How does one debug ASP Classic with VWD Express?

Discussion in 'ASP General' started by Jim Rodgers, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. Jim Rodgers

    Jim Rodgers Guest

    My question is simple:
    How does one debug ASP Classic with Microsoft Visual Web
    Developer Express 2005 ("VWD")?

    Looming in the back of anyone's mind when you see a posting
    like this on any newsgroup is "didn't this guy read the docs?"

    Frankly, I "sort of did" a number of times. I feel the days of
    "things that are intuitively obvious" to use long ago gave way to
    "things that are clear after a 'Hello World'" example. And those
    things now are gone (since .Net) and have perhaps given way
    to the on-line-tutorial (at best). Still, I'm at a loss for any easy
    to use instructions for debugging Classic ASP with VWD Express.

    I'm not even sure, this time, what I'm looking for. With VB6 and
    VBA, I fully expect "Step-Into, Step-Over, and Step-Outof" control
    of execution — plus at least a Call Stack window of some sort.
    But with VBScript, are these things possible? I assume they are
    because isn't it the fully-compiled language system that cannot be
    "parsed," if you will, in execution mode? Then again, we have the
    whole IIS/ASP architecture. I've always debugged these programs
    with just Notepad and a browser — and often-times, Front Page.
    And I never was consistently successful getting Front Page to do
    anything clever like grab ahold of an instance of a debugger or a
    broswer and have them all work together.

    I written soooo much in VB6. I'm spoiled by the simplicity of the
    programming scenario (fat client / one machine) and the luxury of
    the VB6 Development Environment. My experience from all that
    work is now reduced to just so many bad habits.

    Before I get into translating all that VB6/VBA/VBScript into VB.Net
    or C#, I need to pay some bills! And this is getting harder and
    harder to do now that my business seems to have moved over to
    100% web-based applications. My productivity is in the toilet!

    So, my friends of the ASP Classic and VWD Express, H-E-L-P !!!

    Jim Rodgers
    Jim Rodgers, Aug 15, 2007
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. "Jim Rodgers" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > My question is simple:
    > How does one debug ASP Classic with Microsoft Visual Web
    > Developer Express 2005 ("VWD")?
    >
    > Looming in the back of anyone's mind when you see a posting
    > like this on any newsgroup is "didn't this guy read the docs?"
    >
    > Frankly, I "sort of did" a number of times. I feel the days of
    > "things that are intuitively obvious" to use long ago gave way to
    > "things that are clear after a 'Hello World'" example. And those
    > things now are gone (since .Net) and have perhaps given way
    > to the on-line-tutorial (at best). Still, I'm at a loss for any easy
    > to use instructions for debugging Classic ASP with VWD Express.
    >
    > I'm not even sure, this time, what I'm looking for. With VB6 and
    > VBA, I fully expect "Step-Into, Step-Over, and Step-Outof" control
    > of execution - plus at least a Call Stack window of some sort.
    > But with VBScript, are these things possible? I assume they are
    > because isn't it the fully-compiled language system that cannot be
    > "parsed," if you will, in execution mode? Then again, we have the
    > whole IIS/ASP architecture. I've always debugged these programs
    > with just Notepad and a browser - and often-times, Front Page.
    > And I never was consistently successful getting Front Page to do
    > anything clever like grab ahold of an instance of a debugger or a
    > broswer and have them all work together.
    >
    > I written soooo much in VB6. I'm spoiled by the simplicity of the
    > programming scenario (fat client / one machine) and the luxury of
    > the VB6 Development Environment. My experience from all that
    > work is now reduced to just so many bad habits.
    >
    > Before I get into translating all that VB6/VBA/VBScript into VB.Net
    > or C#, I need to pay some bills! And this is getting harder and
    > harder to do now that my business seems to have moved over to
    > 100% web-based applications. My productivity is in the toilet!
    >
    > So, my friends of the ASP Classic and VWD Express, H-E-L-P !!!


