Thursday, May 24, 2007

Groovy, Ruby, PHP, Python: the revival of scripting languages

Scripting languages have been around for a long time but were regarded as only good for tactical quick-and-dirty applications. Then came the web and the need to add dynamic content to page templates through scriptlets (i.e. javascript). Then came the need to produce web pages directly from server-side (middle-tier and/or database).

To make this story short, 20+ millions web sites today are built using PHP, the most popular scripting language; add few millions for PERL, Python, and so on. Scripting languages got their "letter de nobless" and the rest is history!

Groovy, Ruby on Rails are the new generation of scripting languages. In chapter 5 of my book, i gave few examples of scripting languages running directly in the Oracle database including TCL (JACL), PYTHON (JYTHON), SCHEME and GROOVY. Note: these are just proof of concepts.

Even the Java community is embracing scriting languages through the proposed Java specification request 223 (particularly PHP) but The $1 Million question today is whether or not Ruby on Rails will overtake PHP and/or Java.

Just for fun, see this picture and this video.

Have Fun!


LHFVille said...

Makes you think eh? Is it that Java is just so popular to warrant that many books or is Ruby and Rails so straight-forward that 2 books suffice?

Food for thought?

I enjoyed the picture!!!

Georgi said...

Reading blogs about scripting languages the style you wrote I always remember a conclusion of one of our programmers which made me think, too:

"Scripting languages tend to make simple things more simple and complex things impossible."

Peter Bell said...


No, I think good scripting languages make simple things quicker and difficult things possible (to paraphrase Alan Kay).

They have their place and I think we'll see a lot more project taking advantage of a mix of scripting and other forms of coding now with JSR 223 and the DLR for the CLR.

Anonymous said...

Those languages are the latest in which we must get towards it. But Java's powerful tool and language can't be deny any other languages. Anyway, those information are very much useful and clearly updated.

Varun said...

As mentioned by Peter that Scripting languages makes it simpler. Really I admire the power of scripting language.
To give you and other a short benifit(may be everyone already know) "SPEED". Coz of scripting these scripting languages are more and more popular.
As you mentioned that PHP and CGI are occupying most of the WWW, first reason is quick and second reason is open source(free).
That is the main benifit people look at.
Even the web hosting companies look for less maintenance on the servers so they choose PHP as compared to Java/.Net requires more & regular maintenance (Though I dont know mch about what lacks in aspects of hardware and these languages but I came to know from some of the sources)

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