Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Do Scripters Suffer Discrimination?

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the oh-the-humaninity dept.

Programming 1216

TheTheologian writes "In his InfoWorld column, Chad Dickerson says 'there is a level of quiet discomfort between the "scripting" versus "programming" factions in some corporate development environments in which I have participated. In some instances, executive-level technology management has held scripting languages in disdain as not being "real" languages for day-to-day problem solving, which has discouraged highly talented scripters on staff from practicing their craft. In such an environment, scripters are relegated to the lower ranks ... ' He goes on to say that some companies will assign Java and C++ programmers tasks that take them weeks but could be done by Perl or Python programmers in a few hours. Is it true that some companies are so overcome with code bias they'd assign weeks of unnecessary work rather than give it to the scripting untouchables?"

cancel ×


Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Scripters are fucking GAY (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372475)


And you know what's really funny? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372493)

I got this FP by writing a perl script.


--The AC

even funnier (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372624)

It's clearly not the FP :)

yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372480)


Whoot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372481)

First post

Nope (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372486)

It's all in your head.

Score 5: Funny (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372487)

Yes. Because their fg8s.

Re:Score 5: Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372536)

How did that comment get Score 5: Funny ?!

Re:Score 5: Funny (1)

LPetrazickis (557952) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372578)

It didn't. Its actual score is 0.

Re:Score 5: Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372594)

Are you sure? It says "Score 5: Funny".

Re:Score 5: Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372650)

Its TITLE is score 5: funny. Are you stoned ;)

Yes (5, Insightful)

OneStepFromElysium (549625) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372489)

Yes, often scripters are biased against.

No, it is not fair.

Programming is programming; solving problems is solving problems. What tool you use is just as pointless of a reason to express bigotry as the color of one's skin or one's gender is.

Score -1: Idiot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372514) Seriously, dude, are you like 12 years old or something? Sheesh.

Re:Score -1: Idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372563)

Agreed. He's trying to cash in on some karma by posting early, even though he might have had something insightful to say if he had thought it out. The least he could have done is provide some EXAMPLES of scripters being biased against, since he seems to have such person knowledge.

Re:Score -1: Idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372596)

yeah whats up with the bigotry angle. with coding there is actually a difference in the different languages, but with skin color it's no difference. are you honestly comparing the plight of people who have suffered from racism to a stupid programming language

On the contrary - (5, Insightful)

Sabu mark (205793) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372491)

- many in my company believe that scripting languages are often more suitable for all applications except those where processing power or speed is absolutely critical. The added performance overhead is paltry compared to the development overhead involved in writing code to the more exacting specifications of compiled languages.

True, (4, Insightful)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372584)

but often scripts are seen as quick and dirty solutions to problems that should have been solved by the inital program. Not to mention documentation, scripting is SO free form that it often intimidates management...

Legitimate concern (4, Insightful)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372636)

I'd have to say that that's a legitimate concern.

Most programming languages are designed around keeping a codebase usable even at large sizes.

Most scripting languages are designed around letting small problems be implemented quickly.

They each have a place. Using one in the place of the other really is a bad idea.

First (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372494)


Second Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372495)

Seond Place rocks.

Flip side (3, Funny)

sulli (195030) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372497)

Is it true that some companies [] are so overcome with script [] bias that they'd assign years [] of unnecessary work rather than give it to the coding [] untouchables?"

I once heard (3, Interesting)

t0qer (230538) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372501)

In reference to perl vs. C that scripting is good for a quick and dirty "proof of concept"

IT's called a standard (5, Insightful)

TedTschopp (244839) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372502)

At the very large company I work for there are standards. And if they were followed we wouldn't be in the trouble we are in now with over 16 different databases, 24 different programming languages, 8 different OS's.

The reason a company wants you to develop in Java or C++/C or whatever is to maintain the standard, do you have any idea how much money is going to have to be spent to maintain the employee knowledge to support so many different databses, OS, Languages, etc...

That's what standards address. Now the real question is what is the process to create a diviation from the standard, and is it justified?

Thats what this questino should address.


my belief (4, Interesting)

zephc (225327) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372503)

is that it stops being 'scripting' and starts being 'programming' based on the scope of the project. Processing a web form is scripting. Writing a GUI app (be it in Win32 or wxPython) is 'programming'.

Re:my belief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372550)

Hey, waddaya know.
Visual Studio created a GUI app for me after 4 mouse clicks and the entering of a project name.

I must be an elite programmer.

Re:my belief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372626)

Web forms are GUIs as well. Just because the browser parses your markup to generate the GUI is meaningless.

A GUI app will almost certainly use a GUI toolkit that can potentially make things as easy or easier.

Can't believe this bit of pap is getting modded up.

Guess it just goes to show the first person to post something halfway coherent gets the points.

