Friday, June 3, 2005

"Scripting: Higher Level Programming for the 21st Century" paper from John K. Ousterhout

With all the Java Scripting language aroun (Groovy, Rhino, Ruby, Jython... and so on) it is always interesting to understand where this come from... but also be able to talk with people about it, especially when they do not understand why scripting is interesting... Googling around looking for some information on scripting benefits for a presentation I found this very intersting article from John Ousterhout, (he wrote the article in 1998) but I am sure you will still appreciate it... Scripting: Higher Level Programming for the 21st Century. One of the most interesting part in this context is the paragraph 4:

A scripting language is not a replacement for a system programming language or vice versa. Each is suited to a different set of tasks. For gluing and system integration, applications can be developed 5-10x faster with a scripting language; system programming languages will require large amounts of boilerplate and conversion code to connect the pieces, whereas this can be done directly with a scripting language. For complex algorithms and data structures, the strong typing of a system programming language makes programs easier to manage. Where execution speed is key, a system programming language can often run 10-20x faster than a scripting language because it makes fewer run-time checks.

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