Difference Between Scripting Language and Programming Language

By Mohit Uniyal|Updated : April 25th, 2022

Difference Between Scripting and Programming Languages: Sometimes people use scripting language and programming language interchangeably, but there are lots of differences between these two languages. Even though all the scripting languages are the programming languages but all programming languages are generally not the scripting languages. Earlier software developers used programming languages to build PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word etc. However, as the technology upgraded, there arose a need to update the programming languages to combine additional functionalities and provide an improvement in the programming interface. Thus, scripting languages came into the picture.
Here, we will first briefly investigate the Scripting and Programming Languages and then we will see the complete list expound on the difference between Scripting and Programming Languages. We have described the difference between scripting and programming languages in several parameters below.

Table of Content

What are Scripting Languages?

The scripting language is a programming language that was designed specifically for runtime environments. This programming language automates the execution of tasks. These programming languages are used in games, system administration, web development, and creating plugins & extensions. These are interpreted languages which bring new functionalities to the applications. The scripting language is usually short & snappy and is explained from the source or byte code. Mostly, scripting languages are supported by almost every platform, which means there is no special kind of software required to run the languages, as these languages are the set of commands that runs without the use of a compiler.

There are two types of scripting languages-

Server-side scripting language: These languages are used to create dynamic web pages and they are executed at a web server. These programing languages perform backend operations. Examples- Node.js, PHP, Ruby, Python, and Pearl.

Client-side scripting language: These languages are run off the browsers and are considered front end languages. Examples- jQuery, CSS, HTML and JavaScript.

What are Programming Languages?

Programming languages have used the interaction with computers to create and develop websites, desktop apps, and mobile apps. This language is a sequence of instructions written to achieve a given goal. Some examples of programming languages- are Java, C, C++, and Python. These Programming languages usually contain two components-syntax(form) and semantics(meaning) that are used to appoint algorithms and enable the system to perform actions.

Programming languages can be divided into three categories:

Machine language- This is a low-level language that a computer can easily understand it contains instructions in binary or hexadecimal. This is also the elemental language of computers.

Assembly language- This is also a type of another low-level programming language that is created for specific processors. Assembly language is just symbolic and human-understandable. An assembler is used to translate assembly language to machine language.

High-level language- This language is used to construct user-friendly software and websites. The use of a compiler or interpreter is compulsory to convert the code written by the user to the machine language. The main advantage of this language is simple to read, write, and maintain. Examples are Java, JavaScript, Python, PHP, C#, C++, etc 

What are the Differences Between Scripting and Programming Languages?

As we have seen a brief introduction about Scripting and Programming Languages. We will now study the difference between Scripting and Programming Languages. The major differences between these two languages are elaborated in the table provided below:

Difference Between Scripting and Programming Languages

Scripting Languages

Programming Languages

This language uses a natural method to put code into a runtime environment.

This language is used by humans to communicate with computers. 

Scripting Languages are used for a particular runtime environment.

Programming languages are of three types -:

  • Low-level Programming language
  • Middle-level Programming language
  • High-level Programming language

Creations of dynamic web applications are used in Scripting languages.

Programming languages are used to create computer programs.

These languages contain different libraries.

These languages are high-speed languages.

Bash, Ruby, and Python are examples of Scripting languages. 

C++, Java, and PHPHigh-level are Examples of Programming languages.

These languages can be easily ported between various operating systems.

These languages are translation free languages.


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  • The basic difference between a scripting language and a programming language is that the scripting languages do not require an additional step for the compilation and also they are interpreted, while the programming languages are compiled and required a compilation step to translate the high-level language to machine code.

  • The scripting language is a programming language that does not require any explicit compilation step. This language is designed for the runtime system to automatize the execution of tasks. These languages are generally known as very high-level programming languages. Some examples of popular scripting languages are Perl, Python, PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, etc.

  • A programming language is a medium by which programmers/developers communicate with computers through a few sets of instructions (code/program). The Programming languages are the compiled languages because the source code is compiled for converting programming languages to machine code. Some examples of popular programming languages are C++, C, Pascal, COBOL, Java etc.

  • Yes, SQL (Structured Query Language) is a scripting language because it is a fourth-generation language and it doesn’t need to be compiled. The fourth-generation languages necessarily required the use of a translator rather than a compiler.

  • A scripting language is a programming language. Scripting language uses an interpreter for the execution of tasks within a unique run-time environment instead of a compiler. These programming languages are usually short and quick. They are interpreted from the source or the byte code.

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