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Third Generation Language

A third-generation programming language (3GL) is a generational way to categorize high-level computer programming languages. Where assembly languages, categorized as second generation programming languages, are machine-dependent, 3GLs are much more machine independent and more programmer-friendly. This includes features like improved support for aggregate data types, and expressing concepts in a way that favors the programmer, not the computer. A third generation language improves over a second generation language by having the computer take care of non-essential details. 3GLs feature more abstraction than previous generations of languages, and thus can be considered higher level languages than their first and second generation counterparts.
First introduced in the late 1950s, Fortran, ALGOL, and COBOL are early examples of these sorts of languages.
Most popular general-purpose languages today, such as C, C++, C#, Java, BASIC and Pascal, are also third-generation languages, although each of these languages can be further subdivided into other categories based on other contemporary traits. Most 3GLs support structured programming.

1. Easier to learn and understand than an assembler language as instructions (statements) that resemble human language or the standard notation of mathematics.
2. Have less-rigid rules, forms, and syntaxes, so the potential for error is reduced.
3. Are machine-independent programs therefore programs written in a high-level language do not have to be reprogrammed when a new computer is installed.
4. Programmers do not have to learn a new language for each computer they program.

1. Less efficient than assembler language programs and require a greater amount of computer time for translation into machine instructions. 


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