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On this page I will give you an introduction to various scripting languages. I have planned to cover some basics JavaScript, php, cgi, css, ASP and HTML. In these sections I will cover such as arrays, functions, how to make variables and loops. This is so you more easily will understand the scripting-lections. Please note this is for introduction only, if you want to become an expert I will advice you to buy yourself a book.

Scripting languages can be divided into two groups; server-side and client-side languages. In server-side scripting Asp, php, CGI and JSP are the ones mainly used. These scripting languages are executed on the server before code is send to the client (user). In client side scripting languages JavaScript and JScript are the ones mainly used. No mather if you use server-side or client-side scripting HTML is used for user output and add graphical interface. Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) is being used with HTML for changing fonts, alignments, colors and so on. (In other words CSS is used to make it easier to controll the layout of your page). w3c (W3C) is the organization that sets the standard on scripting languages used on the web. If you want to make a site which you want everybody to be able to wiev you are recommended to follow the W3C standards. If you do not follow these standards you may exclude some visitors from your website. Making a website I assume you want lots of people visiting. When I speak of standardized coding I mean the code that is wieved by the clients browser (html, css and JavaScript /JScript). Using off-standardized code (i.e. some JavaScript may not work on all browsers) some browsers may not be able to wiev the page the way you intended.

The drawback for server-side scripting languages is that they may slow the server on which they are running. This is because everything is executed on the server and not at the client. (Client = machine that is 'visiting' the server or site). When all data is executed at the server it is send to the client. This saves bandwidth and makes it faster for the client machine to display the page. This is because all data is executed on the server; it doesn’t need any preparation or execution by the client computer. No unnecessary data is transferred to the client. When using a client-side scripting language the whole file and it's content is send directly to the user and then executed on the client-machine. This saves the server for work (and makes it faster) but may slow the download time. This is because allot of unnecessary data is transferred to the client. As you see there are drawbacks and advantages of using both client-side and server-side scripting languages.

When making a webpage/site you have two options; either you may use a flashy site with lots of graphics or you may make a page where you have limited the use of pictures and heavy graphics. If you make a page containing lots of graphics this page will use lots of bandwidth and will therefore spend some time downloading. But the advantage of these pages is that it may be more attractive. On the other hand, you may make a site limiting the use of graphics and keep graphics limited to certain pages (like I have done). This will make the site fast downloading but it may be less attractive. (The hottest sites on the web often contain lots of flashy graphics).

If you want to make a dynamic page I recommend you to use server side scripting. As mentioned php, asp, jsp and cgi are the ones most popular server side scripting languages. Note that most scripting languages require scriping engines installed on the server. This scripting engine 'translates' the code into computer language (bits and bytes). As far as I know Asp is the only language that doesn’t require extra software on the server (it is included in Internet Information Server). Php is a scripting language from the open source environment. It may run on any server (on which the php scripting engine is installed) and is allot faster than Asp. Asp is a Microsoft product and is best suited running at a server from Microsoft. The default scripting language is Visual Basic, but you may also use Asp with JavaScript. If you are to run asp-pages on a non-Microsoft server you most likely have to use JavaScript. For a novice programmer asp is more easily to learn than php. On the other hand, if you are experienced with object oriented programming php is the scripting language to be learned more easily. Jsp is uncompiled java-code and somewhat difficult to learn if you are a novice programmer. Cgi is an old scripting language which has a more extended usage than the other scripting languages.
Einar Herstad-Hansen © 2002 - 2024