Thursday, 28 December, 2000

Fun with ASP Programming

I'm still working on that custom Web application for a client (see December 14), and I'm continually impressed with how easily I can get things working with VB Script.  I never thought I'd say it, but I'm actually beginning to like working with VB.  Its oddities still annoy me from time to time, and I dislike having to run the program in order to find syntax errors (the scourge of interpreted applications), but I can get things done so quickly!  I spent Saturday morning writing some rather involved HTML parsing and generation code, and a couple of hours today adding a couple of other needed features.  These are things that I thought would be hard in any language, but I'm able to put them together in VB Script just as fast as I could have in Delphi.  And it leaves C/C++ in the dust as far as ease of application development goes.

Writing ASP pages in VB Script is very reminiscent of my hacking days, when I wrote small programs to solve very narrowly-defined problems.  Small programs give much more freedom for experimentation and they're more fun to write because I don't have to worry about the "big picture" of a huge application design.  My final application will be a few thousand lines of VB Script spread over a couple dozen source modules—a far cry from a half million lines of very-OOP Delphi code spread over thousands of modules.  Sure, it's still possible to write crap, but it's also very easy to write a complete, working, useful application.  I never would have thought that I'd actually have fun writing VB Script.  Amazing.