This introduction lecture sets the scene for the course. We introduce the notions of software languages and language software from a bigger, interdisciplinary picture.
We start with a linguistic discussion of language, its properties, and the study of language in philosophy and linguistics. We then investigate natural languages, controlled languages, and artificial languages to emphasise the human ability to control and construct languages. At the end of the first part of the lecture, we arrive at the notion of software languages as means to communicate software between people.
In the second part of the lecture, we extend the notion of software languages as means to realise processes on machines. We give an overview of language software, starting from interpreters and compilers. We then introduce various language processors as basic building blocks of compilers. We continue with a comparison of traditional compilers and modern compilers in IDEs. Finally, we introduce traditional compiler compilers and modern language workbenches as tools to construct compilers.