What is binary code: a communication link between programming languages and computers?


Knowing what a binary code is is indispensable for every web developer. why is that? Because the basic concepts of binary language build the basic structure of all computers or digital machines. And as a communicational link between humans and machines, there are the programming languages that are used today. what does this mean? Well, to tell computers, from web programming, what to do, you must know the programming languages, to translate the information into binary code. And thus, get the desired responses from today’s digital devices .

In fact, as a web developer, you probably know the programming languages Java, JavaScript, Phyton, PHP and TypeScript, among others. But do you know how your computer processes information? Believe it or not, your computer also has its own language to communicate. what are the characteristics of a binary code? what is the importance of programming languages when it comes to establishing machine orders? what is the mechanism that allows the conversion from binary code to ASCII?

If you want a detailed analysis to answer these questions, continue reading this article to find out what binary code is and how it works. Join us to know its history and learn how you can translate binary code. are you ready to learn binary code? let’s get started! And then, you’ll know precisely what binary code is and you’ll have a solid foundation in relation to your knowledge as a web designer.

A conceptual approach to binary language

Let’s start with the basics: what is binary code? As you might already imagine, binary code, or binary system, is the language through which computers communicate. Thanks to this system, machines are able to relate and process information.

In a Forbes analysis, Arvind Krishna, IBM Chairman and CEO, states that currently, all digital devices work under the binary code paradigm, whose units are the numbers 1 and 0. As a consequence, from video games, smartphones, tablets, apps and software are created from binary numbers that articulated constitute the binary system.

But what is so special about binary code? is it the same as our language? As its name indicates, with the prefix “bi”, binary code is a computer language system that works through duality. This duality is represented in binary code by two numbers: zero (0) and one (1).

The reason why the binary system is ideal to implement the operation of a computer, is because they work with two voltage levels, that is, they also work with the concept of duality: on or off, true or false. Therefore, due to its simplicity and adaptability with respect to the technical aspect, the binary system is perfect for them to be able to perform tasks, represent texts and process data.

Although binary code is most commonly known for its use in electronic devices, such as the computer or smartphones, it is actually a system that can be (and is) used in a large number of everyday tasks and is the basis for the creation of other languages, such as Braille.

Now you are probably wondering “how did the binary system come about?”. don’t worry! You will be able to satisfy your curiosity below, as we will tell you a little more about the history of binary code.

History of binary code

To understand the origin of binary code, we must go back to ancient times, as the first uses of the binary system appeared many, many years ago.

There are many traces and antecedents of the binary system; from ancient China, with the classic text of the I Ching, a book in which some numerical series that include some of the first binary numbers are described. On the other hand, in India, the ancient Hindu mathematician Pingala presented the first known description of a binary numbering system.

These early indications, together with the appearance and implementation of zero, were what gave rise to what we know today as binary code.

Later, in 1605, other writings appeared, such as that of Francis Bacon, who proposed the possibility of translating the letters of the alphabet into the binary system; and later, in 1670, Juan Caramuel published a book in which he described the binary system.

However, the actual binary system was not fully documented until the 17th century, when Leibniz wrote an article entitled “Explication de l’Arithmétique Binaire”, in which he mentions some of the antecedents and uses zero and one, as is done in the modern binary system.

Also, from a historical point of view related to the binary code, according to a BBC report, Louis Braille, blind since childhood, took as a basis the system called “night writing”, created by a French captain. It had been devised in 1821 for soldiers to communicate with each other in the dark of night.

Thus, Braille modified this language; and in 1829, he published a first approximation, in which the dots and dashes of the reading system were perceived with the fingertips in a direct and fast way. And this antecedent is closely related to the origin of the binary code.

joven programadora aprende código binario en sus dispositivos móviles sobre su mesa de trabajoSource: Pexels

Additionally, the mathematician George Boole published in 1854, an article in which he developed a logical system known as “Boolean Algebra”. This system was a breakthrough in the development of electronic circuits and allowed binary code to be implemented in them. As a result, it became the key to the operation of electrical systems.

