Q&A: The state of the scripting universe

Scripting languages are becoming more popular

The former second-class citizens of the programming world have leaped to the fore, changing the face of enterprise software development. With the rise of Web 2.0, scripting languages (also called dynamic languages) are now often considered important tools in a developer's arsenal. That's a far cry from than their old reputation as lesser tools for those who can't handle "real" programming.

Dynamic languages are certainly popular. Almost 70% of the 1,200 developers surveyed by Evans Data for its most recent Global Development Survey said that they currently use JavaScript, the most popular dynamic language, and another 15% said that they're planning to adopt it. PHP is used by just over one-third of developers, and Perl has captured about a quarter of developers.

However, like any other tool, dynamic languages are not necessarily interchangeable. Each has its place in a programmer's tool kit. We asked a group of luminaries in the scripting world for their perspectives on the current state of the scripting universe and how it has changed since we last looked at the scripting language scene in 2005.

Our panel included these members:

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