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Learn VBScript
Part 1: VBScript -- The 'Worker Bee'
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Should you use VBScript in client side web page coding? Tell us what you think in the message board.
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Compared with the rich development environment that you find in Visual Basic, VBScript sometimes seems like 'poor relation'. Nothing could be further from the truth! VBScript is a language that you can use where the 'rich' - but resource intensive - Visual Basic just won't fit. At the same time, VBScript is very closely related to Visual Basic because it uses the same syntax and operators. The lastest version even allows you to use the Class statement to create your own 'class' objects! (If you're just starting out, that may not have a lot of meaning for you, but rest assured, it's very classy!)

A Good Host

VBScript (officially, "Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition") is what is called a "hosted" language. That means that the code to actually run VBScript must already be built into some other software in advance. By contrast, Visual Basic has what is called a 'runtime' module - the software necessary to run Visual Basic is self contained and can be installed for greater independence from other software. At present, Microsoft provides three 'host' environments for VBScript:
  • IE (Internet Explorer) - Microsoft's web browser software
  • IIS (Internet Information Server) - Microsoft's web server software
  • WSH (Windows Script Host) - A 'host' environment in the Windows operating system

In other words, VBScript works on your end of the web pipe, on the other end of the web pipe, and can automate the internal operation of your computer. For more information about using WSH, try this exclusive About.Com article: Use VBScript for routine computer tasks

One of the advantages of VBScript (in common with other scripting languages) is that it's written in plain, ordinary ASCII text. That means that your 'development environment' can be something as simple as Notepad. This makes it ideal as part of, for example, an HTML web page.

More sophisticated software for developing scripts certainly is available. Microsoft, for example, offers the 'Script Debugger' which lets you step through VBScript source code, add break points, and other functions. Download it here. In general, HTML editors also support script editing. So before starting a hunt for a script editor, check to see what kind of script support is in your favorite web page editor. Frontpage 2000, for example, supports the Microsoft Script Editor as shown below.

The next page illustrates using VBScript with the same 'Two Button Form' on a web page with VBScript that was introduced in Learning Visual Basic.

Next Page > >The "Two Button Form" With VBScript

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