What are the difference between Scripting and Programming?

Scripting vs Programming

As a programmer, we all know what programming is and what it is used for. Programming is the process of taking an algorithm and encoding it into a notation, a programming language so that it can be executed by a computer. Although many programming languages and many different types of computers exist, the important first step is the need to have the solution. Without an algorithm, there can be no program. But sometimes scripting languages require when programming. Do you know why? Why do scripting languages need? In fact, what are the differences between programming and scripting? Are they both same or not?

Let's clear out the confusion through this article. Here we will find out how they are different from each other.

So, let's get started -

Initially, programming languages that written to build programs like Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Internet browsers etc. These programs codes were built with various languages like c and java. These programs code needed a way for users to create or add new functionality, so they had to provide a proper interface to their bytecode and hence scripting languages were born.

A scripting language generally sits behind some programming language. Scripting languages generally have less access to the computer’s native abilities since they only run on a subset of the programming language.

A scripting language usually doesn’t need to compiled to run as you write something meaningful code. Microsoft Excel may be built using C++ language but it exposes a scripting language called Visual Basic for Applications for users to define their custom functionality. Similarly, web browsers may be built with C++/Java language but they expose a scripting language called javascript. Most of the games are usually built with help of C++ language but expose a programming language called Lua that allows users to define their custom functionality.

Let’s explore the differences -

  • The main difference is that a script is interpreted, while a program is executed.

  • In scripting, don't require the compilation step, are rather interpreted. For example, normally, a C program needs to be compiled before running whereas normally, a scripting language like JavaScript or PHP need not be compiled. Though, compiled programs run faster than interpreted programs because they are first converted native machine code.

  • Some scripting languages traditionally used without an explicit compilation step are JavaScript, PHP, Python, VBScript.

  • Some programming languages traditionally used with an explicit compilation step are C, C++.

  • In programming, typically run inside a parent program like scripts.

  • In scripting, extracting information from a data set.

  • Programming is more compatible while integrating code with mathematical models.

  • A scripted language like JavaScript can be edited in a text editor; this works together with the fact that JS source code is accessible by viewing the source of the HTML file in the browser. On the other hand, A compiled language generally cannot be extracted once it is compiled. It is not possible to view the source code. If you try, it will look like garbled nonsense.

  • Programming languages may have more traditional structures and sometimes more rigorous or complex concerns to address. In contrast, scripting languages may tend to be easier to learn and can take less code to get something done.

  • The script does not create any binary files and no memory will be allocated. But, for programming on compilation make binaries. These binaries execute from system’s memory.

  • A scripting language is a very limited, high-level language that is application-specific.

  • Scripting languages are generally slower than programming languages.

  • Programming has five subcategories - First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth. On the other side, scripting has only two subcategories - Server-side and Client-side.

  • In programming, developing anything needful from scratch. In scripting, you have to combine existing components.

  • Scripts are usually short whereas programming is very lengthy.


Photograph by Artram

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