Episode 4: Scripting Languages

Filed in Episodes by on February 2, 2006 3 Comments

Recording Venue:
Guest(s):
Host(s): Alexander Markus
Recording Venue:
Guest(s):
Host(s): Alexander Markus
In this Episode, Alexander and Markus talk about scripting languages. Topics include the definition of what a scripting language is, typical usage scenarios, performance issues, programming styles and IDE support. In later Episodes we will talk about more specific topics, such as dynamic typing, reflection, functional programming as well as specific languages such as Ruby.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Asif says:

    I’m surprised that Tcl was not mentioned in the list of scripting languages in use today. I was also surprised that the *extensibility* of scripting languages was not mentioned to make scripting viable for embedded systems development. One could extend (in pure C) cpu intensive portions of an embedded application, developed in Tcl for example. The topic of embedding a scripting engine into a conventional embedded-system/desktop/enterprise application was not discussed either. Tcl was designed from the ground up to be extensible and embeddable. It should not be surprising to note that besides other major projects, Tcl is used as a configuration-shell layer in Cisco routers. The future belongs more and more to high-level abstraction languages that allow extensibility/mutability. Tcl fits the bill in this regard.

  2. dstromberg says:

    Actually, there are few TCL scripts on Linux systems unless you go looking for them, but some of the most popular Linux distributions include quite a number of python scripts out of the box – notably Ubuntu and Redhat. Novell does not ship with that much of either TCL or Python though.

    With regard to Python’s “significant whitespace” – you probably owe it to yourself to look at it more seriously. Granted, in early FORTRAN’s, significant whitespace (and the -lack- thereof as well) was a big headache, but that was because it -introduced- problems. In python, the significant whitespace -eliminates- an important class of problems found in most mainstream languages – that of indentation not necessarily reflecting actual code structure, and hence misleading the programmer.

    People don’t freak out about the significant whitespace in Bourne Shell or Haskell or OCaml – why is it ostensibly a big problem (only) in python?

    If you’re automatically generating python code:
    1) It’s a very easy algorithm to indent the stuff
    2) You probably should indent for a curly brace language anyway, even if the code is auto-generated

    Ruby sounds like a fine language, but I don’t think Python should be discounted based on such a trivial canard.

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