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Poll: Most used scripting language?

I am interested in knowing:

- what scripting language (singular) you most commonly use

- what % of your productivity comes from your use of that language

I'm NOT interest in knowing why it is better than other scripting languages though :-)

Thursday, May 15, 2003

So, I use bash and it accounts for 5% of my productivity.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

perl , 40% coding productivity.
This depends on what you mean by productivity too. I use alot of languages and tools ...mostly on unix.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Define "productivity".

I write many more lines of Javascript than I do of Perl.

However, the things written in Perl are more important and more difficult.

Anonymous Coward
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Good question.  For the purpose of this poll lets define productivity as work/time.  So my total work output per day might be 100%, and my time spent coding in a scripting language is 30 minutes (or 6%), but it accounts for 20% of my work.  Make sense?

My purpose here is not to prove a point, just to ask what others experience has been.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Perl is the ultimate scripting language.

The Real PC
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Given that the most efficient language is the one you know how to use so as to be productive in your work, I believe your poll is invalid.  Unless of course you want to obtain a count like "5 people use perl" "6 people use js" "The rest of the world uses VbScript".  In that case my vote goes for, well I'll let you guess.

Dangerous Liaison
Thursday, May 15, 2003


In pure form, it is perhaps one of the most well designed script languages I've ever seen. Too bad the stuff they put into browsers is crap. :-p

Brad Wilson (
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Python, but it's not a great %.  It's multiparadigm as long as it's pythonic.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Python, although much of the time I'm using it as an application development or glue language, not really as a scripting language.

Tim Evans
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Brad, I'm curious as to why you think that Javascript was well designed.  What do you particularly like?

The reason I ask is (a) because in many respects I disagree that it was well designed, and (b) I like finding out what people want from languages.


Eric Lippert
Thursday, May 15, 2003

JavaScript is the bomb.

Problem is, most people haven't taken the time to learn what the later versions can really do. It's far more flexible than anyone gives it credit for. It was the victim of the browser war.

But it is a truly fine thing.

Arron Bates
Friday, May 16, 2003

So much of my stuff is hacked together with many tools. I'd say bash and perl on top, but often I'll use sed/awk... Of late I spent much time scripting vim actually.

Mike Swieton
Friday, May 16, 2003

I use Tcl ( ) when it's appropriate and when management will let me, which is currently about 10% of the work I do.  I find it about 400% more productive than C, which I have to use most of the time.  Don't believe all the knocking by people who have little idea of Tcl's strengths.

Colin Macleod
Friday, May 16, 2003

Ruby, but there's no easy way to turn that into a % gain, and only because it happened to appeal to me more than python or perl when I decided to learn a 'scripting' language.

I find learning keyboard shortcuts for everything, and making use of record / playback macro's to be where the most 'visible' / immediate productivity gains are. (e.g. Emacs, Word, Excel macros).

Use the right tool for the job at hand...

Gordon Hartley
Friday, May 16, 2003


Anyone going to the Open Source convention in Portland in July?

Matt H.
Friday, May 16, 2003

Bourne shell (sh). TCL w/ Expect.

Python looks interesting though...

S. Gwizdak
Friday, May 16, 2003

I use Perl and VBscript. By itself WSH and ASP (using VBScript) saves me the kind of time I need to save when I write throw away software. But then if I had written the same thing in VB it would be easier to package it as a compiled com object without too much fuss. And over all I find the need to look for commercial components a major waste of time. So if you had compare it with Perl's CPAN network or ColdFusion's richer base API or PHP's massive collection of built in functions or dot net framework you feel like that time would not have been wasted. If you really really know mod_perl, dotnet, or servlets, you could be quite a bit ahead on the productivity curve compare to the average ASP 3.0 or WSH bloke. So the argument becomes one of why would most folks stick with ASP when they could be using something else? Is C# too verbose? Is Perl too complicated to read? Is having to learn Jython + Servlets too much trouble for throw away code?

Li-fan Chen
Friday, May 16, 2003

Perl and Expect , together they are very powerful
Powerful = Do want I want + quick  + works.

moses whitecotton
Friday, May 16, 2003

Jscript can support functional style programming as well

Not many ppl are ever going to get the prototype vs class thing - thats why they are switching to classes only in jscript2 (.Net) They thaught of maintaining dual class/protype character for all objects but it imposes to much of an implementation burden.

I always digged Brendan Eich's 1st website where he let on that he had to implement scripting in netscape over a weekend and just sort of hacked JavaScript together... Later versions were not as self-serving... The wayback machine is a beautiful thing! (Esp when applied to self moderating print media ;-)

Friday, May 16, 2003

Python. Although it's difficult to determine how much of my productivity is it accountable for. Most of my code generators are in Python. Most of the workflow software in my shop is in Python. Most of the prototypes I write are in Python. My last 3 large applications are scriptable in Python. Most GUI mockups I write are Python + wxPython.

