Javatpoint Logo
Javatpoint Logo

What is a Scripting Language?

A script or scripting language is a computer language that does not need the compilation step and is rather interpreted one by one at runtime. It is where the script is written and where instructions for a run-time environment are written. In contrast to programming languages that are compiled first before running, scripting languages do not compile the file and execute the file without being compiled.

What is a Scripting Language?

Scripts are often utilized to create dynamic web applications nowadays because they are linked to web development. Server-Side Scripting Languages and Client-Side Scripting Languages are the two types of scripting languages. Python, PHP, and Perl are examples of server-side scripting languages, while JavaScript is the greatest example of a client-side scripting language. These languages are often developed with the goal of communicating with other programming languages.

There are multiple scripting languages available some are as follows:

  • bash: It is a scripting language that's the default command interpreter on most GNU/Linux systems and can be found on a variety of operating systems. As compared to other programming languages, the use of bash is much easier to create scriptsIt stores documentation for others to use, defines the tools to use and command line code, and provides useful reusable scripts. Its name is short for 'Bourne-Again SHell'.
  • Ruby: It is a scripting and pure object-oriented programming language that enables developers to create innovative software. It was established in 1993 by Yukihiro Matsumoto of Japan and is excellent for web development. Ruby offers the same features that are included in the languages such as Python, Perl, and Smalltalk.
  • Node js: Writing network applications in JavaScript is open-source and cross-platform. It is not a programming language that reads and writes files on a computer/server and handles networking, but it does employ JavaScript as the core programming interface. For real-time web applications, corporate users of Node.js include Yahoo, Netflix, PayPal, IBM, Microsoft, and LinkedIn.
  • Python: It is an object-oriented programming language that is the most widely used language among developers, in modern times. It is simple and interpreted. It's a dynamically semantic language with enormous scripted lines of code. It has high-level data structures built in, making it easy to use and suitable for Rapid Application Development. It supports code reuse and software modularity by allowing modules and packages.
  • Perl: It is a scripting as well as dynamic programming language with innovative features. These features make it popular and different from other languages. It is available on all Linux and Windows servers, which was developed by Larry Wall in 1987. Although it has no official Full form, the most used expended form is "Practical Extraction and Reporting Language. High-traffic websites widely use Perl, including IMDB,, and it also helps in text manipulation tasks.

Application of Scripting Languages

There are several areas where scripting languages are used:

  • Scripting languages are used on the server-side as well as the client-side and are also widely used in web applications. The languages like JavaScript, Python, PHP, and Perl are examples of server-side scripting languages, and JavaScript, jQuery, AJAX are examples of client-side scripting languages.
  • Like Python scripts, Perl, Shell is all the scripting languages, which are used in system administration.
  • It is used to construct plugins and extensions for current applications, as well as in games and multimedia.

Advantages of scripting languages

  • Easy learning: In order to learn scripting languages, there is not much need for the knowledge of web technology. Therefore, these languages enable users to learn code quickly.
  • Fast editing: It is particularly efficient since it uses a small amount of data structures and variables.
  • Interactivity: It helps to make web pages more interactive by adding combinations and visualization interfaces. The use of scripting languages is demanded by modern web pages. It includes background and foreground colors and so on, which helps to create enhanced web pages.
  • Functionality: Scripting languages contain different libraries, which help to create new applications in web browsers. They are different from normal programming languages.

Some other key points of advantages of scripting languages are also given below:

  • It can port easily between different operating systems.
  • It directly executes the files without needing compilation but sometimes may be required to compile when necessary.
  • It is an open-source platform that makes capable of users to view and edit the script when required.
  • As compared to an actual program, it is much faster to develop.

Disadvantages of scripting languages

  • It enables users to view and code that may be prohibited by some companies.
  • These languages did not compile the file and interpret it directly, which need to install an interpreter or separate program by the users before running the script.
  • Compared with a compiled program, scripting languages may be slow in some situations.

Difference between Scripting and Programming Languages

Although all scripting languages are programming languages, they have a difference in that scripting languages directly interpret the files and do not need the compilation step. For instance, a program whitened in the scripting language like PHP or JavaScript does not need to be compiled, whereas a C program that needs to be compiled before running.

Generally, as compared to interpreted programs, compiled programs run faster as they are first converted native machine code before running. The interpreter reads and analyses the code statements every time they are encountered, and if any mistakes are discovered, it encounters them and halts at that point, whereas the compiler reads and analyses the code just once, and displays the faults that the code contains. Practically, due to the improved computation capabilities of modern hardware and advanced coding practices, the difference between scraping and programming languages is getting blurred.

When distinguishing between languages such as scripting and programming, the environment in which they will be used must be considered. The reason for this is that developers must be able to construct a compiler for a scripting language such as JavaScript and use it as a non-scripting (compiled language), as well as an interpreter for a compiled language such as C or C++ and use it as a scripting language.

V8 of Google Chrome's JavaScript engine is a real example of this. V8 converts JavaScript code into machine code rather than interpreting it. Languages like JavaScript, PHP, Python, and VBScript have generally been used without an explicit compilation step, whereas C and C++ have an explicit compilation step.

The key distinctions between scripting and programming are listed in the table below:

Scripting Language Programming Language
It is based on the Interpreter. It is based on the compiler.
It is used for combining existing components. It is used for developing from scratch.
It runs inside the program and is dependent on it. It is independent of a parent program.
It functions to convert high-level instructions into machine language. It works to convert the full program into machine language in one go.
It does not require compiling the file and running directly. It requires to compile the file first.
It has no file type. It contains .exe file type.
It does not support data types, graphic design, and user interface design, or support limited. It has rich support graphic design, data types, and user interface design.
Users can easily write and use it. It can be difficult to use and write.
It needs a host. It does not need a host as it is self-executable.
It requires low maintenance. It requires high maintenance.
Examples of scripting languages include VB Script, JavaScript, Perl, Ruby, and PHP. Examples of programming languages include COBOL, Java, VB, Basic, C, C++, C#, and Pascal.

Youtube For Videos Join Our Youtube Channel: Join Now


Help Others, Please Share

facebook twitter pinterest

Learn Latest Tutorials


Trending Technologies

B.Tech / MCA