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Scripting Languages

             Scripting languages such as Perl and Tcl have a very distinct style of programming that differs greatly from that of system programming languages like C or Java. Scripting languages are used primarily for "gluing" applications together, using a typeless approach to achieve a higher level of programming and a more rapid application development. Increases in computer speed and changes in the application mix are making scripting languages more and more important for applications of the future.
             However while scripting languages such as Perl, Tcl and JavaScript can be considered relatively recent developments, scripting languages have generally existed for many years, effectively "since the invention of the computer"(The World of Scripting Languages, David Barron, 2000).
             With this report I intend to analyse exactly what recent scripting languages are and what possible benefits they offer to the user. I also intend to examine the reasons for their current popularity as well as provide a brief review of the history of scripting languages. How they have nearly always existed and how they differ from the modern incarnations that have become so immensely popular.
             A BRIEF HISTORY.
             Scripting was first used in the early 1980's and became an essential part of the "Unix world"(David Barron, 2000). "Shell scripting" allowed a program, which was waiting for input from a keyboard, to receive the input from a file instead. Essentially automating applications. This was particularly useful for dealing with mundane everyday tasks such as backing up the file system. Similar techniques to that of shell scripting aided the "Unix world" in creating system development tools, which eventually led to the development of specialised languages for system administration. But more relevantly this formed the basis for the creation of command-line applications, specifically the modern scripting languages Perl and Tcl.

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