Thus, with the advance of technology, the first electronic calculators appeared, and with them, the first problems to translate our alphabet and number system into a language that computers were able to interpret.

Evidently, binary code was the right one for this, since the use of ones and zeros was perfect for translating into physical states capable of telling the computer whether it should pass current (one) or not (0).

do you realize now how much potential binary code has and how important it is in your daily life? Without the existence of this system, you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now.

how does binary code work?

You are probably wondering if binary code is capable of representing numbers other than one and zero. The answer is “yes.” But how does it do it? Here is a step-by-step explanation of how binary code works

To understand how binary code works, we must first understand a little more about the inner workings of computers.

mano joven con un smartphone y un ordenador en lenguaje binario

Source: Pexels

In general terms, one could say that computers are calculators, which perform calculations by interpreting units such as bits and bytes. Bits are binary digits that are equivalent to a state of the code, either one or zero. On the other hand, bytes are a set of 8 bits. When the computer performs some action, it has to perform calculations, converting decimal numbers to binary system. That is, by means of the binary code it translates and converts them into bits and bytes.

To translate numbers from the decimal system to binary code, you can use the following binary conversion table as an example:

ejemplo de tabla de lenguaje binario

Performing the conversion from decimal to binary number manually is very simple. To do it, you have to divide the decimal number by 2 as many times as necessary, until you get a 0 or a 1 as the quotient; and you have to write down the remainder you get after each of the divisions you make.

did you have to stop and read it again? Probably, with the following example of how to convert a decimal number to binary you can understand it a little better.

We have the decimal number 24 and we want to convert it to binary. We start by doing the division by 2:

24 divided 2 results in 12 and we have 0 left over.
12 divided by 2 gives as result 6 and we have 0 left over.
6 divided by 2 gives as result 3 and we have 0 left over.
3 divided by 2 gives as result 1 and we have 1 left over.

Of all these divisions, we will take only the results and leftovers that are digits of the binary code, that is to say, we only use the ones and zeros. These ones and zeros are ordered from the bottom to the top; that is, the first digit of our binary number will be the result of the last division. So, in this example, our final result would be: the number 24 in decimal is represented as 11000 in binary code.

To convert these binary code numbers to bytes, you only have to add the necessary zeros to the left to convert them into 8 digits. These leading zeros will not affect their value, as they are simply used to preserve the format of the bytes.

For example, if we understand that the number 3 is represented as 11 in binary code, that means that it would be necessary to add 6 zeros to the left of 11 so that it can be represented as 00000011 in the byte format.

ejemplificación de codigo binario

Whether you are reading this from your computer, your tablet or your smartphone, all these binary code conversions and calculations are probably taking place so that your devices can function.

hombre y mujer con sus dispositivos digitales analizan el código binario

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what is the importance of the Binary to ASCII Code Conversion Table?

You have probably heard of ASCII code, which stands for “American Standard Code for Information Interchange”. Converting binary code to ASCII means the same as converting binary to text; or the alphabet to binary code.

The ASCII code is different in that it uses only seven digits and two states: 0 and 1. And although it does not allow to symbolize all the characters used today, with this binary code, some of them can be represented.

Performing this conversion manually is similar to converting decimals to binary, only that instead of divisions, powers of 2 are used. However, nowadays, there are a lot of free online tools to convert binary to text that allow you to perform this conversion much easier and faster. we’ll get to that later!

Below, we have prepared a binary to ASCII conversion table for you so that you can translate binary code to text manually using this information as a reference:

código binario ASCII tabla de conversion

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how is the relationship between binary code and programming languages?

In simple words, all programming languages have the ability to establish orders, instructions and algorithms to manage the operation of the software of the various technological devices and to establish the storage mode of the preset data. The latter work taking into account the parameters of the binary code. Programming languages were created to enable them to respond to the commands desired by humans. Therefore, to perfectly handle the basics of web development, you must know what a binary code is in order to perform its functions effectively and efficiently.

