Over the last few years the scripting programming languages made a giant leap ahead. About ten years ago they were viewed as an axillar tools, not really suitable for general programming parse. Now they generate a tremendous amount of interest both in academic circles and in the software industry.
The execution speed and memory consumption of scripting languages vs. the traditional languages is studied in. Article presents a historical back- ground of the scripting languages. In a practical case of using the scripting languages in a commercial environment is presented. Finally, presents some trends for the future.
In this overview I first try to define what scripting languages are. Then a classification of the languages based on their application areas is presented. After that, the most popular of scripting languages are presented, and the peculiar features of each one are highlighted. The paper is concluded with the discussion on why scripting languages are important, and what their role is going to be in the future.
What are Scripting Languages?
The boundary between the scripting programming languages and the traditional ones is somewhat blurry. However, it is possible to highlight a few characteristics of scripting languages, that, when taken together, could serve as a definition:
• They are interpreted or byte code-interpreted and never compiled to native code • The memory handling is done by a garbage collector and not by a programmer. • They include high-level data types, such as lists, associative arrays and so on • The execution environment can be integrated with the program being written • The scripting programs (or simply, scripts) can access modules written in lower-level languages, such as C.
Not every scripting language has the whole set of these features? For example, shell scripts cannot access C modules. But it’s a scripting language nevertheless. The main idea behind the scripting languages is their dynamic nature, that allows treating data as a program and vice versa. The list of the scripting languages includes: shell, awk, Perl, TCL, Python, Java, Lisp and many others.
Server-Side Scripting Language
A script is really just another word for a program. It is just a set of instructions that take place automatically when you run the script (cause it to work). Some other words that you may have heard that mean essentially the same thing are macro, program, function or command. "Server-side" just means that the Web Crossing server rather than running a script on each user’s personal computer handles the control of the script. Web Crossing runs the scripts and sends standard HTML (web pages) to each user's browser. All the end user's browser has to worry about is displaying the results and does not have to worry about the underlying script used to generate the web pages.
Example of Server-Side Scripting Language
Net.Data is a server-side scripting engine that allows you to easily create dynamic documents using live data from a variety of sources such as relational and non-relational database management systems (DBMSs), including DB2® databases that can be accessed through DRDA®, files, and native applications written in programming languages such as RPG, Cobol, Java, C, C++, and REXX. Net.Data operates on scripts called macros, which contains a series of statements that are defined by the Net.Data macro language. These statements can include standard HTML (or XML, etc.) and language environment-specific statements (for example, SQL statements) as well as macro directives. These statements act as instructions to the Net.Data macro processor, telling it how to construct the dynamic page. Net.Data interprets the statements to create dynamic Web pages with customized content based on input from the user, the current state of your databases,...
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