Have you ever heard that Python is a scripting language? Or when people address a Python program file as a script? Besides programming, script generally means "a written story for a play or a movie". So, what does it mean in a programming language? People often use the word script when addressing Python program files like, “Python scripts have the extension .py". Generally, when we write a Python program, we save it with the .py extension. Does that mean every Python file is a script? But why are they called like that? This article discusses what a Python script is and why Python is called a scripting language?
What is a Scripting Language?
Scripting is a very simple concept. If you are already working with Python, you must know that there is no separate step of compilation in Python, and we use an interpreter. Programming languages like Python, which are interpreted at the run-time are called scripting languages.
Every scripting language is a programming language, but vice versa is not true. For example, Python is both a scripting and a programming language, but C, on the other hand, is not a scripting language, but a programming language as it is a compiled language.
Like movie scripts are carried around to find the best actors, staff to create movie, a Python script can be run on different platforms; we can carry them like normal files and execute them the way we want.
Compared to interpreted languages, compiled languages run faster. If there is a compilation step, the compiler will convert the program to machine code, which makes the execution step easier. But, in interpretation, the interpreter has to read the code every time line by line, and if there is any error, the compiler comes into action for a second, looks at the error, and displays the error message.
There are two types of scripting languages – server-side and client-side. Python is a server-side scripting language.
Python script is any file with code in it and a .py or .pyw extension. The interpreter can execute these scripts in many ways:
- Interactive mode using the command or Anaconda prompts by entering Python, and we can run the script line-by-line.
- In the command-line interface, we can execute the file using the below command:
- On Text Editors like Visual studio and IDE's like Anaconda, code blocks.
- To run any Python script, the system must have a Python interpreter installed in the system.
- As discussed above, Python is a server-based scripting language; it is used to build different dynamic web applications on the programmer side.
- After development, these pages are sent to the client-side that runs on different users' browsers simultaneously.
Being a scripting language, Python is:
- Easy to use and learn
- Open source – accessible by anyone from the net to install and use.
- Powerful and portable – cross-platform language.
- Safe and secure to use.
Simply, programming languages are the foundation. They are used to create complex applications, software, etc., and scripting languages, on the other hand, help the programming languages and interact with other programming languages.
Scripting languages are used to automate tasks at run-time. Every time a script runs, its program must be interpreted and executed all the way, line by line.
Scripts are kept short to not take much time for execution. Compared to a regular programming language, scripting languages take fewer lines of code to perform a task and have less cost for making projects.
There will be no .exe file in the process of executing a script. Every script needs a parent program and a host to be executed.