Scripting-How is it different from programming?


What is script for a movie?? Script for a movie describes what actors do. It also describes the interaction between the actors, and connects different sequences of a movie. Scripting languages are also very similar. Scripting is used to automate the execution of tasks which could alternatively be executed one-by-one manually. Environments that can be automated through scripting include software applications, and the operating system shells (OS shells). Scripting languages play a major role in automation testing, because, from a script, you can invoke different programs and test the outputs.

scripting-languageIn my earlier organization, when I was working on projects related to Natural language processing, I could see the power of scripting languages. We were building a translation engine, for translating text from one natural language to another, for example from Urdu to Hindi or Sanskrit to Hindi. Scripting languages had the power to use the regular expressions and made text processing very much simpler. Those tasks which required design of state machines in a programming language, could be written by a single line in a scripting language!!!! Let us see an example of a word count program, written in both PERL and C.

 A word can be defined as set of characters, which are preceded by any number of blank spaces, new lines or tabs. If you had to write the same piece of code in C, a state machine has to be designed (see example in Dennis Ritchie). Scripting language solves the problem with a single line of code.

images1We found highly complex pieces of code, could be written very easily in scripting languages. It has the power to handle regular expressions and text processing.

Scripting languages are designed for “gluing” applications. Consider the scenario in which different  modules are written in different languages, like C, Java, C++ etc. and have to be integrated into a single project. Scripting languages play a key role in such type of scenarios.

Scripting languages also have the power to access OS facilities. When we were building the migration engine, we could connect to loop devices, do mounts, unmount etc., using python.

Scripting languages use typeless approaches to achieve a higher level of programming and more rapid application development than programming languages.  That means, declaration of variables is not required in Scripting. Only assignment would be sufficient.

Scripting languages make the life of developer very easy. Enjoy Scripting !!!!!

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