What is the Differences Between Programming Languages and Scripting Languages


Programming languages are those which use compiler and Scripting languages are those which use Interpreter.

Focusing on compiler and Interpreter, what exactly are they compiler and what role they play.

A compiler converts the high-level language to machine language, which is what an interpreter does?

So the obvious question arises is there any difference between Programming Languages and Scripting Languages? Yes, though they do some work the way they perform the execution differs from compiler and interpreter.

The system does not accept this HLL so the compiler helps us by converting these HLL into machine languages. These machine languages have a pseudo name of a binary language. Which is in the form of 0’s and 1’s?

The interpreter does exactly the same functionality by compiling the HLL to Machine language but it does it line by line.

The interpreter does code compilation line by line manner whereas Compiler does it all at once (in one chunk).

Key Differences Between Programming Languages and Scripting Languages

Before we look into the difference between Programming Languages and Scripting Languages it’s quite obvious to know why these languages were born, what was the need before the developers?

Initially, programming languages were written to build programs like Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Internet browsers etc (took these terms for easy understanding). So, the program codes were getting build using various languages like Java, C, and C++ etc. There became a need for these program codes to add new functionality by the users, there must be an alternative to provide the proper interface to their bye code and thus it led to the beginning of scripting languages.

One can say that Scripting languages are a kind of programming languages that don’t require ——an explicit compilation step. The below scenario will give some useful insight into the understanding of its readers.

For example, in the normal case, if you have a C++ program then you have to compile it first before you can run it. Similarly, if you have a JavaScript program then you do not need to compile it before running. This makes a clear statement that JavaScript is a scripting language.

Head to Head Comparison Between Programming Languages and Scripting Languages

  1. There are 5 subcategories under PL (programming languages)(Types) First/Second/Third/Fourth/Fifth generation PL whereas SC(Scripting languages) has Server-side and client-side scripting languages.
  2. The PL supports
    • – Explicit support of data type
    • – Rich support for User Interface type
    • – Rich support for graphic design whereas the SL supports
    • – Implicit support of data types
    • – Limited support for User interface design
    • – No support for Graphic design
  3. From applicability point of view a PL
    • – Is more compatible while integrating code with mathematical formulas whereas an SL
    • – To automate the certain task in a program and extract information from a dataset

Programming Languages and Scripting Languages Comparison Table

Below is the list of points, Describe the comparison Between Programming language and Scripting language

Parameters Programming Languages Scripting Languages
Definition A scripting or script language is a programming language that supports scripts: programs written for a special runtime environment that automate the execution of tasks that could alternatively be executed one-by-one by a human operator. Scripting languages are often interpreted (rather than compiled). A programming language is a formal language that specifies a set of instruction that can be used to produce various kinds of output. Programming languages generally consist of instructions for a computer.
Type It’s a Compiler-based language It an Interpreter based language
Usage Developing anything needful from scratch To combine existing components.
Interpretation Unlike Scripted languages the Programmed languages is compiled into a more compact form that does not need to be interpreted by another application in the same way. The compiled result is stand-alone. Scripted languages are interpreted within another program (like JavaScript is put within HTML and then interpreted by the browser).
Running They run independently of a parent program or exterior These run inside another program
Design Designed to give full usage of a language Designed to make coding fast and simple
Conversion One shot conversion Line by line conversion
Creation It creates a .exe file Does not create a .exe file
Compliation Program compilation is necessary No need to compile the program
Coding Programming is making a full code of program Scripts are just piece of code
Temprament Harder to code. Needs numerous lines of code for each function Easier to code. Needs only a few short lines of code for each function
Complexity Are complex Are easy to use and easy to write
Development Time Takes longer to develop as more code needs to be written Takes less time to code as it needs less coding
Hosting Does not require host it self executable Require a host
Examples C, C++, C#, Java, VB Basic, Cobol, Pascal, Etc Javascript, VB Script, Shell, Perl, Python, Ruby, Rexx, PHP, GameMonkey, Lua, Etc

Conclusion -Programming Languages and Scripting Languages

The SL is a subset of PL one can say after looking at all the above-mentioned points. The execution environment is the deciding factor that set a difference between Programming languages and Scripting languages. Scripts are generally written to control application behavior and the Programming languages are used to build an application.

Before concluding this discussion on Programming languages and Scripting languages I just want quote some statements about the topic discussed so far. When we classify difference between Programming languages and Scripting languages based on scripts or programs related to the environment is must to consider. One live example that says that we can design an interpreter for C language and we can use it as a scripting language and at the same time the vice-versa also holds its value. V8 being the JavaScript engine for Chrome, this compiles the JavaScript code into machine language rather than interpreting it.

The bottom line is the environment decides the features and generates the difference between Programming languages and Scripting languages.

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