CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,

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Coding Question: ASP?

So, does anyone here know how to code Active Server Pages (ASP)?

I have an ASP page I need to 'tweak' at the festival website, and so far I've spent many (many) fruitless hours trying to do it... (sigh)

Granted, I've never had any reason to use it before now -- and have no experience with it whatsoever. So believe me, I'm really not beating myself up about this. (smile)

Here are some notes for future reference -- probably not of interest to anyone but me! (grin)

What is ASP?
  • ASP stands for Active Server Pages
  • ASP is a program that runs inside IIS
  • IIS stands for Internet Information Services
  • IIS comes as a free component with Windows 2000
  • IIS is also a part of the Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack
  • The Option Pack can be downloaded from Microsoft
  • PWS is a smaller - but fully functional - version of IIS
  • PWS can be found on your Windows 95/98 CD

ASP Compatibility
  • ASP is a Microsoft Technology
  • To run IIS you must have Windows NT 4.0 or later
  • To run PWS you must have Windows 95 or later
  • ChiliASP is a technology that runs ASP without Windows OS
  • InstantASP is another technology that runs ASP without Windows

What is an ASP File?
  • An ASP file is just the same as an HTML file
  • An ASP file can contain text, HTML, XML, and scripts
  • Scripts in an ASP file are executed on the server
  • An ASP file has the file extension ".asp"

How Does ASP Differ from HTML?
  • When a browser requests an HTML file, the server returns the file
  • When a browser requests an ASP file, IIS passes the request to the ASP engine. The ASP engine reads the ASP file, line by line, and executes the scripts in the file. Finally, the ASP file is returned to the browser as plain HTML

What can ASP do for you?
  • Dynamically edit, change or add any content of a Web page
  • Respond to user queries or data submitted from HTML forms
  • Access any data or databases and return the results to a browser
  • Customize a Web page to make it more useful for individual users
  • The advantages of using ASP instead of CGI and Perl, are those of simplicity and speed
  • Provide security since your ASP code can not be viewed from the browser
  • Clever ASP programming can minimize the network traffic

Important: Because the scripts are executed on the server, the browser that displays the ASP file does not need to support scripting at all!

How to install IIS and run ASP on Windows XP Professional

Note: You cannot run ASP on Windows XP Home Edition.
  • Insert the Windows XP Professional CD-Rom into your CD-Rom Drive
  • From your Start Button, go to Settings, and Control Panel
  • In the Control Panel window select Add/Remove Programs
  • In the Add/Remove window select Add/Remove Windows Components
  • In the Wizard window check Internet Information Services, click OK
  • An Inetpub folder will be created on your harddrive
  • Open the Inetpub folder, and find a folder named wwwroot
  • Create a new folder, like "MyWeb", under wwwroot.
  • Use a text editor to write some ASP code, save the file as "test1.asp" in the "MyWeb" folder
  • Make sure your Web server is running - its status can be checked by going into the Control Panel, then Administrative Tools, and double-click the "IIS Manager" icon
  • Open your browser and type in "http://localhost/MyWeb/test1.asp" to view your first ASP page

Okay, that's a bit daunting. (smile) I get what it can do, but reading the code is another matter entirely.

I've been staring at this same page of code for hours today. And I spent three hours on it Friday night. It's not happening at this point!

I don't get why I can't seem to make a few basic changes without screwing up the rest of it. It's not like I'm really touching the interactive parts of the code. But I suspect I'd be okay if I were only changing out dates and some minor parts of the text. Right now I need to take out huge areas (big chunks of both text and other coding), so I guess at some point I must be messing it up...

While I'm reasonably certain no one else at the festival ever fooled around with this page personally before now, that doesn't satisfy me. I want to be able to make changes -- albeit minor -- without turning to someone outside the festival!

ETA: Well, ignore all that. I just got the page to work!

I may not understand ASP worth a damn, but I can code well enough not to screw it up, I guess. I now feel like my hours (and hours) of work were worth the effort!

And if we need to make changes in the future, I should be able to do them without a problem (a big concern for Carol when I spoke with her today).

Forgive my ego, please, but how much do I rock right now???
Tags: .asp, 2008, festival-website, january-2008, work

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