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VBScript in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition

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VBScript in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition, 9780596004880 (0596004885), O'Reilly, 2003
Lightweight yet powerful, VBScript from Microsoft® is used in four main areas: server-side web applications using Active Server Pages (ASP), client-side web scripts using Internet Explorer, code behind Outlook forms, and automating repetitive tasks using Windows Script Host (WSH). VBScript in a Nutshell, Second Edition delivers current and complete documentation for programmers and system administrators who want to develop effective scripts.

Visual Basic Scripting Edition, or VBScript, as it's commonly called, began its life amid a certain amount of fanfare as a client-side scripting language for web browsers. Its appeal was that it was a subset of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), the most widely used programming language in the world, and hence promised to make Internet programming easy not only for the huge installed base of VB/VBA programmers, but also for new programmers.

But for the most part, VBScript failed to deliver on its promise as a client-side scripting language. The problem wasn't the language or its capabilities; rather, VBScript suffered because it was the second language to arrive in the arena of client-side scripting and was never able to supplant its rival, JavaScript. In fact, Netscape Navigator, the browser with the largest market share at the time, completely failed to support VBScript, leaving it a language that could be used exclusively for client-side scripting on corporate intranets (or for content providers on the public Internet who didn't care that their content was incompatible with most browsers).

But while VBScript's success as a client-side scripting language has been marginal, it has become one of the three major scripting languages (along with JavaScript and Perl) in use today. With the release of Internet Information Server (IIS) 2.0 in 1997, VBScript rapidly became the primary scripting language used in developing Active Server Pages (ASP), Microsoft's server-side scripting technology for IIS. Also in 1997, Microsoft released the first version of Outlook, which was programmable and customizable only by using VBScript. Finally, in 1998, Microsoft released the first version of Windows Script Host (WSH), the long awaited "batch language" for Windows. Here again, VBScript rapidly emerged as the predominant choice for writing WSH scripts.

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