How Java plays with scripting languages

By : |September 25, 2008 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: In recent years, Google search trends show that searches for the word "Java" are declining slightly, and searches for scripting language names, like JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Python, and Rails, are increasing. Some people are talking about the dismissal of Java and its replacement with these scripting languages. Though we can not predict the future of the Java programming language in this article, we have solid reason to believe that Java is still a mainstream programming language in the world, and it will exist for a long time. There is a very large and stable ecosystem around Java, which includes large vendor support, killer applications, wide deployment, development and deployment tools, lots of experienced programmers, mature communities, comprehensive training, and low entry costs. This is the huge momentum of a successful language.

The rise of the scripting languages is driven by agile development requirements in the Web 2.0 era. Scripting languages enable rapid and easy development with features:

  • Featured syntax allows simpler and faster application writing, and performance of specific tasks more easily. For example, Perl is a well-known great way to process text and to generate reports.
  • Most scripting languages are interpreted and deploy without compiling, though the code can be parsed and compiled to the intermediate result when first executed.
  • Most scripting languages are dynamic, which means they execute many common behaviors at runtime that other languages might perform during compilation. These behaviors could include extension of the program, by adding new code, by extending objects and definitions, or by modifying the type system.

However, scripting languages fall short if they are used to build large-scale or mission-critical applications, due to potential scalability and performance issues. Also, most scripting languages are not designed for team collaboration.

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