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Modula-2 is a programming language developed by Niklaus Wirth at ETH Zurich in the late 1970s, designed for embedded systems and applications where reliability is crucial. It evolved from Pascal and introduced modules as independent units of code that can be compiled separately and linked together, emphasizing modular programming. Modula-2's strong typing and safety features detect errors at compile time, making it well-suited for mission-critical applications. Despite its initial popularity, the rise of modern languages like C++ and Ada led to a decline in its use.

Niklaus Wirth aimed to create a language that prioritized safety, reliability, and maintainability in programming scenarios where errors could have severe consequences. Modula-2's design focuses on preventing namespace collisions through modularity while promoting software maintainability within large projects. The concept of modules allows code to be organized into separate units for better project management. These characteristics make Modula-2 particularly suitable for mission-critical systems requiring high robustness, distinguishing it from other contemporary languages.

The competitive landscape saw languages like C++ and Ada gaining popularity due to their broader industry support and additional functionalities such as object-oriented concepts (in C++) or tasking and real-time capabilities (in Ada). While Modula-2 excelled in modularity, safety, and ease of maintenance—crucial for developers in aerospace, healthcare, industrial automation—its decline was partly due to developers' preference for the extended capabilities offered by its rivals. Nevertheless, Modula-2 remains notable for those seeking robust solutions where reliability is paramount amidst evolving technological preferences.

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