Low level programming

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High level programming languages hold a high level of abstraction from details of the computer. This loss of detail of the underlying system makes the language usually more portable or easier to use.

"Low" and "High" are relative terms, because in modern day 'C' is considered a low level language where it was designed as a high level programming language.



Low level programming languages are often considered much harder to implement. A programmer has to deal with a lot of details; for example memory management and integrity checks. It takes a certain level of expertise to program in a low level language efficiently.

Programming in a low level usually takes more lines of code to achieve the same thing as in a higher level language, which usually costs more time to write.

Programming partial low level

It is often possible to program just parts of an application in a lower level programming language. If an application spends most time executing the same code sequences, an effort can be made to program just those parts into a lower level language. The code sequences in a lower level can be much more efficient. By implementing just part of the code in a lower level, a lot of efficiency can be gained for a minimal amount of effort.


As an example, in the C language it is common to program small computationally intense algorithms in assembly level code.

See Also



This best practice was recognized as such by IT professionals, described in Energy efficient software.

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