In computer science, a high-level programming language is a programming language with strong abstraction from the details of the computer. In comparison to low-level programming languages, it may use natural language elements, be easier to use, or may automate (or even hide entirely) significant areas of computing systems (e.g. memory management), making the process of developing a program simpler and more understandable relative to a lower-level language. The amount of abstraction provided defines how "high-level" a programming language is.
In the 1960s, high-level programming languages using a compiler were commonly called autocodes. Examples of autocodes are COBOL and Fortran.
The first high-level programming language designed for computers was Plankalkül, created by Konrad Zuse. However, it was not implemented in his time, and his original contributions were (due to World War II) largely isolated from other developments, although it influenced Heinz Rutishauser's language "Superplan" (and to some degree also Algol). The first really widespread high-level language was Fortran, a machine independent development of IBM's earlier Autocode systems. Algol, defined in 1958 and 1960, by committees of European and American computer scientists, introduced recursion as well as nested functions under lexical scope. It was also the first language with a clear distinction between value and name-parameters and their corresponding semantics. Algol also introduced s . . . more