Why do we call python a scripting language?

Matt Curtin cmcurtin at interhack.net
Fri Aug 27 16:17:37 CEST 1999

>>>>> On Fri, 27 Aug 1999 10:37:22 GMT,
    "Fredrik Lundh" <fredrik at pythonware.com> said:

Guy_Oliver> Why do we call python a scripting language?

Fredrik> who's calling it that? ;-)
Fredrik> http://www.python.org/doc/Summary.html says:

[Correct definition, sans mention of "script", snipped.]

Nevertheless, in practice, people tend to view things like Perl and
Python as "scripting languages", largely because they see that you
"run the source" (i.e., have a shebang line in Unix-land or
"associate" a particular source filename extension with an

This is unfortunate.

I rather like Larry Wall's definition of "script": something that you
write to accomplish a quick job at hand, as opposed to a "program":
something you write with the intention of putting it into some sort of
production.  It's a little difficult for most people to get their
hands around this definition, though, because it means that you can
have things like C scripts and shell programs.

But I think that the "whether it's a script or program depends on what
you do with it" approach is correct.

Matt Curtin cmcurtin at interhack.net http://www.interhack.net/people/cmcurtin/

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