Why Is C Not a Scripting Language?
When it comes to programming languages, there are various classifications based on their characteristics and usage. One such classification is between compiled languages and scripting languages.
While C is a powerful and widely used programming language, it is not typically considered a scripting language. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this distinction.
Compiled Languages vs Scripting Languages
Before diving into the reasons why C is not a scripting language, let’s first understand the difference between compiled languages and scripting languages.
- A compiled language like C requires a separate compilation step before execution.
- The source code is converted into machine code by a compiler.
- The resulting executable file can be directly executed by the computer’s processor.
- C programs are highly efficient and offer low-level control over system resources.
- The source code is interpreted and executed line-by-line at runtime.
- Scripting languages are typically used for automating tasks or rapid prototyping.
- They offer high-level abstractions and are easier to learn and use for beginners.
C: A Compiled Language
C is considered a compiled language because it follows the typical characteristics of compiled languages. Here are some reasons why C is not categorized as a scripting language:
In C, before executing the program, we need to compile the source code using a compiler such as GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) or Clang. This compilation step converts the human-readable source code into machine code, which can be directly executed by the computer.
Efficiency and Low-Level Control:
C provides low-level control over system resources, making it suitable for developing system-level software like operating systems, device drivers, and embedded systems. Its efficient execution and ability to directly interact with hardware make it a preferred choice for performance-critical applications.
Unlike scripting languages, C does not rely on an interpreter to execute the code line-by-line at runtime. The compiled executable is standalone and independent of any runtime environment.
Hopefully, this article has shed some light on why C is not classified as a scripting language. Happy coding!