On scripting

20.2.09

About one-and-a-half years ago (wow – it’s been that long?) I was working on a semester project for the institute of signal communication at the university of Braunschweig, Germany (http://www.ifn.ing.tu-bs.de/) about scripting languages. While the details of the work do not matter, the more interesting part of this work is my evaluation of high-level versus scripting (dynamic) languages.

My basic point is that dynamic languages are easier and faster to program for than non-dynamic languages like C or Java, because they don’t concern the developer as much with syntax (as in variable types for example) or debugging. In essence, dynamic languages move effort (computation time) from the developer towards the compiler, because it has to spend more time inferring what the developer meant. In dynamic languages, the whole program runs inside a sandbox called a virtual machine, creating even more effort on the CPUs side which also helps the developer spend less time worrying about mundane things like memory management. Also, virtual machines help with debugging a lot because they provide a better idea of what went wrong, and can provide a generally better insight into the running program.

In essence, I think that dynamic languages are the future of programming because as CPUs get faster and faster this shift of effort will mean that development time in scripting languages goes down more rapidly as in other languages.

The paper and the defense can both be found in my slideshare slides here, beware they are both in German: http://www.slideshare.net/derDoc.

Update: I also uploaded my Master and at the same time Diploma-thesis as well as the defenses for it in both German and English to my slideshare account. As well as a poster for NSDI, all of which were made at UTEP, Texas, USA.

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