Is the standard Python implementation considered as a programming language or a scripting language?

As mentioned in What’s the difference between Scripting and Programming Languages? article:

Basically, all scripting languages are programming languages. The theoretical difference between the two is that scripting languages do not require the compilation step and are rather interpreted. For example, normally, a C program needs to be compiled before running whereas normally, a scripting language like JavaScript or PHP need not be compiled.

Applications of Scripting Languages :

  1. To automate certain tasks in a program
  2. Extracting information from a data set
  3. Less code intensive as compared to traditional programming languages

Applications of Programming Languages :

  1. They typically run inside a parent program like scripts
  2. More compatible while integrating code with mathematical models
  3. Languages like JAVA can be compiled and then used on any platform

Also, as mentioned in another article Difference Between Scripting Language and Programming Language:

A scripting language generally sits behind some programming language. Scripting languages generally have less access to the computer’s native abilities since they only run on a subset of the programming language.Scripting languages are generally slower than programming languages.

More details from Quora’s post Why is Python called “a scripting language”?:

Just because something is interpreted doesn’t mean it’s a scripting language — after all, Python can be compiled. And standard Python compiles Python code into bytecode and interprets that, just like Java. But you never see Java called a “scripting language.” Also, there are C interpreters out there. If anyone cares to put in the effort, any language can be either compiled or interpreted.


Python is considered a scripting language because of a historical blur between scripting languages and general purpose programming languages. In fact, Python is not a scripting language, but a general purpose programming language that also works nicely as a scripting language.

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