this end, programming languages are formulated to suit different developments or designs of websites. The observation explains the existence of many programming languages used in web based applications (Wexelblat, 2001).
There are different types of web based services in the world today. They include, among others, e-commerce, web content development, and client liaison. The number of web based services has increased in tandem with the increased use of technology in contemporary world, especially due to globalisation. In addition to electronic business, programming languages are used in other areas. The additional areas include internet application and social network services (Sottile, Mattson & Rasmussen, 2010).
An Analysis of Different types of Programming Languages and their Use in Designing Web Based Service Desk Applications
Java Script (JS)
It is perhaps one of the most well known and commonly used programming languages. It is especially common in generating web based service desk applications. Hofstedt (2011) describes it as an example of an interpreted programming language. According to Pratt (2004), the language executes instructions directly by performing a number of scripted procedures. In web browsing, JS allows client side-scripting to relate with the user. In the process of this interaction between the user and the internet, the browser is controlled. At the same time, information is passed asynchronously. The process of exchanging information in this manner is also known as Ajax. In this process, data can be forwarded to (and also retrieved from) a given server without compromising the existing page and its display status (Shyamasundar & Ramesh, 2010). The capability is one of the reasons why programmers use this language in creating web based service desk applications.
The performance of JS is exhibited by prototype-based scripting language. In this case, behaviour is reused through the cloning of existing objects. According to Pratt (2004), the existing objects act as prototypes. With regards to the application of prototypes, a specific programming language is used. The self, an object oriented model, is applied (Friedman et al., 2001). According to Pratt (2004), scheme is used as an additional functional programming language. To this end, the programmer makes use of more than one dialect. A good example of such dialects is the lisp (Shyamasundar & Ramesh, 2010).
It is noted that JS is used in many areas. For instance, it is very important in the application of outside web pages, such as Portable Document Format (PDF). With regards to this file format, JS has made it possible to present documents independently with respect to software, hardware, and operating systems [OS] (Shyamasundar & Ramesh, 2010). The use of JS in PDF is a classic example of how this programming language is used in the development of web based service desk applications.
Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML)
According to Pratt (2004), HTML is considered as the main language used to display web pages. Programmers find the language very important with regards to web based service desk applications. The language is presented in HTML elements, which contain tags in angle brackets. Such tags include . The objective of a web browser is to encode HTML documents and transform them into readable pages. In other words, the HTML tag is not displayed in the browser. On the contrary, it is used to encode the contents of a given web page (Pratt, 2004).
According to Pratt (2004), HTML is useful since it is the building block for entire websites. In this case, the language makes it possible to fix images and objects firmly on a page. The capability enhances the interactive nature of a given web page. Structured documents are mainly associated with HTML programming language. Such documents are embedded on a web page partially or as a whole. The process of embedding the documents on a page is aided by the use of schema or self as described earlier in this paper. One can then argue that this language makes it possible to form structured documents through the use of structured semantics. According to Pratt (2004), HTML is also capable of embedding scripts written in other languages like JS. The capability affects the behaviour of web pages (Pratt, 2004)..
Extensible Markup Language (XML)
Friedman et al. (2001) are of the opinion that this language is similar to HTML. However, unlike HTML, XML is unlimited. In addition, it exhibits self-defining tags. As far as computer programming languages are concerned, XML defines the rules regulating the process of encoding documents in different formats readable by humans and machines. To date, over a hundred formats of XML syntax are in use. The formats include, among others, RSS, Atom (Friedman et al., 2001), SOAP, and XHTML. In addition, XML formats are used as ‘default’ in many tools used in offices. Such tools include office open XML (Pratt, 2004).
The designers of XML programming language had a number of objectives in mind. One of the major goals of this language is to simplify the use of internet services. Apart from its use in presenting documents in different formats, XML is also used to present arbitrary data structures, especially in web services (Pratt, 2004).
