Python is a general-purpose programming language that is often applied in scripting
roles. It is commonly defined as an object-oriented scripting language—a definition that
blends support for OOP with an overall orientation toward scripting roles.

“scripting language” has so many different meanings to different observers, some would prefer that it not be applied to Python at all.

In fact, people tend to make three very different associations, some of which are more useful than others, when they hear Python labeled as such:

1.Shell tools

Sometimes when people hear Python described as a scripting language, they think it means that Python is a tool for coding operating-system-oriented scripts.

Such programs are often launched from console command lines and perform tasks such
as processing text files and launching other programs. Python programs can and do serve such roles, but this is just one of dozens of common Python application domains. It is not just a better shell-script language.

2.Control language

To others, scripting refers to a “glue” layer used to control and direct (i.e., script)
other application components. Python programs are indeed often deployed in the
context of larger applications.

For instance, to test hardware devices, Python programs may call out to components that give low-level access to a device. Similarly, programs may run bits of Python code at strategic points to support end-user product customization without the need to ship and recompile the entire system’s source code.

Python’s simplicity makes it a naturally flexible control tool. Technically, though,
this is also just a common Python role; many (perhaps most) Python programmers code standalone scripts without ever using or knowing about any integrated components. It is not just a control language.

3.Ease of use

Probably the best way to think of the term “scripting language” is that it refers to a simple language used for quickly coding tasks. This is especially true when the term is applied to Python, which allows much faster program development than compiled languages like C++.

Its rapid development cycle fosters an exploratory, incremental mode of programming that has to be experienced to be appreciated.

Don’t be fooled, though—Python is not just for simple tasks. Rather, it makes tasks simple by its ease of use and flexibility. Python has a simple feature set, but it allows programs to scale up in sophistication as needed.

Because of that, it is commonly used for quick tactical tasks and longer-term strategic development. So, is Python a scripting language or not? It depends on whom you ask. In general, the term “scripting” is probably best used to describe the rapid and flexible mode of development that Python supports, rather than a particular application domain.

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