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I many times read that if you keep updating your website you may consider an interpreted language to be better for this case. I want to understand why interpreted server side language is better if I keep updating my site (such as adding new features or change some functionality).?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by MichaelT, Wayne M, GlenH7, Robert Harvey, david.pfx Jul 22 '14 at 14:52

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Where did you read this? Give a reference. – Doc Brown Mar 20 '12 at 18:58

2 Answers 2

...if you keep updating your website you may consider an interpreted language to be better for this case.

The people who say that are probably referring to the fact that you don't have to rebuild, repackage, and redeploy an application consisting of an interpreted language each time you make a change. For instance, if you need to make a small change to an application written in an interpreted language, you can simply change the source code and replace the changed files on the production server with the updated versions without the need to complete the build steps I mentioned above.

This may be convenient at times, but it's not enough of a reason to choose an interpreted language over a compiled one. It's a pretty insignificant detail in the grand scheme of things, especially with the efficiency provided by build automation tools.

Before choosing one or the other, make sure you understand the differences between the two.

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Does this mean that if I have a website for example built in and I made a small change then I have to deploy the whole site again? – Naif Mar 20 '12 at 19:03
ASP.NET is kind of a mixture of compiled and interpreted. It uses "just-in-time compiling". Read more here. But yes, you do have to compile and deploy ASP.NET applications. – CFL_Jeff Mar 20 '12 at 19:06
For many websites, the costs of verifying that the proposed change works (and/or the costs of implementing a bad change) are high enough that the extra effort of compilation before deployment doesn't matter. – David Thornley Mar 20 '12 at 20:35

This doesn't make sense. There is no such thing as an interpreted language. Nor is there such a thing as a compiled language. A programming language is an abstract concept. A programming language is a set of mathematical rules and definitions. Programming languages aren't compiled or interpreted, they just are.

Compilation and interpretation aren't properties of a programming language, they are properties of, well, a compiler or an interpreter (duh). Every language can be implemented by a compiler and an interpreter, and most languages have both compiled and interpreted implementations. In fact, the majority of modern language implementations utilize both an interpreter and a compiler in the same execution engine for maximum performance.

If English were a typed language, the term interpreted language couldn't even exist, it would be a type error.

For example: there are interpreters for C. There are compilers for JavaScript. (In fact, every single mainstream JavaScript implementation has a compiler, this includes both the ones that are shipped in every major browser as well as the major server-side JavaScript environments.) Of the six production-ready Ruby implementations, five have a compiler (some even have several). Every single one of the four production-ready Python implementations has a compiler. Every single PHP implementation I know of (C/PHP, Quercus, P8, IronPHP, HiPHoP) has a compiler.

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-1 because it's quite plain what the OP is asking. (Uncompiled) PHP can be edited directly on the server because it is interpreted at run-time; C# cannot be edited directly on the server because it must be pre-compiled. – Kirk Broadhurst Mar 21 '12 at 1:30
@KirkBroadhurst - I think you're describing the common uses of PHP and C#. Some PHP apps must be compiled before deployment and some C# source can be edited directly on the server. You're right, of course, that most PHP and C# source is treated as you describe, but this is not a property of the language. It's a property of the implementation. – Corbin March Mar 21 '12 at 15:41

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