Difference between Scripting and Object-oriented Languages

Jul 14, 2021

4 Min Read

Often the terms scripting and programming language are used interchangeably, but there are major differences between both. All scripting languages are included in the programming languages domain, but all the programming languages cannot encompass scripting languages.

With the rapid advance in technologies, there emerged a need for programming languages to integrate additional features and provide a high-level programming interface. This requirement led to the development of scripting languages.

Mode of Execution

The fundamental difference between a programming and scripting language lies in the respective execution method. Programming languages need to transform the high-level programming code into machine languages (low-level code) through a compiler. On the contrary, the compilation step is unnecessary for scripting languages as they use an interpreter. The key difference between a compiler and an interpreter is the compiler compiles a whole chunk of code while the interpreter executes code line by line.

The power of scripting languages lies in the fact that they are used to deliver instructions to other software like web servers, internet browsers, and applications to execute instructions.

Basic Differences

Object-oriented languages are primarily based on the object. The objects constitute two parts: data and code. The data part contains attributes of objects, and the code part contains the functions or procedures. Scripting languages are made up of scripts. These scripts are used for the automation of functions or actions. The scripts are designed for a specific runtime environment. Scripting languages include JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, etc.

Interpretation Mechanism

Object-oriented languages employ a compilation step rather than interpretation of code. On the other hand, scripting languages are interpreted in another language. For example, Javascript is interpreted into HTML, then it is rendered by the browser.

So the fundamental difference between object-oriented and scripting languages is that scripting languages execute inside another parent language while object-oriented languages like C, C++ are executed without a parent program.

Platform

Scripting languages are specific to their platforms. While object-oriented languages can be executed on various platforms. For example, object-oriented languages can be executed on any operating system.

Use Cases

Object-oriented languages are designed to support complete software development, while scripting languages are targeted to facilitate programming in a simple and faster way.

Complexity Level

Object-oriented languages are difficult and time-intensive to learn. The concepts like inheritance, polymorphism, composition, etc. can take a while to learn. Scripting languages are easier to learn. The learning curve for scripting languages is shorter.

Statement Intensive

A lesser number of commands are required in scripting languages. On the other hand, object-oriented languages are code-intensive.

A few short commands can cover the functionality which would otherwise require multiple lines of code in an object-oriented language. This is the main reason behind their growing popularity.

Translation

In object-oriented languages, a complete chunk of code is compiled and converted to machine-level code. So the code is converted in one go. Contrary, the scripting language is sequentially interpreted line-by-line.

Hosting

The object-oriented languages do not need a host or a parent program to execute. Scripting languages are not self-executable and need to be encapsulated in a host to execute the scripts.

Speed

The speed of execution of scripting languages is slower than object-oriented. The run-time of scripting languages is slow because of line-by-line interpretation. The enhanced speed of object-oriented languages is due to the collective conversion of source code to machine-level code in the compilation step.

Error handling

The errors in the object-oriented code are reported instantly as the code is analyzed all at once. scripting languages address the code statements individually and stop interpretation once it detects an error.

Languages

The object-oriented languages include C, C++, Java, C#, Pascal, Visual basic, Scala, Lisp, Matlab, etc. The widely known scripting languages include Python, Javascript, Ruby, Perl, Groovy, Lua, Bash, etc.

A language can be object-oriented and scriptable. Several languages are object-oriented but run scripts as well. Python is a famous programming language that is written in scripts and follows an object-oriented style. Smalltalk is another example.

Types of Scripting Languages

Scripting languages are divided into two major types. Server-side and client-side scripting. The server-side is executed on a web server. Client requests are responded to with HTML content. The client-side scripting languages are executed on the client end of the browser.

The server-side scripting allows privacy because the scripts are not revealed to the public eye. The client-side scripting contributed to faster loading time and reduces the requests to the server.

Limitations

The most significant limitation of scripting languages is that desktop and mobile applications cannot be developed by them alone.

FAQs

What is a high-level programming language?

High-level programming languages include reader-friendly instructions. These are easier to learn as they contain words from natural human language. Python, Ruby, and PHP are examples of high-level programming languages.

What is a low-level programming language?

The low-level programming language has machine-readable instructions. Assembly language and machine languages are examples of low-level programming languages.

What is a compiler?

Compilers convert the high-level code into machine-readable instructions. Compilers are faster because of their one-time analysis and conversion of code to low-level (machine) code.

What is an interpreter?

The Interpreter analyzes the code statements one after another. The interpreter does not include compilation; instead, the instructions are executed directly.

Which language is the fastest among scripting languages?

PHP is a popular and fastest scripting language. ASP is also among the quickest scripting languages.

Which languages are mistaken as scripting languages?

Markup languages like HTML and XML and stylesheet languages like CSS and LESS are often miscategorized as scripting languages. The languages are compiled to another scripting language like the Coffee script and Typescript.

The main difference between object-oriented and scripting languages lies in the execution mode and platform dependency. Enhanced standalone application development is the main reason behind the popularity of object-oriented languages. Scripting languages are preferred for their reader-friendly and quick learning curve.

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