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Old 10-22-1999, 02:41 PM   #1
Monkey
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Question No more HTML. What next?

Woo hoo!
I just bought my second domain name ever and I'm so excited!
My new site is going to be very large, and I'm planning about a 2-3 month timeline for launch. And I've decided that plain HTML and a smidge of CSS here and there isn't going to cut it. It's time I learn something new.
The site is going to cover a lot of content, a lot of files, links etc. I want to be able to edit them all fairly easy throughout the site. I've considered a mix of several SSI tags and CSS, but ... it's just not enough. I don't have the budget to get a programmer to create a fancy cgi solution.
What other web technologies are good for creating dynamic content?
Sorry to be so vague on the site subject. I gotta keep my secrets though.

-Monkey



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Old 10-22-1999, 05:05 PM   #2
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I use a lot of PHP3 and MySQL. PHP3 is pretty easy to learn and very powerful. Its easy to use to throw up quick little programs. The Style Sheet Generator, META Tag Generator, and Teknosurf Code Generator each took me about 10 minutes to do in PHP3. Your host has to have PHP extensions installed though, that is the one bad thing. Here are some places to learn more:
http://www.php.net

http://www.weberdev.net

HTH

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Old 10-22-1999, 05:26 PM   #3
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You could also put part of your site in a DB. I set this Perl/CGI one up:
http://www.webteacher.com/webdata/index.html

Test DB:
http://www.publishedperfection.com/geektalkbb.html

Admin is easy to use.

What about Flash? It can handle cgi scripts. A rough Demo that searches my Direcotry at:
http://www.publishedperfection.com/geeklinks.htm

HTH




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Old 10-25-1999, 08:53 AM   #4
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ASP ASP ASP ASP

The thing is you need either your own NT server, OR an NT web host (relatively uncommon but not impossible for virtual servers)

However you can pack loads of stuff into one page including the equivalent of SSI, CGI, HTML etc. The number of files to keep track of, and code in each is really simple.

Look at www.hits4me.com/tour.asp
and try the links under 'Find Out More about'. The page changes completely each time.

Look at www.hits4me.com/default.asp

This is a fun page for me
The 'Daily Webmaster Tips' part is generated using JavaScript. The JavaScript is actually dynamically generated every day (differently) on the server using ASP.

Check this page for more fun http://www.hits4me.com/topsite.asp?MID=119245

MID is the top list concerned (I host loads of them at the same base URL). An optional vote= parameter allows voting. Note if you click 'Add your site' the page changes completely. Same file. Additionally there is an admin mode, and again the page changes completely at the same base URL.

With ASP, I can access databases seamlessly, I can code in VB, JavaScript, TCL, Perl or other languages (I wish I knew them all :-)), I can send e-mail from the server, I have atleast 1500 pre-built code components to choose from (about a couple of hundred free ones).

I seem to be the only person here who likes ASP - but IMHO it rules

Here is a sample page in ASP

<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>Hello</TITLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<%
DIM X
FOR X = 1 TO 10
Response.Write "Hello World<BR>"
NEXT
%>
</BODY>
</HTML>

Easy hey


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Old 10-25-1999, 02:35 PM   #5
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WildComputer,

ASP is awesome, but not many hosts offer NT, and those that do usually charge more. You can get programs for UNIX servers to run ASP, but I've never tried one of those. If you find a host that offers PHP3 extensions (also fairly uncommon right now), PHP3 is a lot like ASP, and can do pretty much everything it can if I'm not mistaken.

ASP is pretty nice, but PHP is a good alternative.



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Old 10-25-1999, 04:17 PM   #6
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You are right spencer that hosts offering ASP on virtual servers are relatively rare.

I have not done my own bench tests to confirm it - but I understand that each virtual server (where a single computer hosts multiple sites) takes a bigger percentage of the hosts resources for IIS/NT than a unix virtual server. Not to mention that the hosting company needs to buy NT server licenses whereas Linux is free...

