Third-generation programming language

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

third-generation programming languageA third-generation programming language (3GL), is a programming language that is machine-independent, meaning programs written in that language can be compiled to run on many different devices. Compare this to a first-generation programming language (machine code), or a second-generation programming language (assembly language). In those languages, the program is written specifically for a certain type of CPU and instruction set.

3GLs first appeared in the 1950s with the development of FORTRAN, ALGOL, and COBOL. These languages are considered "high-level," even though they are a much lower-level than modern high-level programming languages such as C++, Ruby, and JavaScript.

Programming terms