For example, machine languages consist entirely of numbers and are only understood by computers; assembly languages are symbolic representations of the machine language of a specific computer; programming languages such as COBOL, C++, Java, and Fortran instruct computers to do specific tasks; and fourth-generation languages
, whose syntax is closer to human languages.
Winkler introduces Max by briefly describing the basic concepts behind high-level programming languages, object-oriented languages, and so-called fourth-generation languages
, and their relationship to Max: "Max borrows some of the best aspects of other programming languages and combines them into a package geared specifically to real-time computer music applications" (p.
Companies such as Sybase and Informix, among others, produce fourth-generation languages
(4GL), and there are a number of lesser-known proprietary 4GL products.
According to Gary Green, senior manufacturing engineer of General Motors Corp, Buick-Oldsmobile-Cadillac Group, and Ralph Mackiewicz, VP, Systems Integration Specialists Co Inc (SISCO), we're throwing off the shackles of high-level tools such as fourth-generation languages