...one other side of performance coin is that CGI is much more CPU & disk intensive than ASP etc. For a very dynamic site you could probably get more power out the same PC with ASP. However for mega sites like Hotmail (as Microsoft found) you can't get a big enough PC to make ASP work - whereas a bank of SUNs etc. will do the job.

I have my own dedicated server for my ASP sites, so I don't know much about hosts. There seem to be quite a few out there though. Also most UNIX hosts (e.g. Virtualis) will offer NT option for dedicated servers

I would forget Alpha or UNIX ASP platforms as a serious host. You loose on too many other fronts.

Anyway I would recommend every one interested in Web programming at least find out what ASP is about, then decide for themselves. From what I have seen to date, ASP is more common on corporate internet or intranet web servers than on web hosting companies for the virtual server reason outlined above.

Incidentally if you want to play with ASP at home, and don't have NT, try installing the Windows 98 option for Personal Web server. It is very compatible.

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Old 10-25-1999, 08:38 PM   #7
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I agree, ASP is very powerful, and at least trying it out is a must. I used it a while back on my machine with PWS. After using PHP3 and ASP, I'll never go back to cgi http://www.very-cool-stuff.com/ubb/smile.gif

WildComputer: Have you ever used PHP3?



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Old 10-26-1999, 02:15 AM   #8
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Not yet spencer

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Old 10-26-1999, 03:32 AM   #9
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Wildcomputer,

You are the ASP guru on this forum, and I bow to your experience in this matter.

All I can say for the benefit of Moneky, and all those who may be in search of more content, is don't over look CGI. I think my biggest mistake of webmastering is waiting too long for some new technology to take the place of CGI, only to see all the new scripts keep popping up that have forced me to learn PERL/ CGI. Unix is still the language of the internet. Linux with Apache web server is very very easy to set up. PERL is not going to die anytime soon, and will probably be around for awhile. (Relatively speaking in internet terms http://www.very-cool-stuff.com/ubb/smile.gif)

One of the biggest free hosting sites, tripod, is going to allow customer CGI.

Even now, I delve into what I can learn, and continue to study CGI.

I know, and hope, that some new technology will come down the line sometime soon, BUT, for today,I know that the most productive way to take my web site "beyond HTML" is to learn to use CGI.

FWIW,
Regards... Questy

[This message has been edited by Questy (edited 10-26-1999).]
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Old 10-26-1999, 05:22 AM   #10
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No religious wars from me Questy...just a suggestion of something worth checking out.

FWIW any server side technology is a major boon: you can do so much more than with client side. CGI, ASP, PHP3, ColdFusion...etc

Pick the one you're happy with, and can afford, and you're confident won't disappear in a quick time frame.



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Old 10-26-1999, 02:07 PM   #11
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No wars my friend, just some friendly thoughts http://www.very-cool-stuff.com/ubb/smile.gif

Since you mention it, just curious as to your thoughts on Cold Fusion. Like you I wonder why we need so many technologies, I had hoped the internet would develope some "standards"

Regarding Cold Fusion, the few folks I know that use it seem to like it. My conern is, that only few folks use it, as you mention, will it be around for long? Your thoughts?
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Old 10-26-1999, 03:27 PM   #12
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Diversity is a good thing [except in incompatible browsers http://www.very-cool-stuff.com/ubb/smile.gif ]. There isn't a "best" technology for servers just like there ain't a best operating system, programming language, etc. it all depends on what you're doing.

Re: cold fusion. I have seen/heard from quite a few cold fusion fanatics, but have never used it myself. I would guess it has enough momentum to be around for a while - whether it will "keep up" with other fast evolving techologies is hard to say, but there'd seem to be room for doubt compared to alternative technologies. It seems you either need a huge community of support (Linux, Perl, Java) and/or big money funneling into a project (Windows, Microsoft products inc. VB, ASP, Java) for a programming tool to keep current.

I have a habit of playing safe with programming techologies. Sticking to popular ones is definitely a good choice if you're in something for the long run, even if you have a harder in the short-run. It's heart-breaking to start over if you "hit a wall" with your favorite technology - which is why I try and stick close to the mainstream.

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