    I have no idea what VWD's debug capabilities are, however, I do know of a
    simple way to test the script debugging capabilities of your system as it
    sits:

    Open a command prompt, and execute a valid .vbs or .js script file, passing
    the //x option. You may wish to copy an existing script file, or create a
    simple one just for this -- whatever's easiest for you. The only
    requirements are that it must be syntactically valid, and it must have at
    least one executable line of code (i.e, for .VBS files, it can't just
    contain Dim statements.)

    For argument's sake, let's suppose you have opened a command prompt, changed
    directory to C:\Test, and a valid VBScript file named C:\Test\debugcheck.vbs
    exists. At the prompt type:

    debugcheck.vbs //x

    This will attempt to execute the script in the default debugger,
    automatically breaking on the first executable line. It may give you a
    choice of more than one debugging app, some or all of which may or may not
    be correctly installed.

    The goal here is to establish whether or not a working script debugger is
    installed. Debugging ASP script is more involved than debugging client-side
    script, IIS settings, permissions, blah blah blah -- but chasing any of
    those is pointless unless you know you have the software to debug *any*
    script installed/working. Executing client-side script //x is by far the
    easiest reality check for this.

    Simple flow chart:
    ------------------

    I want to Debug ASP
    \|/
    Is a script debugger installed and working?
    \|/ \|/
    No Yes
    \|/ \|/
    Install one, Attach to ASP
    or make one script host process
    work and set break points
    \|/
    Does it work? -> Yes -> Woohoo,
    done
    \|/
    No
    \|/
    [too convoluted
    to diagram here]


    Good luck!

    -Mark

    > Jim Rodgers
    >
    Mark J. McGinty, Aug 15, 2007
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Jim Rodgers

    Jim Rodgers Guest

    "Jon Paal [MSMD]" wrote:

    > VWD isn't really designed for classic ASP.
    > Try ASP Studio, it's designed for debugging classic ASP.
    > http://en.ewebxp.com/



    On that site, I look for info and find this:

    "With no server , you can edit and debug an ASP project with the help of ASP
    server integrated capable of debugging , after you create an ASP project
    simply."

    ....Is this a foreshadow of the Help File?

    Actually, what I am looking for is a VWD-resident (add-on?)
    that can wizard my lazy butt into an easy-to-use debug
    configuration for ASP Classic — and perhaps another one that
    can show me how actually to debug with it.

    I learned long ago at first to avoid 3rd party tools and controls.
    Usually it's just more license fees and an incompatible product
    life cycle. I don't have that kind of time since I use whatever I
    use on about a dozen PC's in a given month. 3rd party stuff,
    for example a reasonable SNMP Manager object, I have to
    keep in just one or two places because of license and, of course,
    configuration issues. Those components get shared only after
    they are compiled (VB6).

    ====================

    As I understand it, there is, somewhere, a set of instructions
    that will show me how to set-up and use VWD for debugging
    Classic ASP with VBScript.

    Obviously, VWD is somewhat hostile towards development with
    Classic ASP. There is no ASP file type in the Add New File
    Dialog, and id you try to use the "Comment" button on the
    toolbar, you get the <!-- --> treatment around your VBScript
    statements rather than apostrophe's !!! I'm not impressed.
    I'd fire the guy who thought THIS was a good idea.

    But I want to use it, and I believe these limitations either
    already have secret solutions, or MS will be reasonable and
    fix it, for crying out loud!

    ================

    So, can anyone tell me how to open my files in VWD can
    proceed to debug them?