Re:my belief (5, Insightful)

kiolbasa (122675) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372640)

Sounds good, but I'd break it down more specifically: Scripting is interfacing, tying things together on a higher level. Programming is functionality, algorithms and such. This still has nothing to do with language choice, as many languages can handle both to a degree.

Never had that problem (2, Interesting)

aridhol (112307) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372505)

I've been lucky. The management at my previous job was all tech-savvy, so they knew to use the right tool for the job. The management for my current job are completely un-tech-savvy, so they don't know the difference ;)

Wrong Person, Not Language (5, Interesting)

Washizu (220337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372507)

Typically these jobs that take weeks instead of hours are assigned to the wrong people, not the wrong language. The right person should figure out the best solution for the problem and tackle the problem correctly. The wrong person will go after it in his favorite language and ignore the best way if it includes any amount of work before he begins coding.

Re:Wrong Person, Not Language (5, Insightful)

aridhol (112307) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372566)

That doesn't work if The Powers that Be have decided on a solution ahead of time. If TPtB decide that you must use an in-house language that takes a few thousand lines to code what Perl can do in a few dozen, you can't use the right tool. You have to do what TPtB and the PHB have decreed.

Re:Wrong Person, Not Language (2, Informative)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372577)

"Typically these jobs that take weeks instead of hours are assigned to the wrong people, not the wrong language."

Not always. Most of the time, the choice of language is not in the hands of the programmer. Its the pointed hair manager who decides, which language to choose. And most of the time he has no clue, so he sticks with the *standard* C/C++ or Java. (and not Python even though it may be better in some cases)

Re:Wrong Person, Not Language (3, Insightful)

zephc (225327) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372586)

I agree. I started using wxPython for a project I'm working on in OS X. It's great, and beats the poop out of Swing, but I decided that using the native (Cocoa) toolkit, while it may take longer, will give the program the spit-and-polish I desire from the app.

Re:Wrong Person, Not Language (4, Insightful)

battjt (9342) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372600)

And the "right" language is not just a technical question. If the company only has Java, VB, and COBOL experience and the permanent staff isn't very flexible, the right language probably isn't perl, no matter what the problem is.

On the other hand I've worked in companies that could grok any language. We even made them up when we needed to.


Right tool for the job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372508)

I think any good programmer (or scripter) would know there's the right (or better) tool for any job.

I hate it when I spend too much time writing C/C++ code, and figuring out later that it could be replaced by a simple 4 line Perl script.

Re:Right tool for the job (0, Flamebait)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372647)

A good programmer who knows his perl may be able to replace a lengthy C/C++ program with a few lines of perl, but what happens when that programmer moves on?

To the untrained eye, perl looks like line noise, and may be rather difficult to maintain. Admittedly, perl is rather popular, but suppose that a programmer decides that lisp, haskell, or intercal is apropriate to the job at hand?

Mountains and molehills.. (5, Insightful)

k98sven (324383) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372509)

Call that "discrimination" is hardly justified,
what it most likely is, is good old managerial incompetence,
perhaps with a dashing of conservatism as well.

Anyone who claims that one programming language is superior for all and any purpose is obviously incompetent to make such decisions.

Personally, I wouldn't stay long at a company like that. Unfortunately these kinds of things are very, very, common. Bosses know one way of doing things, and they want it done that way, no matter if its not a good way or not.

Hanlon's Razor (1)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372567)

I agree, and this sums it up...

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

Re:Mountains and molehills.. (5, Insightful)

Gallifrey (221570) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372667)

I think you're over symplifying. Managers realize that the more different languages are used means that, most likely, the harder future support becomes. Instead of just giving the programmers free range in what language they should use, two or three languages should be selected that provide good coverage of various functionality, and development should be limited to those languages.

I've worked places where the developers use whatever language they want. Guess what? Every time one of the developers leaves, their stuff gets rewritten since no one else likes their choice of language. That's not good business.

The title of idiot manager should not be placed on anyone that wants to reduce the choices of the developers. Instead, it should be placed on managers that don't recognize that at least more than one language will be needed and force everyone into C++. Unfortunatly, it seems that if management makes a decision that limits the "freedom" of the developers, they are labeled idiots irregardless if their decision makes sense business-wise.

vs programing? (3, Insightful)

nuzoo (588862) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372510)

Hmm. I thought scripting *was* programming.

cry me a river..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372512)

Show me a talented scripter that does not know another language, and I'll show you a dot-bomb refugee.

Depends... (2)

Koldark (267388) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372513)

In my environment, we use whatever solution works. If it is a simple script, we do it, if it is a complex program. We do it!

Re:Depends... (3, Funny)

DrinkDr.Pepper (620053) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372634)

In my environment, we use whatever solution works worst. If it is a simple script, we do it as if it is a complex program. If it requies a complex program we do it as a simple script. We do it!

