Difference Between Programming Language and Scripting Language

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A programming language is a computer language that is used by programmers (developers) to communicate with computers. It is a set of instructions written in any specific language ( C, C++, Java, Python) to perform a specific task. A programming language is mainly used to develop desktop applications, websites, and mobile applications.

Before understanding the difference between programming language and scripting language, let’s first understand what scripting language is.

What is a Scripting Language?

All scripting languages are programming languages. The scripting language is basically a language where instructions are written for a run-time environment. They do not require the compilation step and are rather interpreted. It brings new functions to applications and glue complex systems together. A scripting language is a programming language designed for integrating and communicating with other programming languages.

difference between programming language and scripting language

There are many scripting languages some of them are discussed below:

  • bash: It is a scripting language to work in the Linux interface. It is a lot easier to use bash to create scripts than other programming languages. It describes the tools to use and code in the command line and create useful reusable scripts and conserve documentation for other people to work with.
  • Node js: It is a framework to write network applications using JavaScript. Corporate users of Node.js include IBM, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, PayPal, Yahoo for real-time web applications.
  • Ruby: There are a lot of reasons to learn Ruby programming language. Ruby’s flexibility has allowed developers to create innovative software. It is a scripting language which is great for web development.
  • Python: It is easy, free and open source. It supports procedure-oriented programming and object-oriented programming. Python is an interpreted language with dynamic semantics and huge lines of code are scripted and is currently the most hyped language among developers.
  • Perl: A scripting language with innovative features to make it different and popular. Found on all windows and Linux servers. It helps in text manipulation tasks. High traffic websites that use Perl extensively include priceline.com, IMDB.

Advantages of Scripting Languages

Following are the advantages of Scripting Languages:

  • Easy learning: The user can learn to code in scripting languages quickly, not much knowledge of web technology is required.
  • Fast editing: It is highly efficient with the limited number of data structures and variables to use.
  • Interactivity: It helps in adding visualization interfaces and combinations in web pages. Modern web pages demand the use of scripting languages. To create enhanced web pages, fascinated visual description which includes background and foreground colors and so on.
  • Functionality: There are different libraries which are part of different scripting languages. They help in creating new applications in web browsers and are different from normal programming languages.

Difference Between Programming Language and Scripting Language

Often people use the terms scripting language and programming language synonymously, but these two terms have more differences than you know of. Although all scripting languages are programming languages, all programming languages are not scripting languages.

Earlier, programming languages were written to build products such as PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Word, to name a few. However, as time passed, there arose a need to upgrade the programming languages to incorporate additional functionalities and provide an enhanced programming interface. Thus, scripting languages came into being.

The primary difference between a scripting language and a programming language is in their execution – programming languages use a compiler to convert the high-level programming languages into machine language, on the other hand, scripting languages use an interpreter. While a compiler compiles a code in a complete chunk, an interpreter compiles a code line by line.

Let us now look at some of the major differences between a programming language and a scripting language.

Programming LanguagesScripting Languages
1. Set of instructions to produce various types of outputs to automate a certain task.1. Set of instructions to combine the outputs with different outputs to perform a task.
2. The compilation is necessary.2. No need for compilation.
3. Not interpreted.3. Interpretation is required.
4. Full-length code.4. Small chunks of code.
5. Self-executable, no host is required.5. Dependent on some other platform, a host is required.
6. Runs independently.6. Needs to be embedded in the existing parent program.
7. Creates a .exe file.7. Does not create a .exe file
8. Used in Application/Software development.8. Used in web development.
9. Time taken is more because of code being full-fledged.9. Lesser time is taken because these are only small pieces of code.

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