What is Python?!

Evil Bastard spam at me.please
Thu Aug 11 05:51:45 CEST 2005


bruno modulix wrote:
> You can tell buy the most common use. bash is a scripting language,
> javascript is a scripting language, perl is a scripting language, php is
> a scripting language, Python is *not* a scripting language !-)

Perhaps a better definition - the term 'scripting language' is
increasingly being used by CTOs as a justification for saving money by
putting large chunks of their workforces on lower pay scales - an
attitude of 'scripters aren't as skilled as real programmers, so don't
deserve the same pay'.

To me, the term is archic. What 'scripting language' means to me is:
 1. insufficient facilities for general purpose or 'serious' programming
 2. ability to get simple useful programs up and working quickly
 3. absence of a hack/compile/link/test cycle.

What makes 1 and 3 redundant is that linkage mechanisms have diversified
over the years. For instance, java and python's 'import' statements,
java's CLASSPATH and python's 'sys.path'.

I guess a language could be called a 'scripting language' if:
 - the source code can be executed directly, and/or
 - source need not be converted to a separate file in a
   non-human-readable format before it can be executed, and/or
 - a change to the source file automatically causes a change in
   runtime behaviour

By these, Python is most definitely a scripting language, and joins Perl
and PHP. Whereas changes to java source files don't change runtime
behaviour.

OTOH, Python is also a compiled language, since it can be 'fixed' into a
n executable binary format.

-- 
Cheers
EB

--

One who is not a conservative by age 20 has no brain.
One who is not a liberal by age 40 has no heart.



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