    Sincerely looking for help with this,

    Jim Rodgers
    Jim Rodgers, Aug 17, 2007
    #3
  4. "Jim Rodgers" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Jon Paal [MSMD]" wrote:
    >
    >> VWD isn't really designed for classic ASP.
    >> Try ASP Studio, it's designed for debugging classic ASP.
    >> http://en.ewebxp.com/

    >
    >
    > On that site, I look for info and find this:
    >
    > "With no server , you can edit and debug an ASP project with the help of
    > ASP
    > server integrated capable of debugging , after you create an ASP project
    > simply."
    >
    > ...Is this a foreshadow of the Help File?
    >
    > Actually, what I am looking for is a VWD-resident (add-on?)
    > that can wizard my lazy butt into an easy-to-use debug
    > configuration for ASP Classic - and perhaps another one that
    > can show me how actually to debug with it.
    >
    > I learned long ago at first to avoid 3rd party tools and controls.
    > Usually it's just more license fees and an incompatible product
    > life cycle. I don't have that kind of time since I use whatever I
    > use on about a dozen PC's in a given month. 3rd party stuff,
    > for example a reasonable SNMP Manager object, I have to
    > keep in just one or two places because of license and, of course,
    > configuration issues. Those components get shared only after
    > they are compiled (VB6).
    >
    > ====================
    >
    > As I understand it, there is, somewhere, a set of instructions
    > that will show me how to set-up and use VWD for debugging
    > Classic ASP with VBScript.
    >
    > Obviously, VWD is somewhat hostile towards development with
    > Classic ASP. There is no ASP file type in the Add New File
    > Dialog, and id you try to use the "Comment" button on the
    > toolbar, you get the <!-- --> treatment around your VBScript
    > statements rather than apostrophe's !!! I'm not impressed.
    > I'd fire the guy who thought THIS was a good idea.
    >
    > But I want to use it, and I believe these limitations either
    > already have secret solutions, or MS will be reasonable and
    > fix it, for crying out loud!
    >
    > ================
    >
    > So, can anyone tell me how to open my files in VWD can
    > proceed to debug them?
    >
    > Sincerely looking for help with this,


    Did you read my first post? If you perform the reality check I described,
    and VWD is capable of debugging script (because that's exactly what classic
    ASP is: script) it should show up as an option, in a list of installed
    debugging applications that you can choose from.

    If VWD does show in the list, you'll only need a little config, and to
    figure out how to make VWD attach to ASP's script host process. (Usually a
    Process menu item, that opens a dialog.) From there, set some break points
    and you're in.

    If VWD *doesn't* show up in the list, or no opportunity to debug the script
    is presented at all, then trying to debug classic ASP with VWD is likely
    tantamount to beating a dead horse. If waiting for Microsoft to do "the
    right thing" seems like a viable strategy to you, I'd have to suppose you've
    never actually had to deploy it... either that or you are extremely patient,
    and have other technologies to substitute, to fill needs while you wait
    (quite possibly, forever.).

    If VWD is incapable of debugging classic ASP, does that mean you will simply
    forgo use of a real, source-level debugging environment entirely, and revert
    to Response.Write and the browser? Suit yourself, but you've gotta know
    they don't even compare.

    As for buying 3rd party tools, it's unnecessary; if you've got Office,
    you've got a highly functional script debugger, though it doesn't install by
    default (iirc, it's listed under tools as HTML Editor, in the setup -- for
    Office 2000 the app is called MSE.EXE, apparently cloned from Interdev 6.0.)
    If you've got VS6, install Interdev; if you've got VS 2003 or VS 2005,
    script debugging is integral to the IDEs.

    Personally I consider the ability to debug ASP code to be a requirement, it
    has saved me hours upon countless hours. Further, some problems are
    virtually impossible to fully understand by dumping values to the browser;
    using a real debugger is the only way to debug that shows you everything at
    once, without leaving you to make assumptions about which branches executed
    and which variables contained what.

    As for learning how to use it, if you've used one Microsoft debugger
    released in the last decade, you've pretty-much used them all. You can
    examine values of simple scalar types, drill into properties of objects
    (represented in a treeview), set conditional break points, and execute code
    in the immediate window. You say you're familiar with VB6 debugging?
    You'll be right at home, not much new to learn, only a few extra details
    needed to make it happen. The only thing you may miss is the ability to
    edit and continue, which is not there, because, due to the implementation of
    the script engine, it just isn't possible.