Script kiddies should be fired (-1, Troll)

Jeff Probst (459812) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372516)

I've never understood why people want to write anything in a scripted language, given that compiled languages (C, C++, Java) are, without exception, faster than interpreted languages (Perl, PHP, Python). Perhaps people who write real software resent those who try to take shortcuts with their software engineering.

Re:Script kiddies should be fired (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372543)

I know this is just flamebait, but I must reply. Scripting has a place, as does "programming". Use the right tool for the task, and you will win (normally).

Re:Script kiddies should be fired (1)

Rocko Bonaparte (562051) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372582)

Because sometimes the development time is faster in using a script than an application. There are plenty of tasks where resources aren't an issue as much as just getting the damn job done. That way, everybody can get back to the real work at hand.

Re:Script kiddies should be fired (1)

Langalf (557561) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372613)

Execution speed is hardly the only consideration, and often is way down the list of priorities. A one-shot, ad-hoc request for data can be quickly fulfilled with a script that might otherwise take hours of programming/debugging. Even fairly complex tasks that are not speed dependent might be more easily maintained in a scripted language. The requirements of the task should drive the language decision, not some arbitrary concept of what "real software" is.

Re:Script kiddies should be fired (1)

bluprint (557000) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372617)

Assuming this isn't sarcasm... It's because frequently the development time is a hell of a lot faster. Sure, you may be able to write a program in C that runs in half the time as my Perl script, but when my perl script runs in 15 seconds to begin with, you've probably spent several more hours (at least) to lave 7.5 seconds. I guess I must be both a programmer and a script kiddie. When appropriate, I use Perl frequently. Other times, I use C/C++ with/without Oracle's ProC compiler. Sometimes one is better, sometimes the other.

Re:Script kiddies should be fired (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372620)

I've never understood why people want to write anything in a compiled language, given that hand crafted binary 1's and 0's are, without exception, faster than compiled languages (C/C++, Java, O'Caml). Perhaps people who write real software resent those who try to take shortcuts with their software engineering.

Re:Script kiddies should be fired (1)

The Locehiliosan (578283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372622)

An excellent example of someone who doesn't understand the strengths of scripting. Apparently speed of execution is the only measure of a language?!? What about speed of development? Platform independence? Readability of code? etc...

Re:Script kiddies should be fired (0)

intermodal (534361) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372669)

how much does this really matter for something that will take 30 seconds to actually run even as a slow interpreted language, aside from overhead from network interfacing that it would take anyway? You're just as bad as these people the article talks about.

I completely agree! (0, Redundant)

xXunderdogXx (315464) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372518)

All the ladies give my Python some respect.

Yes, I'm -that- guy from TV. []

Re:I completely agree! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372588)

That was funny, and I like your reference to the hardcore band. Underdog was good, youth of today was better and Converge will kill them all!

I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372520)

The company that I am working at (Fortune 500) is in the process of a Linux migration on some of their servers. I was asked to write a VC++ application to run as a service on a dedicated Win2000 server. The service reads text files from the Linux server, modifies the text formatting, and then puts them back on the Linux server. I could do this in BASH using GREP in about 1 hour, but instead the company requires a "program", which is going to take a week or two to code, QA, test, and deploy. Crazy.

Re:Solution (3, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372657)

So, write it as a script, put it in a crontab, and make a VC UI that just fetches a "results page" of text and shows it to the end user whenever he/she/it hits the "refresh" button. Pretend you're working on it for the next two weeks, and spend the time you save doing something useful, like reading '., downloading pr0n/mp3/movies/whatever :-)

tools (2, Insightful)

gol64738 (225528) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372521)

People, please use the right tool for the right job. period.

Scripting vs Programming (3, Insightful)

skwirl42 (262355) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372523)

I think the only difference, generally, between the two, is nomenclature. Although scripting languages are generally interpreted, all in all, there isn't too much difference.

So the name comes up as the big deciding factor. You call yourself a scripter, you're actually limiting yourself in the eyes of those who want to see a difference between scripts and "programmed" software. I've actually found a lot of resistance among people who write in scripting languages to call themselves programmers, even when, by rights, they do the exact same tasks.

Of course, no one ever stops to question when a programmer writes in a scripting language... except maybe to say "why are you bothering with that garbage?"

Script kiddies are 313+3 too (1)

IgD (232964) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372524)

In other words, it doesn't matter if you are a script kiddie or a hacker just as long as you get the job done

Not Quite (4, Funny)

LPetrazickis (557952) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372605)

Script kiddies, by definition, do not write their own scripts.:)

Hmmmm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372525)

The End of FreeBSD

[Note: in the following text, former FreeBSD developer Mike Smith gives his reasons for abandoning FreeBSD]

When I stood for election to the FreeBSD core team nearly two years ago, many of you will recall that it was after a long series of debates during which I maintained that too much organisation, too many rules and too much formality would be a bad thing for the project.

