Atma Xplorer

Xploring Games, Computing, Photography

Guide to Programming Series: Week 2

Scripting Programming Languages

Not all people like reinventing the wheel. If you need a simple program, it’s much easier to use a scripting languages because they control applications instead of providing commands for the processor. Scripts are executed directly from their source code, which are generally text files containing language specific markup instead of being compiled to an equivalent code. Thus, “scripts” are often treated as distinct from “programs”, which execute independently from any other application.

A scripting language enables you to focus on the task that you want to accomplish without worrying about irrelevant details.

Some of the most popular scripting languages include Javascript, Ruby, PHP, VBscript, ActionScript and HTML.

Scripting languages are usefull in the following ways:

  • Scripts allow you to manipulate programs, Ruby for example can be used to surf the web for you (WATIR is a good example of Ruby application for this purpose)
  • Scripts are easier to learn

The cons are:

  • Scripting languages are limited in functionality. If a script runs a browser, then that’s it, don’t expect it to go beyond the language’s capabilities.
  • Porting and distributing programs is much more difficult because you need to have proper software installed before you can run your scripts

A scripting language are almost always tied to Web development which is part of the reason that you need both if not more when you are going to develop a web-based application since they provide the means of creating or obtaining dynamic content as opposed to an HTML’s static one.

Web-dependent languages

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) codes tell a browser how to display a page which then gave way to XML, XHTML and DHTML. Then there’s CSS. After people got seeing all text and images, interaction was made possible by integration of other languages like Java, JavaScript, and VBScript.

Note that Java can create two types of programs: a client-based one (like as games or word processors) and applets, which can run off a Web page. The following code shows how a Java application can display the
words, “Take a nap!” on-screen:

public class DisplayMessage {

public static void main (String args[]) {

system.out.println ("Hello sylv3rblade!");



The integration of scripts into the web allowed for several amazing projects like Youtube, Digg, and Wikipedia.

Web-page programming languages offer the following advantages:

  • Dynamic content
  • Anyone with Internet access can learn it.

Web-limitations are as follows:

  • Not all browsers natively support all features. Older browsers are in even more dire straights
  • Not for dial-up users.

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