Three types of programming

In today's IT world, and as we enter the next century, there are three basic ways that software is written.

  • Static (e.g., HTML, tables, Visual-anything-builder)
    Create interfaces, display layout, and high-level order. Very rapid to develop and usually easy to understand. Limitations are reached quickly and cannot be overcome without system or scripting languages.

  • System (e.g., C/C++, Java, Pascal)
    Create core tools and engines. Very powerful. Complexity leads to long development times, long debugging times, and shortage of the types of people who can handle and enjoy this type of work. Results are often inflexible.

  • Scripting (e.g., Perl, Tcl, JavaScript, Rexx, VB-language)
    Simpler to learn and faster to develop than system languages, but not as fast as the pure static tools. Best used to customize and connect the elements from the static and the system languages. Scripting is the glue that brings it all together.

These are complementary languages, working best when used together. Example: Pie Chart (a.k.a. Road Kill) was laid out quickly with an HTML editor (static), using the rapid GIF-creating capabilities of a C library (system), and linking the HTML forms and display to the GIF-C library in the quickest way possible with ScriptEase:WebServer Edition (scripting).

It is the third, scripting, component which has rapidly become the most important piece because the companies that best exploit scripting, and the simplicity and power it provides, are those that will create robust solutions faster. Again: Those who master scripting will dominate in the marketplace.



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