Today, as I read the latest discussions on the future of the FreeBSD project, I see the same problem; a few new faces and many of the old going over the same tired arguments and suggesting variations on the same worthless schemes. Frankly I'm sick of it.

FreeBSD used to be fun. It used to be about doing things the right way. It used to be something that you could sink your teeth into when the mundane chores of programming for a living got you down. It was something cool and exciting; a way to spend your spare time on an endeavour you loved that was at the same time wholesome and worthwhile.

It's not anymore. It's about bylaws and committees and reports and milestones, telling others what to do and doing what you're told. It's about who can rant the longest or shout the loudest or mislead the most people into a bloc in order to legitimise doing what they think is best. Individuals notwithstanding, the project as a whole has lost track of where it's going, and has instead become obsessed with process and mechanics.

So I'm leaving core. I don't want to feel like I should be "doing something" about a project that has lost interest in having something done for it. I don't have the energy to fight what has clearly become a losing battle; I have a life to live and a job to keep, and I won't achieve any of the goals I personally consider worthwhile if I remain obligated to care for the project.


I'm sure that I've offended some people already; I'm sure that by the time I'm done here, I'll have offended more. If you feel a need to play to the crowd in your replies rather than make a sincere effort to address the problems I'm discussing here, please do us the courtesy of playing your politics openly.

From a technical perspective, the project faces a set of challenges that significantly outstrips our ability to deliver. Some of the resources that we need to address these challenges are tied up in the fruitless metadiscussions that have raged since we made the mistake of electing officers. Others have left in disgust, or been driven out by the culture of abuse and distraction that has grown up since then. More may well remain available to recruitment, but while the project is busy infighting our chances for successful outreach are sorely diminished.

There's no simple solution to this. For the project to move forward, one or the other of the warring philosophies must win out; either the project returns to its laid-back roots and gets on with the work, or it transforms into a super-organised engineering project and executes a brilliant plan to deliver what, ultimately, we all know we want.

Whatever path is chosen, whatever balance is struck, the choosing and the striking are the important parts. The current indecision and endless conflict are incompatible with any sort of progress.

Trying to dissect the above is far beyond the scope of any parting shot, no matter how distended. All I can really ask of you all is to let go of the minutiae for a moment and take a look at the big picture. What is the ultimate goal here? How can we get there with as little overhead as possible? How would you like to be treated by your fellow travellers?


To the Slashdot "BSD is dying" crowd - big deal. Death is part of the cycle; take a look at your soft, pallid bodies and consider that right this very moment, parts of you are dying. See? It's not so bad.

To the bulk of the FreeBSD committerbase and the developer community at large - keep your eyes on the real goals. It's when you get distracted by the politickers that they sideline you. The tireless work that you perform keeping the system clean and building is what provides the platform for the obsessives and the prima donnas to have their moments in the sun. In the end, we need you all; in order to go forwards we must first avoid going backwards.

To the paranoid conspiracy theorists - yes, I work for Apple too. No, my resignation wasn't on Steve's direct orders, or in any way related to work I'm doing, may do, may not do, or indeed what was in the tea I had at lunchtime today. It's about real problems that the project faces, real problems that the project has brought upon itself. You can't escape them by inventing excuses about outside influence, the problem stems from within.

To the politically obsessed - give it a break, if you can. No, the project isn't a lemonade stand anymore, but it's not a world-spanning corporate juggernaut either and some of the more grandiose visions going around are in need of a solid dose of reality. Keep it simple, stupid.

To the grandstanders, the prima donnas, and anyone that thinks that they can hold the project to ransom for their own agenda - give it a break, if you can. When the current core were elected, we took a conscious stand against vigorous sanctions, and some of you have exploited that. A new core is going to have to decide whether to repeat this mistake or get tough. I hope they learn from our errors.


I started work on FreeBSD because it was fun. If I'm going to continue, it has to be fun again. There are things I still feel obligated to do, and with any luck I'll find the time to meet those obligations.

However I don't feel an obligation to get involved in the political mess the project is in right now. I tried, I burnt out. I don't feel that my efforts were worthwhile. So I won't be standing for election, I won't be shouting from the sidelines, and I probably won't vote in the next round of ballots.

You could say I'm packing up my toys. I'm not going home just yet, but I'm not going to play unless you can work out how to make the project somewhere fun to be again.

= Mike

Some programming requires structure. (1)

expro (597113) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372530)

Choosing a language or programmer which is not strong on structure is a judgement call that is sometimes appropriate and sometimes not.

I think we would need to hear exact and complete cases before we could make any sort of intelligent determination.