    -Mark



    > Jim Rodgers
    Mark J. McGinty, Aug 17, 2007
    #4
  5. Jim Rodgers

    Jim Rodgers Guest

    "Mark J. McGinty" wrote:
    >
    > > As I understand it, there is, somewhere, a set of instructions
    > > that will show me how to set-up and use VWD for debugging
    > > Classic ASP with VBScript.
    > >
    > > So, can anyone tell me how to open my files in VWD can
    > > proceed to debug them?
    > >
    > > Sincerely looking for help with this,


    > Did you read my first post? If you perform the reality check I described,
    > and VWD is capable of debugging script (because that's exactly what classic
    > ASP is: script) it should show up as an option, in a list of installed
    > debugging applications that you can choose from.
    >
    > If VWD does show in the list, you'll only need a little config, and to
    > figure out how to make VWD attach to ASP's script host process. (Usually a
    > Process menu item, that opens a dialog.) From there, set some break points
    > and you're in.
    >
    > If VWD is incapable of debugging classic ASP, does that mean you will simply
    > forgo use of a real, source-level debugging environment entirely, and revert
    > to Response.Write and the browser? Suit yourself, but you've gotta know
    > they don't even compare.


    I understand. I never had as much script to debug as I do now.
    I always got along fine using Response.Write, etc., ...and I have
    recently developed a lot of technique based on that. As a matter
    of fact, I really learned a lot about ASP and IIS this way. Some
    of my crazy adhoc debug tools led to techniques I use in product
    code.

    However, enough is enough.


    > ...If you've got VS6, install Interdev; if you've got VS 2003 or VS 2005,
    > script debugging is integral to the IDEs.
    >
    > Personally I consider the ability to debug ASP code to be a requirement, it
    > has saved me hours upon countless hours. Further, some problems are
    > virtually impossible to fully understand by dumping values to the browser;
    > using a real debugger is the only way to debug that shows you everything at
    > once, without leaving you to make assumptions about which branches executed
    > and which variables contained what.


    As I am planning to wrap-up much of my script into DLLs, I
    will be hurting if I cannot stop and examine objects.


    > ...You say you're familiar with VB6 debugging?
    > You'll be right at home, not much new to learn, only a few extra details
    > needed to make it happen.
    > -Mark


    Thanks, Mark.

    Cheers,

    Jim Rodgers
    Jim Rodgers, Aug 17, 2007
    #5
  6. Jim Rodgers

    Jim Rodgers Guest

    "Mark J. McGinty" wrote:
    > Did you read my first post? If you perform the reality check I described,
    > and VWD is capable of debugging script (because that's exactly what classic
    > ASP is: script) it should show up as an option, in a list of installed
    > debugging applications that you can choose from.


    Mark, I'm not really sure what you mean. I wish I knew exactly
    where to look. Will I see the words "installed" or "debugging
    applications"? Am I looking in VWD or MSE for this?


    > If VWD does show in the list, you'll only need a little config, and to
    > figure out how to make VWD attach to ASP's script host process. (Usually a
    > Process menu item, that opens a dialog.) From there, set some break points
    > and you're in.


    ====================

    Mark,

    Well, I didn't really understand what you were trying to explain.
    And I could tell you never used VWD to write/debug Classic ASP.
    You were just telling me how to get it work if it were to work.
    I appreciate your knowledge and your intellectual flexibility to try
    to help me.

    ================

    So I just started hacking away at it to see what happens.

    - First, I tried to run a VB script.
    - Windows says I "should" (must) change the scripting host to CScript.
    - I don't want to. Hoping the "//x" will save me.
    - Somehow, I wind-up in MS MSE...
    - - a scripting environment? a debugger?
    - I look under options and see "Processes."
    - So I start VWD, go back to MSE, and VWD is in the list.
    - I "attach" MSE to VWD from MSE.
    - Next, I go back to VWD and open a familiar asp file.
    - I click on the little green arrow.
    - - is it run??? it never did anything before...
    - Some things happen and then THIS:

    Server Error in '/wwwroot' Application.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    This type of page is not served.
    Description: The type of page you have requested is
    not served because it has been explicitly forbidden.
    The extension '.asp' may be incorrect. Please review
    the URL below and make sure that it is spelled correctly.

