Use of the terms Application and Programming remind me of the riddle about “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” It seems that one leads to the other and vice versa.
My desire here is not to create a philosophical dialog just to note that they may be inter-related at different times. I will talk about both individually and how they became more of a user tool over the last 32 years or so, but there will be cross over between the two as well.
With the main OSes starting to grow, there were limited applications available due to the early restrictions of the hardware. For example, on the IBM personal XT computer, this was the general specs: the Intel 8088 CPU speed (4.77 Mhz), the RAM (128-256 Kbs), the motherboard BUS types and a storage media (IDE, a 10 MB hard drive with either a 3 ½ or a 5 ½ floppy disk drive) which were all quite limiting.
Only one application could run at a time. The ones available for most people were Word 1.0 and Wordperfect 1.0 (documents) and Lotus 1-2-3 (spreadsheet).
With the advances in computer chips, hardware changed by getting faster requiring better means of transferring, calculating, storing and displaying larger amounts of data. With chips getting faster and much smaller, the application of its use has grown and allowing for the next phase for computers in mobile computing (apps) and the Internet of Things (IoT).
My categories regarding software:
OS Software Tools
These are applications provided by the operating system used for simple functions like note taking, calculator, clock, basic draw/paint, Internet browser, storage folder browser, media player/viewers, command line access and other system related tools.
These have changed from simple beginnings to larger containers of the basic four and more. The basic four I am talking about are the document writer, a spreadsheet creator, and a slide show creator/presenter.
- Microsoft’s Office – Word, Excel, PowerPoint (proprietary)
- Mac’s iWork – Pages, Numbers, and Keynote (proprietary)
Linux’s Office – Writer, Calc, and Impress (open source – usually free – and now available for almost any OS)
Adobe Creative Suite – is a group of software that has been around for a while and built with quality. Some of the more know/used pieces are Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, and Dreamweaver with other software for audio and video too.
Other known software – GIMP, Inkscape, Corel Draw/PaintShop Photo Pro, and more.
AutoCad, SolidWorks, Blender, Autodesk Maya, SketchUp and more.
Audacity, Garage Band, and more.
Their are many that either give a simpler graphical builder to the more complicated and robust with several language types that may or may not get mixed to create something new or simply a web page.
A few other miscellaneously known (including from the internet/Web 2.0) that vary from paid to free and work on regular computer and/or mobile devices: