Difference Between General Purpose and Special Purpose Programming Language

The difference between general purpose and special purpose programming language – So in the previous post we have covered the topics on Apache Tomcat, an open-source implementation of the Java Servlet. In that article, we have talked about Java being one of the general purpose programming and its advantages to some special purpose programming. But what is a general and special purpose programming? What difference do they have?

Well, in this article we’ll talk just about that. But before we go to the difference between these two types of programming language, we need to know the definition of each term.

What is general-purpose programming language(GPL)?

First, we’ll cover on general-purpose programming language (GPL). What is a GPL? Well, it is a programming language that is designed to be used for creating software in the widest variety of applications.

GPL gets its name because it doesn’t include language constructs that are designed to be used within a specific application.

Here’s a quick list out of many general-purpose language:

  • C
  • C++
  • C#
  • Clojure
  • COBOL
  • Fortran
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • Pascal
  • Perl
  • PHP
  • Pike
  • PL/I
  • Python
  • RPG
  • Ruby
  • Rust
  • Scala
  • Swift

What is special-purpose programming language(SPL)?

On the contrary, there is also a special-purpose programming language. A type of programming language which is also known as “domain-specific language”.

A special-purpose or domain-specific language is a programming language designed to solve a finite class of problems.

For example, Tex was created for typesetting. SQL manipulates databases, and APT directs machine tools. In contrast with GPL, SPL is designed to work and perform on a specific purpose with a specific environment.

So what is the difference?

Well generally, the definition from both terms will answer this question really quickly. But here’s the point:

  • GPL is used in a wider variety of application purposes, while SPL is used in a specific application purpose.

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