    Requested URL: /wwwroot/Application.asp
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Version Information:
    Microsoft .NET Framework Version:2.0.50727.832; ASP.NET
    Version:2.0.50727.832

    ==================

    So, maybe VWD does not "rock for ASP Classic" as
    a certain MVP recently told me it did.

    Does Microsoft understand that this sort of crap is a
    BARRIER to entry for customers? Now I'm supposed to
    feel inclined to use one MS product because another
    one is boobytrapped? At best, I may dust-off my old
    VS6 stuff when I go back to make DLLs of my VBScript.
    (I never bothered with VInterDev because at the time I
    was a purely VB6 guy.)

    After all these years, and all this fighting FOR Microsoft,
    I am ready, finally, to look at another vendor who respects
    MY needs at least a little rather than _only_ HIS. One of my
    needs is to support all the work I have already done while
    making transitions to new technologies as I choose.

    The product already is not supported. So why,exactly, did
    they go through the trouble to break it further?

    ==============

    I understand that "Enterprise Java Beans" is the future of
    serious server-side development. There are numerous
    platforms that support these applications. They run great
    on Windows as well as Solaris (of course!) and HPUX, AIX,
    etc.

    You can configure an app to launch as many VM's as you need
    to scale up to the task. In a world where multi-chip and multi-
    core has been the norm for years now, this makes sense. And
    these java apps are like VB in that they are interpreted but can
    be compiled. You can configure the point at which your codes
    switch from interpreted to compiled. And it's not just a Sun
    thing: these systems run on various platforms from IBM, BEA,
    etc. Great SOA platforms with great interactivity with major
    database products. Imagine your Oracle package spawning
    EVB's on your eight-way quad-core Windows box! And you can
    use IIS to balance the server farm.

    Do software companies make a profit doing things this way?
    Just ask JDA. They've been making out like bandits since they
    bought Manugistics, who excelled at this architecture.

    Does anyone understand my point?

    You can start by writing simple scripts and wind up writing real
    software! I thought that Microsoft was the one who created
    opportunities this way. It is the Bill Gates way. But Bill is out of
    it now; and so, I fear, is Microsoft.

    I feel it is a matter of principle, that if MS -REFUSES- to let me
    have ONE IDE for their overlapping product technologies in my
    overlapping projects and overlapping market spaces, then this
    is a company that has lost its heart -- and my loyalty.

    =================

    OK. OK. OK. So I'm freaking out a little bit here. After all, the
    old Visual InterDev tool still works, right? And VWD is certainly
    just an upgrade on that platform, right?

    Right.

    And VWD surely is better than FrontPage... I guess.

    I guess.

    And it's free. (Once again, it's the "Drug Dealer" model of
    software development.)

    Whaddaya want for free?

    ========================

    If I pissed you off with this rant, then, please, forgive me.

    This is costing me REAL money; and could cost me a lot more
    than THAT. Anyway, I have a couple more large projects to do
    on ASP Classic and VBScript,...

    .... so I would like to hang out here a little longer if you guys will
    have me. I'll try to pay my way by helping to answer others'
    questions from time to time if I can.

    And I appreciate all te help you guys give me here.

    Cheers and Regards,

    Jim Rodgers
    Jim Rodgers, Aug 17, 2007
    #6
  7. Jim Rodgers

    Mike Brind Guest

    "Jim Rodgers" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Mark J. McGinty" wrote:
    >> Did you read my first post? If you perform the reality check I
    >> described,
    >> and VWD is capable of debugging script (because that's exactly what
    >> classic
    >> ASP is: script) it should show up as an option, in a list of installed
    >> debugging applications that you can choose from.

    >
    > Mark, I'm not really sure what you mean. I wish I knew exactly
    > where to look. Will I see the words "installed" or "debugging
    > applications"? Am I looking in VWD or MSE for this?
    >
    >
    >> If VWD does show in the list, you'll only need a little config, and to
    >> figure out how to make VWD attach to ASP's script host process. (Usually
    >> a
    >> Process menu item, that opens a dialog.) From there, set some break
    >> points
    >> and you're in.

    >
    > ====================
    >
    > Mark,
    >
    > Well, I didn't really understand what you were trying to explain.
    > And I could tell you never used VWD to write/debug Classic ASP.
    > You were just telling me how to get it work if it were to work.
    > I appreciate your knowledge and your intellectual flexibility to try
    > to help me.
    >
    > ================
    >
    > So I just started hacking away at it to see what happens.
    >
    > - First, I tried to run a VB script.
    > - Windows says I "should" (must) change the scripting host to CScript.
    > - I don't want to. Hoping the "//x" will save me.
    > - Somehow, I wind-up in MS MSE...
    > - - a scripting environment? a debugger?
    > - I look under options and see "Processes."
    > - So I start VWD, go back to MSE, and VWD is in the list.
    > - I "attach" MSE to VWD from MSE.
    > - Next, I go back to VWD and open a familiar asp file.
    > - I click on the little green arrow.
    > - - is it run??? it never did anything before...
    > - Some things happen and then THIS:
    >
    > Server Error in '/wwwroot' Application.
    > ---------------------------------------------------
    > This type of page is not served.
    > Description: The type of page you have requested is
    > not served because it has been explicitly forbidden.
    > The extension '.asp' may be incorrect. Please review
    > the URL below and make sure that it is spelled correctly.
    >
    > Requested URL: /wwwroot/Application.asp
    > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    > Version Information:
    > Microsoft .NET Framework Version:2.0.50727.832; ASP.NET
    > Version:2.0.50727.832
    >
    > ==================
    >
    > So, maybe VWD does not "rock for ASP Classic" as
    > a certain MVP recently told me it did.
    >
    > Does Microsoft understand that this sort of crap is a
    > BARRIER to entry for customers? Now I'm supposed to
    > feel inclined to use one MS product because another
    > one is boobytrapped? At best, I may dust-off my old
    > VS6 stuff when I go back to make DLLs of my VBScript.
    > (I never bothered with VInterDev because at the time I
    > was a purely VB6 guy.)
    >
    > After all these years, and all this fighting FOR Microsoft,
    > I am ready, finally, to look at another vendor who respects
    > MY needs at least a little rather than _only_ HIS. One of my
    > needs is to support all the work I have already done while
    > making transitions to new technologies as I choose.
    >
    > The product already is not supported. So why,exactly, did
    > they go through the trouble to break it further?
    >
    > ==============
    >
    > I understand that "Enterprise Java Beans" is the future of
    > serious server-side development. There are numerous
    > platforms that support these applications. They run great
    > on Windows as well as Solaris (of course!) and HPUX, AIX,
    > etc.
    >
    > You can configure an app to launch as many VM's as you need
    > to scale up to the task. In a world where multi-chip and multi-
    > core has been the norm for years now, this makes sense. And
    > these java apps are like VB in that they are interpreted but can
    > be compiled. You can configure the point at which your codes
    > switch from interpreted to compiled. And it's not just a Sun
    > thing: these systems run on various platforms from IBM, BEA,
    > etc. Great SOA platforms with great interactivity with major
    > database products. Imagine your Oracle package spawning
    > EVB's on your eight-way quad-core Windows box! And you can
    > use IIS to balance the server farm.
    >
    > Do software companies make a profit doing things this way?
    > Just ask JDA. They've been making out like bandits since they
    > bought Manugistics, who excelled at this architecture.
    >
    > Does anyone understand my point?
    >
    > You can start by writing simple scripts and wind up writing real
    > software! I thought that Microsoft was the one who created
    > opportunities this way. It is the Bill Gates way. But Bill is out of
    > it now; and so, I fear, is Microsoft.
    >
    > I feel it is a matter of principle, that if MS -REFUSES- to let me
    > have ONE IDE for their overlapping product technologies in my
    > overlapping projects and overlapping market spaces, then this
    > is a company that has lost its heart -- and my loyalty.
    >
    > =================
    >
    > OK. OK. OK. So I'm freaking out a little bit here. After all, the
    > old Visual InterDev tool still works, right? And VWD is certainly
    > just an upgrade on that platform, right?
    >
    > Right.
    >
    > And VWD surely is better than FrontPage... I guess.
    >
    > I guess.
    >
    > And it's free. (Once again, it's the "Drug Dealer" model of
    > software development.)
    >
    > Whaddaya want for free?
    >
    > ========================
    >
    > If I pissed you off with this rant, then, please, forgive me.
    >
    > This is costing me REAL money; and could cost me a lot more
    > than THAT. Anyway, I have a couple more large projects to do
    > on ASP Classic and VBScript,...
    >
    > ... so I would like to hang out here a little longer if you guys will
    > have me. I'll try to pay my way by helping to answer others'
    > questions from time to time if I can.
    >


