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Python Exception Handling Python Errors and exceptions Python Assert

Python OOPs Concept

OOPs Concepts in Python Classes & Objects in Python Inheritance in Python Polymorphism in Python Python Encapsulation Python Constructor Static Variables in Python Abstraction in Python

Python Iterators

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Python Sort List Sort Dictionary in Python Python sort() function Python Bubble Sort


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What is a Script in Python

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.

Some other scripting languages are JavaScript, PHP, VBScript, etc. A scripting language does not need to be maintained like a programming language because, unlike programming languages, scripting languages are not used for developing from scratch. These are generally created to interact with other languages and get different components together to create an application.

There are two types of scripting languages – server-side and client-side. Python is a server-side scripting language.

Python scripts

Python script is any file with code in it and a .py or .pyw extension. The interpreter can execute these scripts in many ways:

  1. Interactive mode using the command or Anaconda prompts by entering Python, and we can run the script line-by-line.
  2. 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:

  1. Easy to use and learn
  2. Open source – accessible by anyone from the net to install and use.
  3. Free
  4. Powerful and portable – cross-platform language.
  5. 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.

Environment plays a major role in differentiating between scripting and programming languages. A programmer must be able to create a compiler for a scripting language and use it as an interpreter for a complied language and use that compiled language as a scripting language. An example is V8 in Google chrome's JavaScript engine. JavaScript is a scripting language, but V8 converts its code into machine code rather than the interpretation step.