Why do we call python a scripting language?

guy_oliver at yahoo.com guy_oliver at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 27 06:18:55 EDT 1999

Why do we call python a scripting language?  

For me, and for most of the people I try to tell about the benefits of
python, the title 'scripting language' implies that its not a real
language capable of real programs.  It implies to most of them that it
is good for simple sysadmin and maybe short cgi scripts.

I usually simply call it an interpreted object oriented programming
language, as this does not carry with it the implication that its not
a real language that cant do anything.  

I usually see people grouping languages into the compiled languages,
such as c, c++, java, ada, etc, as being the only languages viable for
large projects, important projects.  Python, perl, tcl, and others are
grouped into the section of scripting languages for web sites, etc.
This is not the case, is it?  I am not the only one that has used
python for large projects, am I?   I hope not!  

I use the language for just about everything I do (unless a client
specifies otherwise) and have never found a problem I cant solve with
it.  And usually in a fraction of the time it would take me in other
'real' languages.  Many of the programs I had tried to write before I
knew python for my academic pursuits never got finished because I got
tired of fighting with what ever language I was working with at the
time.  Since learning python, I have been able to write most of these
programs that I never had the time to finish before in a single
sitting.  Surely that makes python worthy of being thought of as a
real, viable solution to just about any problem you choose?

Are we doing Python and ourselves a disservice by calling python a
scripting language?


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