Programming Language One


Programming Language One, commonly known as PL/I, is a procedural, imperative computer programming language developed and published by IBM in the 1960s. It is designed for scientific, engineering, business and system programming uses. It combined features from Fortran and COBOL, aiming to be simultaneously capable of both scientific and business-oriented applications.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Programming Language One” is: /ˈproʊˌgræmɪŋ ˈlæŋgwɪdʒ wʌn/

Key Takeaways

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  1. Programming Language One (PL/1) is a hybrid of several coding protocols, consisting of features of high-level languages such as Fortran and COBOL. This hybrid nature makes it extremely versatile and applicable in a wide range of scenarios.
  2. PL/1’s syntax and structure are relatively simple and easy to understand, making it particularly helpful for beginners in the area of programming. This simplicity, however, does not compromise its ability to manage complex programming tasks.
  3. PL/1 can be used for everything from scientific applications, system programming, business applications, and even artificial intelligence. Its broad usability makes it a valuable tool for developers of various specializations.

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Programming Language One, commonly known as PL/I, is important because it is a revolutionary computer programming language that integrated diverse features from multiple previously developed languages. Designed and developed in the 1960s by IBM, its primary objective was to fulfill the need for a single programming language that can address scientific, engineering, business, and system programming applications. The language resulted in major novel computer programs, particularly for mainframe systems. PL/I also helped bridge gaps between differing programming techniques and methodologies, thereby contributing significantly to the advancement of programming technology. Its influence on and integration in subsequent programming languages underscores its fundamental importance in the field of technology.


Programming Language One, better known as PL/I, is an imperative computer language developed in the early 1960s as an initiative by IBM. The purpose of PL/I was to create a single high-level language that could handle a broad range of tasks. These tasks range from scientific computations and data processing to string manipulations and system programming. PL/I was designed to incorporate the best features of several well-known languages during its time such as Fortran and COBOL, and aimed to minimize the need for multiple task-specific languages.PL/I is often used in applications related to information systems, scientific computation, data manipulation, and system programming. The versatility and advanced functionality of PL/I enabled it to offer both business mathematical computations and advanced system programming resources. It allowed complex programs to be written, maintained, and updated in a more efficient manner, increasing productivity exponentially. PL/I has influenced the design of many later languages, including C++, PHP, and Java. Despite being over five decades old, it’s still in use in some business and scientific programming environments today.


Programming Language One, often shortened as PL/I, is a procedural, imperative computer programming language designed for scientific, engineering, business and system programming uses. Here are three real-world examples of its application:1. Scientific Computing: PL/I was often used in scientific computing because of its strong support for array handling, flexible control structures, and extensive I/O facilities. For example, the IBM System/360, an early mainframe computer, utilized PL/I in many scientific applications.2. Business Applications: Particularly in the 1970s and 1980s, many large corporations used PL/I for their mainframe business applications. Its facilities for structured programming and data manipulation made it popular for complex business logic.3. System Programming: PL/I was designed to accommodate system programming, meaning that many parts of the IBM mainframe operating system were written in PL/I. IBM’s Time Sharing Option (TSO) and the Multics operating system are famous systems that were written extensively in PL/I.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q1: What is Programming Language One (PL/I)?**A1: Programming Language One, known as PL/I, is a procedural, imperative computer programming language that was developed and released by IBM in the mid-1960s. It was designed to combine the best elements of FORTRAN, COBOL, and ALGOL and allows users rigorous data typing, structured programming, and error handling.**Q2: What is the purpose of PL/I?**A2: The purpose of PL/I is to provide an extensive tool for both scientific and business applications. It was originally designed as a single language that could be used for multiple tasks that were originally thought to need separate languages.**Q3: Can I use PL/I for web development?**A3: While it is technically possible, PL/I is not typically used for modern web development. Today, languages such as JavaScript, PHP, Python, and Ruby are more commonly used for this purpose. PL/I is primarily used now for maintaining legacy systems.**Q4: What are some features of PL/I?**A4: PL/I supports a mix of numerical scientific computing and business-oriented string processing features, including exception handling, arrays, structures, multithreading, and robust diagnostics.**Q5: Does PL/I still actively used?**A5: While PL/I isn’t as popular or widely-used as it was during its inception, it’s still in use today, primarily for business and scientific applications. IBM continues to release updates and improvements to their PL/I compiler.**Q6: Is PL/I considered a high-level language?**A6: Yes, PL/I is considered a high-level programming language. This means it is designed to simplify computer programming and is user-friendly, easy to understand, and write.**Q7: Is it easy to learn PL/I?**A7: The learning curve for PL/I can depend on the experience of the programmer. For a seasoned programmer experienced in other high-level languages, learning PL/I can be manageable. However, beginners new to programming might find it a bit challenging due to its old-fashioned syntax and less community support. **Q8: Are there good resources available for learning PL/I?**A8: Though not as abundant as resources for some other languages, there are still many books, online tutorials, and forums available where learners can get acquainted with PL/I. For instance, IBM’s website offers official documentation.

Related Tech Terms

  • PL/I Compiler
  • Data Types in PL/I
  • Control Structures in PL/I
  • PL/I Syntax
  • Procedural Programming in PL/I

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