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Scripting language

TLDR: Scripting languages are programming languages that are used to control and automate existing systems. They are usually interpreted at runtime and allow users to combine simple tasks or API calls to create more complex programs. Scripting languages can be used in various environments such as application software, text editors, web pages, operating system shells, embedded systems, and computer games. They are often referred to as extension languages and can be highly specialized or general-purpose.

A scripting language is a type of programming language that is used to manipulate, customize, and automate existing systems. Unlike compiled languages, which are translated into machine code before execution, scripting languages are usually interpreted at runtime. This means that the code is executed line by line as it is encountered, without the need for a separate compilation step.

The primitives of a scripting language are typically simple tasks or API calls, which can be combined to create more complex programs. For example, a scripting language might provide commands for opening a file, reading its contents, and performing some operations on the data. These commands can be combined in a script to automate a specific task.

Scripting languages are often used in specific environments, such as application software, text editors, web pages, operating system shells, embedded systems, and computer games. In these contexts, a scripting language can be seen as a domain-specific language tailored to a particular environment. For example, in the context of scripting an application, the scripting language is also known as an extension language.

Scripting languages can also be categorized as very high-level programming languages, as they often operate at a high level of abstraction. This means that they provide a simplified syntax and semantics, making them easier to learn and write. Some scripting languages are strictly interpreted, while others use a form of compilation.

Examples of scripting languages include AWK, Bash, Groovy, JavaScript, Lisp, Lua, Perl, PowerShell, Python, Ruby, sed, Tcl, and Visual Basic for Applications. These languages vary in their level of specialization and general-purpose capabilities.

In addition to their use in software development, scripting languages are also used in other domains. For example, some game systems have been extended using scripting languages to add functionality and allow users to create custom game variants. Similarly, some text editors support macros written in a scripting language to automate repetitive tasks.

Overall, scripting languages provide a flexible and accessible way to control and automate existing systems. They allow users to write code that can be executed at runtime, making it easier to customize and extend the functionality of various applications and environments.

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