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Difference between Scripting Language and Programming Language

Last Updated on March 21, 2023 by Prepbytes

The words scripting language and programming language are frequently used interchangeably because many people do not understand the distinctions between them. Despite having a similar sound, they are very distinct from one another. The distinctions between scripting languages and programming languages are essential for anyone who wishes to enter the field of software development. The distinction between them has, however, become hazier as a result of recent advancements in the programming world.

For the creation of software, both languages are employed. Although all computer languages can be used as scripting languages, the opposite is not true. The main distinction between them is that scripting languages are interpreted rather than written. Programming languages were used to create applications such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, Internet Explorer, etc. before the advent of scripting languages. Nevertheless, the demand emerged for languages to include new features, leading to the requirement for scripting languages. Now that we have a thorough understanding of scripting and computer languages, let’s examine some of their differences.

What is a Scripting Language?

A computer language created especially for runtime settings is known as a scripting language. It executes duties automatically. System administration, web programming, game development, and the creation of plugins and extensions all use them. These languages add new functionalities to the applications because they are interpreted languages (An interpreter performs instructions written in a programming or scripting language directly, without first requiring that they have been compiled into a machine language program). These languages are typically quick and condensed, and they read byte code or source code. Most scripting languages are open-sourced and supported by almost every platform, so no specialized software is needed to operate them since they are a set of commands that can be executed without the aid of a program.

Depending on your aim and circumstances, using a scripting language is better. There are two main types of scripting languages-

  • Language for server-side programming: Dynamic web pages are made using server-side scripting languages. On a computer server, they are carried out. These languages handle back-end tasks. PHP, Python, Node.js, Ruby, and Pearl are some examples.
  • Language used for client-side programming: This type of scripting is powered by browsers. These dialects are regarded as front-end languages. Examples include PHP, CSS, jQuery, and HTML.

Key Features of Scripting Language

Features of scripting language are the following:

  • Easy to learn and use– They frequently serve as excellent entry points for those seeking to enter the field of development. They are simple to use and understand. Some of the simplest programming languages include PHP and JavaScript.
  • Open-source and free– There are no restrictions on who can use programming languages since the majority of them are open-sourced. Now all they need to do is research them and incorporate them into their current strategy. Since they are all open-source, anyone in the globe is welcome to contribute to their development.
  • Powerful and extensible– The required tasks can be completed with the scripts because scripting languages are powerful enough (in terms of applications). Additionally very flexible, scripting languages allow you to add specific features as you see fit.
  • Cross-Platform– Another key benefit of scripting languages is their portability and cross-platform nature, as they can run on a remote computer or in the visitor’s web browser. This indicates that they can be used with any browser on any operating system and platform since they don’t need any extra software to function.
  • Lighter memory requirements– They are not compiled like computer languages; rather, they are interpreted. As a result, the systems that operate them need less memory.
  • Runtime Execution– A system that allows code to be executed during runtime can be used to configure and modify a program while it is actively using the system. In actuality, it is this ability that gives programming languages their prominence in the majority of applications. Runtime code execution supports extensive in-game console functionality and debugging.
  • Safe and secure– Security has been a priority in the creation of scripting languages. A scripting language prevents native code from accessing data stored in the script and does not permit any unauthorized actions to be carried out from the script.

What is a Programming Language?

Computers are interacted with using programming languages to create desktop applications, websites, and smartphone apps. It is a list of guidelines intended to help someone achieve a specific objective. Some instances of programming languages are C, C++, Java, and Python. Typically, programming languages have two parts: syntax (form) and meaning. They are used to carry out algorithms and give computers the ability to move.

Three groups can be made up of programming languages:

  • Machine language– A low-level language that computers can easily understand is called machine language. They are the fundamental language of computers and are made up of binary or hexadecimal commands.
  • Assembly language– Another low-level computer language designed for particular processors is assembly language (ASM). The collection of instructions is simply symbolized and represented in a way that is comprehensible to humans. An assembler is used to convert assembly code to machine language.
  • High-level language– A high-level programming language called HLL is used to develop user-friendly websites and applications. A compiler or interpreter must be used with this computing language in order to translate user-written code into machine language (language understood by the computer). The primary benefit of a high-level language is that it is straightforward to read, write, and maintain. High-level computer languages include Python, Java, JavaScript, PHP, C#, C++, Cobol, Perl, Pascal, LISP, FORTRAN, and Swift. Additional categories of high-level language include:
    • Procedural-oriented programming languages
    • Object-oriented programming languages
    • Natural Language

Key Features of Programming Languages

  • Simplicity: The majority of contemporary languages, like Python, have an easy learning slope. Usually, there is a trade-off between a language’s speed and abstraction and its ease (ability to hide complicated details).
  • Structure: Each computer language has a specific predefined structure that it must adhere to, including predefined syntax, semantics, a set of rules, etc.
  • Abstraction: It alludes to the programming language’s capacity to conceal intricate details that the users might find unnecessary. One of the most significant and fundamental characteristics of object-oriented computer languages is this.
  • Efficiency: Programming languages are effectively translated and executed to prevent using too much memory or taking too long.
  • Portability: Because programming languages are movable, switching between computers shouldn’t be difficult.

