Linked by Ritesh Kumar on Thu 13th May 2004 19:31 UTC
General Development In recent years "scripting languages" are becoming a path which is a must go for rapid application development. The open source community has seen many scripting language implementations. Some really popular and good ones available are perl and python.
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Scripting Not Interpreted?
by C. Whitman on Mon 17th May 2004 21:18 UTC

Interesting comments on what is or is not a scripting language, what is an interpreted language, and what makes a scripting language a scripting language. The lines between interpreted and compiled languages have been blurred through the years to an extent. However, one statement I will make is that scripting languages are, by definition, interpreted.

A scripting language is a language in which (by default anyway) the source code is the program. If the program that you run is the text file of the actual code that was written, then you are running the language as a scripting language. Since this program cannot be run without a binary program running underneath to translate programming syntax to something understood by the OS, it is interpreted.

It used to be that "scripting language" and "interpreted language" were synonymous. Now, though, we have Java and the like. Java programs are not (generally) run directly by the hardware or operating system, but require a separate program to run underneath them (a "virtual machine"). However, Java programs are also not the actual text files that the programmer wrote. So is Java an interpreted language or is it a compiled language? Yes. Or was that no? You can see the difficulty of these two classifications still being mutually exclusive. You might say that languages like Java are semi-interpreted (on the other hand perhaps you'd say they are semi-compiled :-)). You could also be tempted to say that since it requires a separate program running underneath, like a scripting language, it is an interpreted language (and the program is sometimes referred to as a "byte code interpreter").

Of course, the lines will be even further blurred if/when an operating system which actually runs all its programs from human readable scripting language code becomes somewhat popular.