Mistakes happen. Bad judgement happens. Also, good judgement happens that isn't recognized by someone lacking expertise and the big picture.

Absolutely. (4, Interesting)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372531)

There seems to be this mindset in large corporations that all "programs" have to be written in C, Java or another "compileable" language. In my job at a very large company (Caterpillar) we especially see ancient VAX-based apps or newer web applications that months are spent on, when a simple Perl script would do the same job in a matter of weeks or days.

Use BOTH! (5, Insightful)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372533)

On a project I designed [] , I deliberately designed the system to have TCL built-in, for a very simple reason.

Scripting has its place, as does more conventional compiled code.

Use compiled code to do the heavy lifting - in my case, things like FFTs, signal analysis, and such.

Use scripting to tie it all together.

That way, when you are trying to figure out the problem domain ("Now, what does the radio expect me to do when it sends a GTC message - maybe it wants a CASSN message? Clicky-click - No, doesn't seem to be it. Maybe a IDN message? Yep - that's it.") you can try things out very quickly.

You can also very quickly string together smaller functions into larger blocks ("Ok, to test the radio, first I do this, then that, then the other.")

I cannot even begin to imagine how long simple things would take if we didn't have an embedded scripting language.

All in how you say it. (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372539)

"I am good at scripting." == lame.
"ph34r my l337 skr197x0r sk1llz, f44g0rz." == cool.

Hardware is so fast and cheap... (3, Insightful)

Univac_1004 (643570) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372540)

..that the only time that really counts is programming time. Execution time is trivial. And this saving continues to be true over the entire lifecycle of any product. [as an assembler and C/C++ coder I will admit certain exceptions do exist in hardware dependent areas, but these are rare & getting rarer -- which is why I'm looking for work ;D

Blame the dot-com goldrush... (4, Interesting)

mbessey (304651) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372545)

Hey, if all those art majors and wanna-be fashion designers hadn't decided to become "web developers", maybe someone who can write an actual program in Perl might get some respect.

Seriously, scripting languages have been "tainted" by the Web. "If it's a script, it can't possibly be worth anything" is a pretty common mind-set these days.

While I've seen some pretty awful C and C++ code out there, it's nothing compared to the horror of amateur Perl or (shudder) Shell scripts.

It's interesting to consider that scripting languages have been able to ride Moore's Law to the extent that you can reasonably implement things in a scripting language hat would have really needed to be compiled a short time ago.


Scripting is a *lesser* form of programming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372548)

Sorry to point this out so bluntly, but scripting is a *lesser* form of programming. Scripts are usually very specific to their task (i.e. they take in non-generic inputs/generate specific output). The actual code in a script is usually structured very badly, without any regard to future maintainability of the code. Primary task is to get the script working to solve a particular problem as quickly as possible, resulting in code that is of lesser quality than a program would be that solved the same problem.

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this (non-maintainability/bad code etc.) in some cases... I'm just trying to point out, why some firms would be prepared to "waste" 5 days (time and $$$) getting a "program" written to deal with the problem, rather than a "script".

A rose by any other name (4, Insightful)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372551)

Scripter, programmer what's the difference? The thought process is the same whether you are using cshell, java, assembler or any other programming tool. This is like saying that speaking another language will make a difference in mathematics.

Why? 'cos Perl sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372553)

Answer, yes. Reason--because Perl sucks. If you want a problem solved in a few hours and you want the resulting product to be unmaintainable, call a Perl scripter. The Perl guys have given all scripters a bad name--I don't know anything in my workplace that is built with Perl that is maintainable by anyone other than the scripter who wrote it. Quality of the solution over the speed of the solution---

Funny how those companies work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372554)

Should they take a look at the scope of the work. Do some estimation, then assign the time? Yes, if they assign the time wrongly, why the programmers/scripters words up?

Then, no one has good estimate on things, so, shouldn't the engineers/programmers/scripters update the progress to his boss on detail basic so, things would not be so understimated?

Certainly (5, Insightful)

kafka93 (243640) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372555)

I don't know about 'weeks', but there's little doubt in my mind that tasks are often assigned to C or other 'proper' languages that could more easily be tackled with a so-called scripting language. Whether this comes down to 'prejudice' or mere ignorance to the potential of perl and the like is open to question.

And, without wishing to develop too much of a flamewar, this same issue comes up -- more frequently, even -- with the battle between 'traditional' web development languages that use CGI -- notably perl and C -- and more modern languages like PHP, ASP, etc. It's my view that a truly experienced and effective developer, whatever the particular circumstances or decisons to be made, will be sufficiently open-minded to consider multiple alternatives: those who show a propensity for platform elitism, or for discounting certain solutions out of hand, often seem to prove poor developers - for the very reason that they show a lack of imagination, an unwillingness to consider different options, and so forth.

