Programming language theory
(commonly known as PLT
) is a branch of computer science
that deals with the design, implementation, analysis, characterization, and classification of programming languages
and their individual features
. It falls within the discipline of computer science
, both depending on and affecting mathematics
, software engineering
. It is a well-recognized branch of computer science, and an active research area, with results published in numerous journals
dedicated to PLT, as well as in general computer science and engineering publications.
In some ways, the history of programming language theory predates even the development of programming languages themselves. The lambda calculus
, developed by Alonzo Church
and Stephen Cole Kleene
in the 1930s, is considered by some to be the world's first programming language, even though it was intended to model
computation rather than being a means for programmers to describe
algorithms to a computer system. Many modern functional programming languages
have been described as providing a "thin veneer" over the lambda calculus, and many are easily described in terms of it.
The first programming language to be proposed was Plankalkül
, which was designed by Konrad Zuse
in the 1940s, but not publicly known until 1972 (and not implemented until 1998). The first widely known and successful programming language was......