Term: script

script is nothing more than a computer program – instructions that, when “run” (or executed) by the computer, cause it to perform a task of some sort.

A script is written in, and distributed as, a human-readable programming language. Examples include JavaScript, Basic, PHP, Perl, and others. When a script is run, a computer program called an “interpreter” actually reads the human-readable program and immediately performs the actions specified by the program.

Scripts differ from other computer programs, which are first converted from human readable to languages into a different “machine language” understood only by the computer’s CPU. This converted machine language is then distributed (for example, within “.exe” files) and actually run.

Naturally, there are no absolutes: the line between scripts and so-called “compiled” programs can often get quite blurry.

Similarly, while scripts tend to be smaller programs, this is not absolute. Many websites now use scripting extensively to provide massive amounts features and functionality.

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