What Are Scripting Languages? And Why Should I Learn One?

Some of the differences between scripting and programming languages are subjective. For instance, many professionals consider scripting languages like JavaScript easier to learn, use and test than programming languages. However, they lack the customization, scalability and standards of programming languages. Software, app and website development pros select scripting languages based on specific-use cases. For example, AppleScript is used to automate functions in Mac operating systems. Other scripting languages include Lua, Perl, PowerShell, VBScript, Bash and Zsh.

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 system together.

Client-side scripting (Browser Scripting)

It’s also the reference implementation that you download together with the Python language. Even though Python is an interpreted language, CPython uses both a compilation and interpretation step. First, it compiles the source code into bytecode (not the same as machine code) that it interprets at runtime. Choosing a programming language is often dictated by the problem the programmer wants to solve and the compute goal that a language is designed to achieve. Explore the differences between scripting and programming languages. Scripting languages are used extensively in web applications to enhance their features and make them more dynamic.

what is scripting programming

Ruby is a server-side scripting language used for creating web browsers, but it can be used for other program applications as well. Ruby is open-source, meaning that its original source code is free and available for anyone to use. Python is the best scripting language to learn because it is easy to learn and has been widely adopted across industries. In addition, Python is worth learning because it can be used for a range of tasks, including data visualization, automating tasks, and building websites. Scripting languages are used in many areas, both on and off the web. In addition to server-side and client-side applications, scripting languages can be used in system administration.


Server-side scripting languages — such as PHP, Ruby and Python — are processed on the host server. Client-side scripting languages — such as JavaScript, Hypertext Markup Language and Cascading Style Sheets — are processed on the user’s computer, typically within a browser. However, server-side scripts are not visible to the user and are generally considered more secure. As the figure shows, conventional programming languages take different approaches to preparing the code. If the language is a conventional one such as C or C++, the code is first passed to the compiler for the initial transformation. The compiler will either transform it into object code and send it on to the linker, or turn it into assembly code and pass it on to the assembler.

what is scripting programming

For example, Autodesk Maya 3D authoring tools embed the Maya Embedded Language, or Blender which uses Python to fill this role. Markup languages are not programming or scripting languages because they are not used to perform actions. Essentially, they rely on a specific program that translates code into a machine language — or machine code — for a computer or mobile device. Developers and engineers can use them to automate or enhance existing programs or websites, connect different components or processes, or work with databases and software written in different languages. It’s a good example of a domain-specific scripting language used in game development. GML is a proprietary scripting language belonging to GameMaker Studio 2, a cross-platform game engine and development platform owned and maintained by YoYo Games.

Examples of scripting languages

According to Graff, students at UOPX learn how to solve real-world problems and how scripting languages like Python can make code reusable, ease design and help with maintenance. It does not provide low-level access to memory or the CPU, because it was initially created for browsers which do not require it. They have many different variations, syntaxes, and implementations, and can be used for plenty of things. Bash is the name of both a command-line interpreter (shell) for the GNU operating system and the belonging scripting language.

JavaScript’s capabilities greatly depend on the environment it’s running in. For instance, Node.js supports functions that allow JavaScript to read/write arbitrary files, perform network requests, etc. Some examples of video games created with GML include Blackhole, 10 Second Ninja X, Death’s Gambit, Deltarune, and several others. Bash is the default shell for many Unix-based operating systems, including most Linux distros and all macOS releases up to macOS Catalina that replaced Bash with Z shell (Zsh) in 2019. You can also run Bash scripts on Windows 10, using the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) compatibility layer developed by Microsoft. Python is currently the second most popular coding language on GitHub (after JavaScript).

What can in-browser JavaScript do?

All of the most popular programming languages have their differences, with more or less overlap between them, and it takes time to learn how to use each one effectively. Today, almost all code is written in one of many programming languages, which have their own libraries, documentation and syntax. Put simply, coding is the act of inputting commands into a computer in a language that it can understand. At the smallest level, computers process everything in binary — 1s and 0s — also called machine code. They are not used to create new programs but are used within existing programs. They are used to automate many software processes as well as for program testing.

what is scripting programming

The JavaScript language resembles Java but does not have Java’s static typing and strong type checking. JavaScript follows most Java expression syntax, naming conventions and basic control-flow constructs which was the reason why it was renamed from LiveScript to JavaScript. The browser has an embedded engine sometimes apa itu script called a “JavaScript virtual machine”. Lua is frequently used to develop video games, such as Angry Birds, World of Warcraft, and Grim Fandango. As it’s easy to embed, it’s also a frequent choice for embedded devices such as set-top boxes, instrument panels of cars (e.g. Volvo), IP cameras (e.g. Cisco), and others.

You cannot use them to build independent applications like you can with conventional languages. In addition, scripting languages tend to provide less direct control over the hardware. With a conventional language, programmers can more easily manage processor, memory and input/output resources.

  • Others, such as AppleScript offer the use of English-like commands to build scripts.
  • The shells of some NoSQL database management systems, such as MongoDB and Apache CouchDB, and some relational database management systems, such as the aforementioned MySQL Shell, also use it as a scripting language.
  • A scripting language is sometimes referred to as very high-level programming language if it operates at a high level of abstraction, or as a control language, particularly for job control languages on mainframes.
  • New team members will have to showcase knowledge (or brush up on subjects) appropriately.

If you are new to JavaScript, start with the articles in the learning area and the JavaScript Guide. Once you have a firm grasp of the fundamentals, you can use the JavaScript Reference to get more details on individual objects and statements. Modern tools make the transpilation very fast and transparent, actually allowing developers to code in another language and auto-converting it “under the hood”. That said, JavaScript can be used to create servers, mobile applications, etc. The syntax of Emacs Lisp is based on a fully parenthesized prefix notation that can be a bit hard to read at first if you haven’t worked with any Lisp language before. You can use PowerShell on the Windows, Linux, macOS operating systems, and some ARM devices (e.g. wearables, multimedia players, tablets, and other consumer electronic devices).

And JavaScript is the popular and broadly used language for scripting. By using scripting you can dynamically change content by using DOM, event handling and AJAX. Use the JavaScript documentation for information when writing scripts.

what is scripting programming

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