Also, people often only consider one side of the equation -- and it's the least important side: the particular language used often has vastly less impact upon the success of a development than does the ability of the developer to write clean code, to think in a sensible fashion -- and to get a *full* picture of what's going on. Take Slashdot -- perl-driven, perhaps, and working reasonably well in its way -- but betraying a lack of understanding of modern web development techniques such as the use of XHTML/CSS in place of kludgy tables and the like.

Long story short: the language won't make the difference, and the developer or manager who thinks it will is deluded -- and will pay for it in the long term.

Yup. (1)

ambisinistral (594774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372556)

There is a bias where I work. Where I work you're not a "developer" unless your code gets compiled. What's worse is they've been using that definition to deny pay raises lately. Well, except for themselves of course.

Scripting Languages are Superior (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372558)

for optimum use of porgramming time. A programmer can often accomplish the same amount of productive work in one tenth the time using scripting languages such as Ruby, Python, Perl, etc., than when using systems languages like C, C++ and Java. This is a real productivity savings that companaies ignore at their peril; processor speeds are improving as Moore's Law operates over time; but human brains are hard wiored and don't evolve so fast ;-)))

Programmer productivity, that's what it is all about; I defy anyone to define a good reason not to use scripting languages where they are appropriate! (Fire away!)

Scripting Language City at offers many detailed insights into scriptign langauiges, their uses, and how to learn them and get the most out of them.

PSST (2, Insightful)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372559)

C is a scripting language. It is no less interpreted than Perl. Perl can, by the way, be compiled into assembly code. So can PHP, I believe. C cannot run on its own, nor can Perl or PHP - it must all go through a middleman (interpreter/compiler) first.

The ONLY language that IS NOT scripting language, is assembly/machine language. Machine code needs no middleman interpreter or compiler to run. It is also 100,000 times harder to code and debug.

C is just more.. prestigious... than other scripting languages.

Mod this post UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372642)

Really..I just finished my last My Own Operating System project (MYVBSOS) in VBscript yesterday.. Really it so ultra fast...

It's about stability (4, Insightful)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372564)

When you are building a software application, you try to get everything synchronized, so all programmers will be able to understand and feel confident in each other's code.

Many times programmers, in charge of maintenance, have had to search through code only to find the bug related to a script which does not follow the norm of the project.

Therefore, in a serious project, with millions invested, scripting can be a dangerous shortcut that may plague the project a year later.

My point is not that scripting is a waste of time or an unneccesary technique, since it can indeed be useful, but it is likely that an average manager's gut instinct to avoid the technique unless it is the only way to achieve something, because the more it's intermixed with C or Java code, the less standardized the project becomes.

A concept may be easier to express in Chinese, but you don't see many novels written in English with Chinese added here and there. Uniformity often leads to quality.

Script languages are for cut&pasters anyway (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372573)

Wannabe a programmer? Just learn how to cut and paste CPAN perl code.

Learn to cut and paste or learn to program. Perl is for the cut and pasters.

So many perl support mailing lists are cluttered with questions like where can i find a program that sorts this or writes that?...

Cut and pasting is not programming.

I want to maintain complete control over my programming environment. C rocks. Perl sucks.

There is an abundance of perl code available.
If your desire is to become a cut and paster.

Learn to program
Learn to cut and paste perl.

Ask a c programmer what his program really does. He can tell you.

Ask a perl paster what his program really does. Chances are he might be able to recite perl syntax.

If you are one of the masses, go with perl.

Its easy and requires less work.

Wannabe a programmer or a paster?
Its your call...

Oh please! (1, Insightful)

sielwolf (246764) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372576)

Not only are the two groups not-mutually exclusive, but both tools are used akimbo. How often do programmers run their compiled binaries with shell scripts? Or Perl?

Any such distinction between them is better explained along the software programmer versus system admin dimension (programmers do more programming, admins more scripting). At that point its more of a trivial social exercise: the same with Emacs versus Vi (and how often has someone been "discriminated" against for that?).

In the end this is ridiculous. No one is getting denied health care, civil rights, or a way of living depending on their ability to code or script. If work was denied to you it just means the person is an asshole. And assholes only follow their own twisted logic. They might shit on you for being a woman, or fat, or any other non-important reason.

In the real world, this pales against real issues.

Of course it's true (2, Interesting)

gewalker (57809) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372583)

As a consultant for many years, I can assure you I've seen bias in many forms in many companies

Male vs. Female
White vs. Black
In-house vs consultant.
Cronies vs. Others.
Bootlickers vs. others.
Microsoft vs. Linux
C++ vs. VB.

Why should scripters vs. coders be excluded?

Now, if corporations are stupid enough to be biased (as opposed to simply making logical decisions based on the facts), they are hurting themselves, and hurting others. If you are so affected you should: A) complain, B) find new employment, C) put up with it but let it not bother you. Personally I prefer B, but A and C are also reasonable choices in some cases.