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The Importance of SQL, PHP, and MVC in New Applications
Structured Query Language (SQL)
According to Friedman et al. (2001), this is a set of programming languages based on a particular domain. As a result of this, this application is commonly referred to as Domain Specific Language (DSL). It is described as a data management domain. Hofstedt (2011) is of the opinion that the domain is founded on relational model. An example of this is the Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). Hofstedt (2011) holds that SQL is popular with the archiving of data. Such data include personal, financial, and logistic information (Hofstedt, 2011).
Hofstedt (2012) holds that SQL is useful in designing new applications in various ways. First, it provides the programmer with a ‘scope’. The scope is defined by specifying the various components used in DBMS. Structures and operations that relate to DBMS are outlined in this programming language. In this context, the various aspects of data archiving and retrieval are defined under a SQL platform. Such aspects include the security, accessibility, and language interfacing of the data (Hofstedt, 2011).
The language is important in the general use of data, especially with regards to the relational data model. In relation to this, all database applications that need flexible data structures and paths are successfully executed through SQL application. The language is important in relation to ad and hoc manipulation of data, especially by end users. The language is also important in the schema definition of applications. It effectively describes tables, which can then be passed to different data management applications. The language can be merged with Remote Data Access (RDA). When this is done, exchange of standardised data across interoperate systems is enhanced (Hofstedt, 2011).
Hypertext Pre-Processor (PHP)
Friedman et al. (2001) are of the view that this type of language encompasses server-side scripting. It is important in making new applications. It is used in web developing and general programming languages. In other words, PHP is aimed at bridging the gap between Server Side Includes (SSI) and PERL (text processing ability). As such, the process of creating web pages to exhibit dynamic content is made possible by the use of PHP applications (Shyamasundar & Ramesh 2010).
Before a HTML page is formed, PHP is used to make the necessary changes to the model. To this end, PHP is used to transform a static page to a dynamic page. In addition, PHP is used in other platforms, including in different servers and OSs. According to Pratt (2004), PHP is useful in the scripting of command and client lines. The scripting is achieved through a graphical user interface (GUI). Due to this capability, PHP is deployed in multiple servers and other platforms like RDBMS. Web hosting is efficiently executed with the use of a PHP application, especially when dealing with clients (Shyamasundar & Ramesh 2010).
According to Pratt (2004), PHP is capable of filtering content. It is one of the reasons why programmers find it indispensable in designing new applications. Input (PHP) and output (HTML) change data into a usable format for the end user. It is noted that PHP was initially developed to serve dynamic web pages. However, the programmers find the application important in other spheres. For instance, software frameworks and building blocks are used to enhance Rapid Application Development [RAD] (Shyamasundar & Ramesh, 2010).
Model View Controller (MVC)
According to Friedman et al. (2001), MVC is a model that allows programmers and developers to come up with new applications. It is important in the generation of new applications as it provides programmers with knowledge regarding a particular model or software. In addition, the model helps developers to make improvements on a given design. The model is used to implement user interfaces (Pratt, 2004).
The model has three interaction components. They are controller, model, and view components. With regards to the controller, a command is sent to the model in case an update is needed. An example is when a given document needs to be edited. The controller command can also communicate with the view. An example is the scrolling of a document (Pratt, 2004).
The use of a model is important in MVC, especially for notification purposes. In case of changes in state, the model sends notification information to the associated view and controller. A view is used to request for updated information, especially from the model, before transmitting it to the user. According to Pratt (2004), MVC was initially meant for personal computing purposes. However, it has become very important in the development of new applications. For example, it is used as the main architectural framework in the creation of World Wide Web applications in many programming languages (Pratt, 2004).
A number of programming languages were discussed in this paper. The languages include JS, HTML, and XML. They were analysed in relation to their application in designing web based service desk applications. It was found that programmers regard these languages highly. In addition to the languages, the author of this paper also described the importance of SQL, PHP, and MVC in the creation of a new application.
Programming languages are highly evolving. New languages are developed every day. A new language can be built on the foundations of existing programming languages. For instance, the original PHP and MVC programmes gave rise to various applications that are used in different fields. Consequently, various programming languages can be manipulated to suit the needs of new applications, especially in a world where technology is in a constant state of change.
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