Scripting language


A scripting language or script language is a programming language for a runtime system that automates the execution of tasks that would otherwise be performed individually by a human operator.[1] Scripting languages are usually interpreted at runtime rather than compiled.

A scripting language's primitives are usually elementary tasks or API calls[clarification needed], and the scripting language allows them to be combined into more programs. Environments that can be automated through scripting include application softwares, text editors, web pages , operating system shells, embedded systems, and computer games. A scripting language can be viewed as a domain-specific language for a particular environment; in the case of scripting an application, it is also known as an extension language. Scripting languages are also sometimes referred to as very high-level programming languages, as they sometimes operate at a high level of abstraction, or as control languages, particularly for job control languages on mainframes.

The term "scripting language" is also used loosely to refer to dynamic high-level general-purpose interpreted languages, such as Perl,[2] PowerShell, Python, and Tcl,[3] with the term "script" often used for small programs (up to a few thousand lines of code) in such languages, or in domain-specific languages such as the text-processing languages sed and AWK. Some of these languages were originally developed for use within a particular environment, and later developed into portable domain-specific or general-purpose languages. Conversely, many general-purpose languages have dialects that are used as scripting languages. This article discusses scripting languages in the narrow sense of languages for a specific environment.

The spectrum of scripting languages ranges from very small and highly domain-specific languages to general-purpose programming languages used for scripting. Standard examples of scripting languages for specific environments include: Bash, for the Unix or Unix-like operating systems; ECMAScript (JavaScript), for web browsers; and Visual Basic for Applications, for Microsoft Office applications. Lua is a language designed and widely used as an extension language. Perl is a general-purpose language that is also commonly used as an extension language, while ECMAScript is still primarily a scripting language for web browsers, but is also used as a general-purpose language. The Emacs Lisp dialect of Lisp (for the Emacs editor) and the Visual Basic for Applications dialect of Visual Basic are examples of scripting language dialects of general-purpose languages. Some game systems, notably the Second Life virtual world and the Trainz franchise of Railroad simulators have been extensively extended in functionality by scripting extensions (Linden Scripting Language and TrainzScript). In other games like Wesnoth, the variety of actual games played by players are scripts written by other users.

  1. ^ "ECMAScript 2019 Language Specification". www.ecma-international.org. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  2. ^ Sheppard, Doug (2000-10-16). "Beginner's Introduction to Perl". dev.perl.org. Retrieved 2011-01-08.
  3. ^ Programming is Hard, Let's Go Scripting…, Larry Wall, December 6, 2007

Powered by 654 easy search