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Lua is a full programming language -- you can use it to write a complete application without depending on external third-party tools.

I usually take "scripting language" to mean "a language only suitable for combining pre-written components", since that seems to be the only useful definition. Other definitions are too broad (containing such languages as Python, Java, Haskell, and Forth) or too narrow (excluding QuakeScript, JavaScript, or Bash).

In particular, I refuse to call any language a "scripting language" merely because it uses dynamic typing, implicit compilation, or high-level concepts.




I think your definition is wrong, just go with wikipedia's definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scripting_language

Javascript can be run at the command-line just like ruby, python, and the rest. You can write a full application in pure javascript without depending on external third party tools too -- see stuff like nodejs.

Also, I don't know of anyone that would consider Haskell to be a scripting language. If we consider Haskell a scripting language, we might as well consider Java, C, C++ to be scripting languages too...


According to the Wikipedia definition, Haskell is a scripting language (it can be dynamically typed, interpreted, embedded, etc). That's why I don't think it's a useful definition.

How do you write a full application in JavaScript? The language doesn't even define any way to open a file. NodeJS is a third-party tool -- it's not part of the JavaScript language.


While I agree that "scripting language" is a bit loosely defined (though nothing like "object-oriented"), Lua was written with a "hard and soft layers" (http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?AlternateHardAndSoftLayers) approach in mind. To me, that seems like the defining characteristic of a scripting language.

I'm not saying Lua isn't a full programming language - it's actually my language of choice for day-to-day hacking, supplemented with C as necessary. It was clearly designed to accommodate projects where it isn't primary language, though.




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