Thus, there are multiple programming languages that web developers can use. Among them, the following stand out:

Java: the Java programming language is characterized by being readable and simple. It is one of the most widely used languages in the world.
JavaScript: it is important to differentiate JavaScript from Java, as they are different programming languages. It will help you to create programs capable of linking to websites or other larger programs. At the same time, it is used to create specific effects and optimize the development of user interfaces.

Phyton: The Phyton programming language differentiates itself as a language that adapts to different platforms and paradigms. It is ideal for beginner web designers because it is easy to learn.

PHP: Initially, it was born as a series of computer resources perfect for effective web maintenance. As a programming language, it provides users with useful and easy-to-use tools.

TypeScript: another of the most widely used programming languages is TypeScript. This super set of JavaScript can be defined as an open source programming language developed by Microsoft. From a practical perspective, it is used for the development of JavaScript applications and for large projects. Thus, it writes and generates JavaScript code, with an object-oriented programming, but at the same time, it remains differentiated by the flexibility characteristic of JavaScript.
In short, it is one of the favorite programming languages of web developers worldwide that allows to complement the JavaScript language.
According to Sergio Agamez Negrete, web developer and teacher in charge of the TypeScript online course from scratch: “TypeScript is essential for any complete web developer training. It is a language that extends the possibilities of Javascript. It helps us to make more interactive projects, with a cleaner, tidier and more scalable code”.

mensaje binario en un ordenadorSource: Pexels

what are the best tools for translating binary code online?

The changes brought about by digital transformation have modified the paradigm of multiple actions related to human activities. Thus, taking advantage of new technologies, it is possible to translate binary code without any problems.

why do it? Well, because as a web developer, you will have to translate the code into binary so that the machine can execute your commands. As a result, the machine’s software will be able to run as long as the source code is in a readable format, i.e. in binary code!

The people in charge of translating the source code into binary code are called “language translators”. These language translators have a structure that allows a computer to convert information into binary code through the following procedures:

Assemblers: allow the translation of the source code to machine language.
Compilers: they carry out the reading of the source code and allow the detection of errors present in the source code. They do this in different stages:

Editing: the programming is written with the help of a programming language and an editor. As a result, the source code is obtained.
Compiling: the source code is translated into binary code. If there are no errors, the programmer obtains the object code. If there are errors in the code, they will be corrected and the compilation process will start again.
Linking: at this stage of the code translation procedure, the program ready to be executed is obtained by linking the compiled program with a set of internal routines of the programming language.

Interpreters: they translate and execute simultaneously. This procedure is slower than the translation into binary by compilers. In addition, an interpreted code cannot work independently, as in the case of translation via compilers. In other words, an interpreted code necessarily needs its interpreter to work.

Translating binary code seems to be quite complex, doesn’t it? Well, if you are one of those who do not enjoy performing mathematical operations and/or need to optimize your work as a web designer, don’t get overwhelmed!

As we mentioned in the previous section, there are several free tools today that you can use to automatically convert binary code to other systems such as decimal, octal, hexadecimal; or even ASCII, without having to perform any calculation or manual conversion.

We are talking about tools to translate binary code online, such as, for example, the Online Binary to Text Translator or different online binary converters. In addition, there are also some free mobile apps for you to carry around on your smartphone, such as, for example, Free Binary Code Calculator and Converter for Android.

joven mujer delante de una gran pantalla con el reflejo de un codigo binarioSource: Pexels

that’s it! Now you know perfectly what a binary code is, what it’s for, how to use it and how to translate it into different numbering and writing systems.

We invite you to apply what you learned in this article and dare to decipher the message hidden in this binary code:

01010011 01110101 01110011 01100011 01110010 11000011 10101101 01100010 01100101 01110100 01100101 00100000 01100001 00100000 01000011 01110010 01100101 01101000 01100001 01101110 01100001 00100000 01010000 01110010 01100101 01101101 01101001 01110101 01101101

did you make it? we bet you did!

As you will see, our entire technological world around us from a calculator or watch, to the digital devices we use on a daily basis, are determined by binary code.

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