To get back to the original question, I think there's one crucial part: 
libraries. Or modules, or function sets or whatever they're called in [ pick 
language ] sphere.

It's the extra stuff that you can easily add or import which makes a language 
worth while, whether it's interpreted or not. That's whjat defines how much 
functionality it has for you.

Now for scripting languages I'd say perl (if you like) or python (if you like, 
I do) or perhaps ruby (if you like), as all have a lot of libraries/modules 
you can easily incorporate and build upon.

If all you're going to do is shell stuff, then I'd say you should use portable 
sh scripting and nothing else. Or one higher level scripting language (by 
preference), but not a "shell-plus". Like bash...

Or if you really want C syntax , use C ;-)


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