During 70's and starting 80's Intel has released processor like 4004, 8008, 8085, 8080 and 8088 and then 8086. Motorola, Texas Instruments, National Semiconductor, Fairchild Semiconductor are some of the other companies released their first microprocessors. It was the time of mini computers and first microcomputers.
Machine language, the first generation language
Scientists used to write small programs using machine language. Machine language is that low level hex code which central processing unit executes. Machine language is known as the first generation programming language. Machine language are hex numbers and these are very difficult to remember and write.
Assembly language, the second generation language
Then scientist came up with an idea of replacing machine code instructions with English words and thus assembly language came into picture. Assembly language is called second generation language. Assembly language was a boon to the scientists but writing a large program with lots of procedures was still difficult. It is a replacement of difficult hex machine code and developer still need to remember processor specific instruction sets.
Higher level languages, the third generation languages
Scientists were trying to make a language independent of processor instructions. They want to construct one language which uses simple English like statements, mathematical expressions and operators. This is the time of third generation programming language. C, BASIC, Pascal, Fortan etc. These are higher level languages and independent of processor architectures. These languages come with compilers which converts source code to an intermediate code known as object code. Object codes are lower level code but not exactly machine code. Object codes are clubbed together by linker and disassembled in a single assembly file. This assembly file is platform dependent and assembler generates actual machine code.
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