Ever since the inception of the computers, humans have learnt the languages that a computer can understand, in order to interact and manipulate it to work in the way we need. But humans are now able to easily use and manipulate computers with the help of high-level programming languages.
Based on readability, Data formats are of two types,
Machine readable – Data formats meant for the machines to process and execute, and
Human readable – Data formats that are meant for humans to understand.
Makes it easy for all the team members to understand the program while developing:
This is the most obvious advantage of any human readable language. Oftentimes engineers find it hard to read and understand programs written by a different developer. This figuring out process consumes a lot of time and energy. Although companies have adopted various methods such as usage of comments or following the same method of programming by all the developers so that everyone in the team can understand it, using a human readable language will be way easier and more comfortable compared to the other options.
While writing a library or a plugin:
Libraries and plugins are sources that other developers might find use from and hence it is important that they should be able to easily read what is written in the code so as to be able to use or manipulate it. Human readable languages are a boon in these situations as they make the task of understanding the programs so much easier.
Easier to learn, write and debug:
As much as a human readable language is easy to read, it is also easy to learn the language, write in it and also debug as it is going to be simpler especially when compared to the assembly or low-level programming languages. Projects and tasks can be completed faster while using a human readable language.
There are also a few drawbacks when it comes to using a human readable language over a machine-readable language. Some of the important drawbacks include:
- Human readable languages are not capable of handling large amounts of data. They will be able to function in their full efficiency only when they are involved with a small amount of data.
- It cannot be used when an application is already slow and lacking in performance as it would pull down the application even further.
- It cannot be used when a project is supposed to be scalable. I.e might be required to be expanded and use larger data in future.
The effect of these drawbacks can vary from insignificant to severe based on the kind of project being developed. Therefore, one has to be careful and compare their requirements with what the various languages provide, their pros and cons before deciding on which language will be best for their project.