[thelist] Re: using VBScript vs JScript/JavaScript (server-side) in ASP. Thought about Perlscript ASP?

Chris Nicholls evolt at axe.dircon.co.uk
Wed Sep 17 17:45:43 CDT 2003

 >>.. comments on other peoples' experiences with using JavaScript in ASP

You didn't present this as a choice, but I'm going to have to mention it 
anyway: do you have any experience of Perl?

Perl can be used as an language for ASP, both on Windows/IIS and Apache 
(*nix or Windows); under Windows/IIS it's referred to as Perlscript. 
Most ASP books mention it fleetingly, in passing - but the scarcity of 
info on ASP Perlscript is hardly an issue as the syntax is basically 
100% regular Perl with a few extra ASP objects (Response, Application, 
Request etc) thrown in.

[re-reading your email you say that your client is hosting, so this 
option may be out, although Perl installation is v.easy. Sorry, prob 
wasting your time already. But here goes...]

I only mention it because it is a _very_ good way to leverage any 
existing Perl skills you may have, and Perl is a terrific language for 
text-centric web work.

The code-caching ASP implementation sidesteps the all-too-often heard 
criticism of Perl's performance when run as a conventional CGI.

I have been using ASP Perlscript under Windows at work for 3 years now 
(and Unix at home for 1.5 years) with great success; Perl gives you tons 
of freely available modules for every conceivable task via the archives 
at www.cpan.org.

I have used JavaScript on the client side daily for 4+years. I have also 
used it as a server-side ASP language for a largish project and found it 
pretty laborious. I must point out that I was reworking an existing 
application, and I'm sure my experience would have been different had I 
written the whole app myself from scratch.

I find it very difficult to articulate the differences between 
programming languages; a lot of it is just "feel".
Maybe this makes some sense: one of the [many] sayings about Perl is
"Makes simple jobs easy, makes difficult jobs possible" ( I may not have 
the exact wording)
JavaScript, OTTH, seems to just about flatten out every task to an 
equivalent level of complexity.

Ok, here's a more solid benefit: pure Perl files (those that aren't 
mixed HTML/ASP pages) can be invoked in contexts other than a web 
server. I write my ASP pages so they link in these external, reusable 
"package" files.
This means
- A lot of code components I write can be used for other, non-www tasks.
- Pure perl files can be syntax-checked during the development process 
as you code (within my text-editor - see tip below). This saves a ton of 
time as you don't have to execute your pages in the browser every time 
you want to test a change. AFAIK this can't be done with JavaScript. 

Any more and I'll just veer more wildly off-topic and I *really* don't 
mean stir up a language war; I just think ASP Perlscript is somewhat 
underpublicised <boohoo pour moi>



<tip type="code editors" author="Chris Nicholls">
Multi-edit <http://www.mulit-edit.com> is, IMHO, a truly great code 
editor. (after BBedit, HomeSite, DW, UltraEdit, Zeus, Notepad et al..)
- *Very* configurable, can be tweaked in just about every respect - 
menus, toolbars, keyboard shortcuts etc.
- Excellent syntax highlighting/colour schemes support (incl. embedded 
languages, like ASP/JS in HTML files)
- Macro engine, auto-completion of frequently used code blocks
- Ability to call external apps for syntax-checking, batch jobs, version 
control etc
- FTP support, VCS/PVCS/VSS etc support
- Session/project management
- Very helpful support via forums on Multi-edit website from developers 

No, I don't work for them. I just love this app.

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