Source (2, Interesting)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372585)

A lot of companys don't like scripted languages because the source is required to run the code. For small companys like the one I work for this isn't a problem, but larger companys that may spend a lot of money developing there programs may feel better if they only have to distribute binaries.

No doubt that scripting is a better choice from a programming point of view for many of these types of systems, but often it's not the programmers making the choices ;)

Can understand both sides!

Yes, As long as Program Managers are morons (1)

clevelandguru (612010) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372587)

I think it is lot to do with the Program Manager who decides how a task has to be implemented. In most cases, these guys are not technically good.

Poor Management (1)

gotvim (610753) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372592)

I've experienced this first hand in the past, when I was merely a "scriptor". I don't believe however that it is descrimination so much as poor management, or managements lack of understading it's uses. A good manager should be well-rounded and probably a programmer her/himself with knowledge of both compiled and scripted languages. I've recently become pretty handy at both, and I'm finding that more often than not, I end up choosing a script, say perl or php,etc over c or java for day to day utitilties.

Standards are great but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372599)

Why should the standard be a Programming Language (C++ or Java) and not a Combination of Programming Languages and Scripting languages (Java & Perl)

As its been said in the past, always use the best tool for the job. And sometimes you need to standardize on a set of tools instead of one tool (Metrics vs. Standard, etc.).

At my office we use Java for quick GUI apps but use Perl when trying to manipulate files before processing in the Java apps. Trying to do it all in on language would take way too long and way too complicated.

As far as maintenance, keeping up to date on Perl and Java isn't too tough. Just keep the # of languages to a minimum and things should be just fine.

I guess I am biased against scripters as well... (5, Insightful)

shodson (179450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372601)

I guess I would be labelled as biased as well. Scripters often are talented, home-grown and self-taught but true enterprise systems require more enterprise-capable features and capabilities offered by RDBMSs, tranaction coordinators, asynchrnouse messaging, distributed computing, etc. I'm sure some or all of those things can be accomplished with scripts as well but vendors and products in these categories tend to API their products to programmers (Java, C++, .NET)

Also, I find scripts like Perl/PHP/ASP and other harder to maintain for larger projects. And, if the original scripter is fired/laid off how much easier is it for a new scripter to jump in and successfully maintain that code base? I think people in OOP-land work really hard to creating standards and methodologies that make code maintainable over the long haul (just attend an OOPSLA conference some time).

As far as hiring biases, it depends. I've seen people hire scripters because they can get their site up just as good or even better than a programmer. That works great in small organizations, but if you are working on products with 100+ developers then scripting becomes pretty painful, hirers of large teams would probably rather like to stick with tradidional business development tools, languages, platforms, products, etc.

Flame away...

Discrimination or Ignorance? (1)

TPIRman (142895) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372603)

the real developers spend days and weeks writing Java and C++ code to solve problems that those talented Perl or Python programmers could have knocked out in a few hours

This phenomenon sounds like ignorance of scripting's capabilities rather than discrimination against it. I doubt that many companies would deliberately assign extra work just to stick it to the Perl programmers. C++ would seem like the safe solution to a manager too busy or lazy to learn about a scripting approach. To the most literal-minded manager, a "program" will likely seem like a more robust solution than a "script." It's a PR problem.

scripting not the problem (2, Insightful)

t'mbert (301531) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372607)

The problem that arises is that many scripts become mission critical, and yet are "hidden" in root crons or some other root-owned facility, and are not maintained in the corporate source control system. So other developers can't see or alter them. Worse, they don't often go through the same QC process as other pieces of software in the organization.

There is a healthy aversion by management to anything that is critical but not touchable but by a few, and which breaks all the controls put in place by management.

I personally like scripting. It does solve every-day problems efficiently. But I think it gets a bad wrap because of these lack of controls.

can scripters program (1)

cheeseSource (605209) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372608)

Anyone that can script cannot necessarly program. Whereas those that can program can pick up a scripting language in very little time. However if you have someone who can script and a programmer who hasn't picked up that particular scripting language then common sense says go with the scripter as they already know what the heck they are doing.

There are no scripters. (3, Funny)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372609)

There's no such thing as a 'scripter;' there are merely those who use just-in-time or per-execution compilers.

You better believe it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372614)

I'm one of the people hit by this. My company used to have a group that was formed to use scripting technologies to help customize our core products. The C++ folks in R&D looked down their noses at the 'amateur' work we did, and during the last downturn the group was disbanded, the senior people assigned to core R&D and the rest sent packing.

