Basic Combined Programming Language

What Does Basic Combined Programming Language Mean?

Basic Combined Programming Language (BCPL) is a computer
language created by Martin Richards at the University of Cambridge in 1966. The
language was built on its predecessor the Combined Programming Language,
developed earlier in the 1960s.


Techopedia Explains Basic Combined Programming Language

Basic Combined Programming Language was built for small compiling size, down to 16 kB, and portability. One data type serves as an integer, character, floating-point number or other variable.

One of the main points of notoriety about the Basic Combined Programming Language is that it is alleged to be the first language in which the famous “hello world” program was written, by Brian Kernighan in the 1970s.

Eventually, the C suite of languages arose from earlier and more primitive languages like Basic Combined Programming Language. BCPL still stands as a program with simple syntax and straightforward design, to show some of the ways that modern languages evolved in terms of syntax and use.


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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.