Are Scripting Languages and Programming Languages the Same?

Languages used for computing are not the same as those used for scripting. Scripting languages were developed to support programming languages, whereas programming languages were developed to build complex software. Scripting languages are interpreted, whereas programming languages are written. In the part after this one, we’ll examine some distinctions between scripting languages and programming languages.

Difference between Scripting Language and Programming Language

Now let’s examine some of the distinctions between scripting languages and computer languages. Some characteristics that set these languages apart are listed in the chart below.

Programming Language                   Scripting Language
A particular kind of computer language that comprises of a series of instructions for interacting with computers is known as a programming language. A programming language known as a scripting language is used to automate the performance of tasks in a runtime context.
Programming languages are typically built. The source is only translated once during compilation; after that, it only needs to be loaded and executed. The majority of writing dialects are interpreted dialects. They must be parsed, interpreted, and executed each time the application is run.
Low-level languages serve as the foundation for traditional computer languages. High-level languages are typically preferred by scripting languages.
Since programs are built, their execution takes longer. A script’s execution requires less time because they are frequently brief.
It is used to start from scratch when developing a new program or component of the software. It is utilized to improve already-existing software or automate a particular job. A scripting language is used to manage a program’s actions.
The majority of regular computer languages are better at controlling and abstracting data. Typically, scripting languages place a strong emphasis on the flexibility and depth of expressions..
A programming language also operates or works independently. A parent software contains a scripting language.
To complete a job in a programming language, numerous lines of code are typically needed. Typically, a job can be completed with fewer lines of code in a scripting language than in a programming language.
The upkeep of programming languages is expensive. Scripting languages generally require little upkeep.
Programming languages generate .exe files. Scripting languages do not create .exe files.
Graphic and user interface design are frequently assisted to some extent by programming languages. Scripting languages are a huge help in the creation of user interfaces, data types, and graphics.
Complete software creation is made simpler by programming languages. Programming languages are supported by scripting languages, which facilitate and speed up writing. They are frequently employed for web development and open initiatives.
Because more code needs to be created, developing programming language code is time-consuming (in most cases). Coding in scripting languages is faster because there are typically fewer lines of code to write.
Programming languages are self-executable. Scripting languages require a host.
All programming languages are not scripting languages. All scripting languages are programming languages.
Examples include C, C++, Java, Python, etc. Examples include Perl, PHP, JavaScript, etc.

Thus, we draw the conclusion that the key distinctions between programming languages and scripting languages are the environment and the method of execution. Alternative terminology for scripting languages is "extensions to current programs" (written in a programming language). Although functionality is specified using scripting languages, programming languages make up the majority of software and programs. Scripting languages are used to add new functionality to a program, whereas programming languages are used to create programs and software from inception. The need for scripting languages has increased along with the demand for dynamic websites and apps, and the need for traditional programming structures to create complicated software products will never go away. Programming languages are the foundation upon which scripting languages are built. Both languages have their own set of pros and cons and are meant to complement each other.

FAQs Related to Scripting Language and Programming Language

Some frequently asked questions are listed below:

1. Is scripting language a programming language?
Programming languages that use high-level constructs to interpret and carry out one instruction at a time are referred to as scripting languages. Scripting languages, as opposed to more structured and compiled languages like C and C++, tend to be quicker to learn and to learn to code in.

2. Is python a scripting language or programming?
Large software components are being effectively assembled using Python, an advanced scripting language. It covers a variety of systems, middleware items, and application areas. Python is an object-oriented language that features dynamic coding, dynamic binding, and high-level data structures.

3. What are two types of a scripting language?
Server-side and client-side scripting languages are the two major subcategories of scripting languages. When a user seeks information, for instance by clicking on a link, server-side scripts are processed on the web server. Before the webpage opens, these scripts are executed.

4. What is the first best scripting language?
If you’re searching for a simple and even enjoyable programming language to learn first, Python is always advised.

5. Is JSON a programming language?
JSON is a simple, text-based, and linguistically unrestricted data exchange system. Although it is a programming language independent, it was developed from the JavaScript/ECMAScript programming language.

6. What is JSON vs XML?
While XML is used to represent data in a machine-readable manner, JSON is used to keep and transmit data. Due to its simplicity, JSON has become more and more popular as a storage format for web apps. On the other hand, XML is still the preferred format for sending organized data over the internet.

7. Is PHP a programming language?
PHP is a free, server-side, open-source computer language that can be used to build websites, programs, CRM systems, and more. It is a generally accepted language that can be included in HTML.

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