After a year, they've found out they don't have a single major customer who's operation doesn't depend on some work done by the 'amateur' group, and they're unable to incorporate the required functionality into the core product. They're stuck having people port the scripts in order to get customers to upgrade. Meanwhile, some of the folks that left are making a healthy living doing consulting for our dealers and major customers.

This morning I heard the principal engineer estimate that it would take 2 years to adapt the core product to include some functionality that I wrote in Perl in 5 weeks... 6 years ago.

Scripters vs. Programmers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372616)

That distinction is retarded. Use the right tool to solve the problem.

"Java Programmer" or "Perl Programmer" are things to put on paper, not to actually practice. Why use a hammer on a screw?

Unless you're a "Python Programmer". Then you should be put up against the wall, you commie scum.

perhaps... (1)

lfourrier (209630) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372618)

... the real bad attitude toward scripts is based on experience...

Script are good for quick and dirty work, but when one come two years after do to maintenance, good plain old langage are perhaps best.

I think that scripts should be limited to small and easy to understand tasks. They are often easily broken. They often make dangerous assumptions.

Another point: I know good classic programmers that are also good scripters. I know far less scripters able to become good classic programmers.

I don't know about you guys here.... (1)

whazzy (620752) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372619)

...But yeah,budding Scripters in Hollywood really feel discriminated by the production programmers:-)

Does the end user know the difference? (5, Funny)

aardwolf204 (630780) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372625)

10 Echo Starting Application
20 system "start iexplore -k http://localhost/index.php"
30 goto 10
40 profit

Up to the manager to decide? (-1, Troll)

rasjani (97395) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372631)

Possible scenario:

Depending on the integredity of project manager, he might want to put "coders" to do the job which would take longer and thus quaranteeing work/money/whatever as project takes x+n days to accomplish when "scripter" could do it in x days.

one word: EVAL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5372651)

There's nothing like the good 'ol eval()...impossible to use with compiled languages.

Programmers vs amateurs? (2, Interesting)

guacamole (24270) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372652)

I think it's not about compiled vs scripted languages but programmers vs amateurs. Lots of scripting languages have an easy learning curve and many people who are hired to write scripts have not really been trained as programmers. This, also why we often hear "perl code is such a pile of mess". Well, most of it seems to been written by people who learned it from tutorials and have no idea about basic concepts of software engineering, algorithms, programming styles and such. Most companies just can't afford to hire a person with a computer science degree from a respectable CS school for every job that requires coding.

my $0.02

weeks vs. hours (4, Interesting)

nojomofo (123944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372654)

An author loses all credibility to me when he asserts things like "developers spend days and weeks writing Java and C++ code to solve problems that those talented Perl or Python programmers could have knocked out in a few hours", with absolutely no substantiation. I guess that with anecdotal evidence, you can prove anything.

I'd challenge anybody to come up with a problem that could be solved within a few hours in Perl or Python that couldn't be solved within 2 or 3 times that length of time (longer, but not "weeks") by a competent C or Java programmer. Certainly, there are jobs where Perl is absolutely the right tool. But I have a very hard time believing that there can be that much of a difference.

It's all about the gory details (2, Insightful)

CySurflex (564206) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372655)

One of the purpose of a programming language in general is to hide gory details from the programmers, to allow them to better concentrate on the task at hand. Scripting languages excel in this!!

Otherwise we'd all be programming in Assembler..

Anyone who's ever programmed Microsoft VC++/COM/ATL/STL/MFC will attest that that particular environment does not do a very good job of hiding gory details.

I choose the language based on the task, if a scripting language is good enough and performance is not an issue, I'll be the first one to use Perl or even VBScript.

TALENT is the issue here (1)

Billkamm (322282) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372656)

I believe that scripting is a form of programming and that the real issue here is not the language but the talent of the programming.

Someone who is a god-like scripting most likely can also program non-scripting languages fairly well too. And someone is a moron at programming non-scripting languages is going to be a moron when doing scripting work.

Good programmers are good programmers. If you area good programer you should be able to program in any language.

"Scripter" (1, Insightful)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372666)

If you are a "scripter", then you are not a real programmer. Not because using scripting isn't programming, but because real programmers use whatever tool is best for the task, be it a scripting language, compiled language, whatever.

If someone "can't" use one of those types, then they aren't a real programmer. If someone won't use one of those types, then they aren't a real programmer. If someone always recommends the same language for all tasks, then they aren't a real programmer.

A real programmer says "oh, you don't want me to use Perl? Well, ok, that's not what I'd give me the spec and I will do it in Java."

It seems the be about scale (1)

davi_slashdot (653133) | more than 11 years ago | (#5372670)

Most people think that scripts cannot scale. It is hal true, because most scripters usually write fast and good code, but without documentation and modularity. But I believe that is because the problems usually assigned to them does not need it. If bosses treated scripters equally, I think they usually would have better professionals that always coffe breaking "programmers".
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>