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TeeJay (2309)

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Working in Truro
Graduate with BSc (Hons) in Computer Systems and Networks
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Journal of TeeJay (2309)

Tuesday July 16, 2002
09:22 AM

yet more ASP/VBScript woes

[ #6390 ]

already this week I have hit two more serious bugs in VBScript/ASP.

First the recordset implementation is seriously flawed - if you get the values of columns in a different order to that in which they were returned from the Database then you will get empty data once you have read the last column. Worse still sometimes you can't access the contents of a column once you've requested the value of a later column. This is so very broken I don't know how people can put up with it.

Second I got an error message at line 0 because of a syntax error at line 46. When you are debugging VBscript then the line number is critical due to the lack of helpful debugging information.

Half the reason I find it so unpleasent to develop in ASP is because it feels not only unfinished but also insists in the bondage / discipline of Java or C++ without the benefits of OO, strong Typing, References, etc.

As a final bug bear, I visited yet another broken ASP site last night - my wife was using it do so some work for her father who is less internet and computer literate. The site navigated badly, required un-necessary fields, and had unhelpful javascript popups just stating a fieldname instead of 'VAT number is a required field, please enter a value' - finally it crashed Mozilla.

More and more I am starting to believe that ASP is the choice of the rank amateur. I have never seen a single piece of ASP code that has made me think 'oh thats cool' let alone 'if only it was that easy in perl/c/brainfuck/assembler'. gah!

in case you are thinking 'just write less buggy code then you wont have to debug so much', its worth pointing out that with the bad practise and corner-cutting that is the norm with ASP developers most code-reuse is through cut and paste, no Inheritance or abstraction is available because VBScript OO is broken and the includes are quick hack that trample over namespace and scope.

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  • The only good ASP site I've ever seen (for that matter, the only one that didn't come up with errors) was from the U.S. Department of Defense, a website for a software engineering magazine called "CrossTalk."

    I guess that just goes to show you good practices can make up for any language problems. Just think what good practices and a good language can do!

    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • Yeah, They are probably using jscript or perlscript if they had any sense at all.

      ASP is a bad platform, VBScript is a crippled language - the two together conspire against any productivity, stability, reliability, security or performance.

      VBScript punishes you for doing things properly - unless you really really want to copy and paste hundreds of lines of if/else, case/select and dim statements ala cobol then it is worth avoiding at all costs.

      @JAPH = qw(Hacker Perl Another Just);
      print reverse @JAPH;