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why scripting languages are slow.

ramesh maredu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 15, 2008
Posts: 210

I read in an article that
facebook uses hiphop to convert PHP code to C++ code, to gain performance as scripting languages are slow

I searched in web to find out why scripting languages are slow compare to programming languages, I could not get convincing answer, could anyone explain?

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Ernest Friedman-Hill
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Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24183

A program in a scripting language, by definition, is stored in source-code form until you're ready to run it. When it runs, a program called an interpreter reads the source code and figures out what it means, generating machine code which can then be executed. Usually the translation is done one line at a time, as needed. That translation takes time, and so it slows the program down. For a compiled language, on the other hand, that translation is done by a compiler, once, before you install the program. Then when it is executed, it's already in machine-code form. It's faster because it doesn't have to be translated into machine code before running it.

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subject: why scripting languages are slow.
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