- ASP Language Basics
This article is the second in a series teaching ASP. Specifically, the goal of this series is to teach you all you need to know to create dynamic Web sites using ASP. This article picks up right where the previous article in the series, Getting Started with ASP, left off.
Here is the listing for the first ASP script I helped you create in the previous article:
3 <title>My First ASP Page </title>
7 ' Write out a simple HTML paragraph
8 Response.Write "This is a test of ASP."
As I admitted in that article, this is a pretty uninteresting example of an ASP script. When it comes right down to it, this script doesn't do anything a plain, old HTML page couldn't do. Oh sure, I gave a slightly more interesting example that displayed the current server time, but to be really useful a script needs to perform some form of calculation, or manipulate dynamic information to present it in some interesting way.
The language used for writing most ASP programs, and which I'll be using throughout this series, is called VBScript. Like most programming languages, VBScript lets you store data in variables. A variable may be thought of simply as a named location in memory where data may be stored. VBScript is what is known as a loosely typed language, which means that a particular variable may store any kind of information, be it a number, a piece of text, a date, or some more complicated chunk of data (as opposed to strictly typed languages where you can only store one kind of information in each variable). Before you can use a variable, though, you must declare it; that is, you must let ASP know that you want to create a variable with a particular name.
Let's look at a basic example to help solidify these concepts in your mind. Say you were writing a Web page that performed conversions between Celsius and Fahrenheit temperatures. In countries where Celsius is used, 20°C is commonly accepted as the value for room temperature. The following code creates a variable called intRoomTempC, and then assigns it a value of 20:
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