I've been looking into the details behind these two different categories:

  1. Web runtime environments
  2. Web application programming languages

I believe I have the correct information and have phrased it correctly but I am unsure. I have been searching for a while but only find snippets of information or what I can see as useless information (I could be wrong).

Here are my descriptions so far:

Web runtime environments -

A Run-time environment implements part of the core behaviour of any computer language and allows it to be modified via an API or embedded domain-specific language. A web runtime environment is similar except it uses web based languages such as Java-script which utilises the core behaviour a computer language. Another example of a Run-time environment web language is JsLibs which is a standable JavaScript development runtime environment for using JavaScript as a general all round scripting language. JavaScript is often used to create responsive interfaces which improve the user experience and provide dynamic functionality without having to wait for the server to react and direct to another page.

Web application programming languages -

A web application program language is something that mimics a traditional desktop application within a web page. For example, using PHP you can create forms and tables which use a database similar to that of Microsoft Excel.

Some of the other languages for web application programming are:

  • Ajax
  • Perl
  • Ruby

Here are some of the resources used:

I would like some confirmation that the descriptions I have created are correct as I am still slightly unsure as to whether I have hit the nail on the head.

  • 1
    If you think the question and your answers are useful then please post the answers as actual answers. As it stands now this post is not a question but more like a blog post.
    – ChrisF
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 10:49
  • 1
    Sorry Chris, I have updated it. Hopefully this should be easier to read Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 10:55

1 Answer 1


At least your part about the programming language isn't very correct. While what you describe is one (of many) options, describing a web programming language as something "that mimics a traditional desktop application" is leaving out far too much (and the frontend part that makes the web page itself run is mostly done with JavaScript).

Most programming languages used for the Web where initially not even developed for this purpose (PHP maybe the only exception). Ajax isn't a programming language at all, Perl, Ruby and Python are scripting languages and used for many purposes, including traditional desktop applications.

Their purpose if used as programming languages for web app backends is to receive requests from web sites, process the parameters that came with that request and render a response or send files. Often as a web page with css, html, javascript, but also by providing data in form of other formats like json or XML

So things are quite a bit more complex here.

  • Thank you very much Thorsten :), I really appreciate the 3rd paragraph. That really explained things. Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 11:03
  • It's still missing a lot, (eg a request must not necessarily come from web site, a crawler like Google requests data as well or same for mobile apps). Response can be a lot and in between it glues together data from everything like databases, fulltext search engine, web services, text files or whatever. The whole thing can be a web service and never ever responst with web pages. Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 11:08
  • btw: while it's nice to choose a best answer if it helps you, generally questions should be at least a few hours old to give others a chance too, especially if like here a lot more could be written. Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 11:10
  • Thanks thorsten, I will wait for more responses. I am re-writing my description now. Thank you very much! Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 11:17

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