I prefer Ruby as a language, but it's difficult to beat Python when it comes to standard libraries and 3rd party modules. And I find Python easier to embed than Ruby.

Beka Pantone
Friday, May 16, 2003


The first code generator I wrote was in perl (it generated c++ unit tests). It took a week. When I re-implemented it in ruby it took 3 hours and I doubled the functionality.

I've not tried Python, but I am very happy with Ruby. I've used quite a lot of its functionality / libraries over the past 3 years or so, including sockets, database interfacing and  win32ole interfacing. I really find it so easy to code in.

I agree that it doesn't yet have the libraries thatperl and python do, but I think these will arrive in fairly short order.

best regards, treefrog

Friday, May 16, 2003

100% VBScript.

Chi Lambda
Friday, May 16, 2003

Vbscipt in windows.

You can just fire up notepad, type in the code, and then save with a .vbs extension.

For batch printing of Word documents overnight and similar stuff, vbScript is really the only solution, since the old style dos batch files don’t work with windows programs.

It is interesting, but the Unix side seems to have a much larger percentage of people that use scripts to automate system tasks as compared to the windows side.

I don’t know if the lack of people not using vbscript to automate windows tasks is due to the difficulty of using vbscript, or the fact that so much of it requites the use of com objects?

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada

Albert D. Kallal
Friday, May 16, 2003

> It is interesting, but the Unix side seems to have a much
> larger percentage of people that use scripts to automate
> system tasks as compared to the windows side.

I tried WSH with VBScript, but I never got it working.

In the end, I just installed ActivePerl, and it worked wonders.

Python and Ruby are on my todo list.

Paulo Caetano
Friday, May 16, 2003


Giorgio Pallocca
Friday, May 16, 2003

I really like JavaScript. I've started to explore Python, but it feels just like JavaScript. Object-oriented, dynamic type checking, everything is a dictionary, ...

Someone asked about functional programming in JavaScript. The BeyondJS web site has a few articles about functional programming using JavaScript. It's a very flexible language!

Friday, May 16, 2003

Personally I use Perl for most instances of scripting.

On another note: I have gotten WSH with jscript to work for every task I have needed a windows MS Only solution. (I even used jscript and WSH to  dump messages out of Lotus Notes in to plain text so I could send to my Perl machine to stripe some information from the resultant text. )

A Software Build Guy
Friday, May 16, 2003

Python 25-75% depending on what I'm doing. Have used Tcl in the past too.

Jeff Kotula
Friday, May 16, 2003

Just to clarify two points:

>  they are switching to classes
> only in jscript2 (.Net)

It _is_ possible to use prototype inheritance in JScript .NET.  JS.NET was designed to be as backward compatible with JScript as possible.

Additionally, it is possible to use class members as prototype class constructors.

> They thaught of maintaining
> dual class/protype character for all objects but it
>  imposes to much of an implementation burden.

I find it fascinating that you claim to know both what we were thinking of implementing and why we decided against it!  :-)

I assume that you read this somewhere and are not relying on psychic powers.  Please let me know where you got this information so that I can correct the source.

To further clarify:

It was not at all that implementing classes which share implementation through both inheritance and prototype  was _too hard_.  We're buff.  We could have done it!  We didn't do it because we did not see a compelling user scenario for it.

Features are not just added to languages for the heck of it or because we think they're cool!

Rather, we start with user requests and user requirements and work out feature sets from the requirements, and then do usability research to see if we've got it right.  Then we weigh the cost of doing the work against the benefit to the user.

People asked for backwards-compatibility with existing prototype classes.  They asked for inheritance-hierarchy classes to promote programming-in-the-large.  They asked for the ability to use class members as prototype constructors.  We implemented those things.

But no one asked for objects which shared implementation through both inheritance and prototypes!  Offhand, I see no reason why anyone would _want_ this feature.  Do you have some usage case for this feature which we missed?  If so, please let me know and I will pass it on to ECMATC39.


Eric Lippert
Friday, May 16, 2003


Since most of the stuff I do revolves around browsers, it of course makes sense but with the new CLI, it's quickly supplanting Perl for shell-based scripts as well.

Chris Blaise
Friday, May 16, 2003

Some sort of make tool.  I see it more as a productivity multiplier than a percentage.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Well, I've been doing about 80% of my work for the last year in TCL.

It's nowhere near 80% of my productivity, though - TCL is great for small scripts and quick windows, but developing a full app in it really strains at the limits of the language.

Had I my druthers, it'd be Python.

Chris Tavares
Friday, May 16, 2003


Everything I tried to do with it was easy.

Sometimes I wish more native interfaces to databases, instead of using ODBC, but even comercial products dont have that :-)

I kind of admire python, though.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Perl. By a big margin

Monday, May 19, 2003

um,well, python. I really like Ruby too.

I'm also using a lot of javascript now that I'm writing for the Mozilla platform.

fool for python
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

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