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Coding vs. Scripting

What is scripting? What is coding? How are they different?

Dear Ada,
I LOVE your daily tips. They are amazing and give me great info every day…it’s one of the only daily newsletters I get and definitely one of the best things I’ve signed up for!

I came across a question today that I was wondering if you could help with…what is scripting language versus coding? (Does that question even make sense?) I was on a webinar and they mentioned scripting vs. coding and I can’t find a good explanation of the difference.

Yours,
Coding and a bit confused

 

Dear Coding,
This is a great question, and something I found super confusing when I first started working in development.

The way you should think about it is like this: coding is a catch all for any type of computer language writing. Scripting is a specific type of coding. There are other types too, like markup. But no matter what, if you are writing stuff for a computer to understand you better believe that you are coding!

You can think of it like this:

Coding:

  • Scripting Languages:
    • JavaScript – for the frontend
    • PHP – for that backend
    • Python – for Monty Python loving backenders
    • Ruby – another one for the backend
  • Mark up:
    • HTML – for that hypertext
    • CSS – for styles

 

Now, what is scripting? Good question!

In this context, scripting just means any code that automates a process that would otherwise need to be done step by step by a person.

For example, let’s say that I were collecting questions from readers.

Now, I could have you call me and ask me a question, and then I would write down your question, and then I could input it into our database under the name Coding. Then you could decide you wanted to add to the question and you could call me again and tell me your change, and I could go back into the database and change the question and save it again.

As fun as that all would be, it would be even more fun if I wrote a script that allowed you to email me the question and then automatically saved the question in the database under your name, and even allowed you to email me your edits, and update the database.

And I could just sit back and watch Gilmore Girls while my script toils away.

In other words, scripting is awesome and can make your life much easier.

Yours truly,
Ada Lovelace

Your email address will not be published.

3 comments

  1. Bob Breinl Replied

     … I have thought this question like that code is a compiler talking to the microchip in machine code and everything else is a script … everything that is anything logistically descriptive like IF (x) THEN (y) reads like a script of a real language whether it is logic in a spoken language or a computer language (JavaScript, AppleScript etc) … script=language , code=machineCode ??? just my thought on the matter

    • FRANK WEYL Replied

      NO MATTER HOW COMPLEX THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE CPU, IT IS STILL IS BLOCKS OF TRANSISTORS WHICH ARE EITHER ON OR OFF.
      TO FULLY CONTROL THESE THIS BLOCKS, ONE MUST FIRST UNDERSTAND THE PIN-OUTS OF THE CPU.
      MACHINE LANGUAGE IS THE ONLY PRECISE WAY OF RENDERING COMPLETE CONTROL OF THE CPU AND ITS INTENDED PURPOSE.
      ALL BOOLEAN LOGIC IS INHERENT WITHIN ITS STRUCTURE. THERE ARE OTHER MESO-STRUCTURES SUBSERVIENT TO THE LOGICAL MATHEMATICAL LOGIC STRINGS WHICH HAVE BEEN SHOWN TO ENHANCE OR MODIFY THE INSTRUCTION (SET).
      LIKE ALL LANGUAGES, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE ERRORS IN UNDERSTANDING AND PRECISION.
      MACHINE CODE IS LENGTHY AND CAN BE TEDIOUS TO CONSTRUCT.
      BUT I WOULD RATHER AVOID A ROADFULL OF POTHOLES THAT I KNEW WERE THERE, THAN DRIVING HEADLONG INTO A LOGICAL DILEMNA.
      COMPLEXITY PRODUCES ERRORS….

  2. RC Replied

    I’ve studied both and I enojoy scripting way better, developed platform on java and objc, but its not for me I believe coders need to be imaginative and creative creating something out of nothing is f#cking hard specially for me I’m not good at that, even with the help of ample smace cakes doesnt help, That’s why i’d rather automate t. been loving now, steady song puppet everything going smooth deploy sit back and chill

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