    Forget it. You cannot use VWD for classic ASP debugging because it does not
    support attaching to process. It's not an upgrade on Visual Interdev
    anymore than VB.NET is an upgrade of VB6 or ASP.NET is an upgrade of Classic
    ASP. They are entirely different technologies. They are replacements for
    older technologies that Microsoft have decided not to provide any backwards
    compatibility for.

    You can, however, invest in the full version of Visual Studio 2005 and use
    that to debug classic ASP, and read about why they have cut classic ASP
    support from this product:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/greggm/archive/2006/03/15/552108.aspx. Oh, and VWD is
    the cut-down version of VS2005 - not an upgrade on anything at all.

    I guess the difficulty that MS have is that they introduced the .NET
    framework 6-7 years ago. VS2005 is the third version of the .NET IDE and
    they have the fourth - VS2008 - in Beta2. The framework itself is now on
    version 3.5. Classic ASP only ever made version 3.0, and that was launched
    in Feb 2000. Most serious developers have moved onto the .NET framework now
    and have the paid-for IDE. Hardly anyone new is learning classic ASP, and
    the number of nature of posts in this group bears that out. They've more
    than halved over the last year or so, and most concern legacy apps. On the
    other hand, the multitude of newsgroups and forums available for ASP.NET are
    literally struggling under the strain of increasing activity. If you were
    running the business, you would probably make the same decisions MS have. I
    know I would.

    I think it's called "progress".

    --
    Mike Brind
    Mike Brind, Aug 18, 2007
    #7
  8. Jim Rodgers

    Jim Rodgers Guest

    "Mike Brind" wrote:

    > Forget it. You cannot use VWD for classic ASP debugging because it does not
    > support attaching to process. It's not an upgrade on Visual Interdev
    > anymore than VB.NET is an upgrade of VB6 or ASP.NET is an upgrade of Classic
    > ASP. They are entirely different technologies. They are replacements for
    > older technologies that Microsoft have decided not to provide any backwards
    > compatibility for.
    >
    > You can, however, invest in the full version of Visual Studio 2005 and use
    > that to debug classic ASP, and read about why they have cut classic ASP
    > support from this product:
    > http://blogs.msdn.com/greggm/archive/2006/03/15/552108.aspx. Oh, and VWD is
    > the cut-down version of VS2005 - not an upgrade on anything at all.
    >
    > I guess the difficulty that MS have is that they introduced the .NET
    > framework 6-7 years ago. VS2005 is the third version of the .NET IDE and
    > they have the fourth - VS2008 - in Beta2. The framework itself is now on
    > version 3.5. Classic ASP only ever made version 3.0, and that was launched
    > in Feb 2000. Most serious developers have moved onto the .NET framework now
    > and have the paid-for IDE. Hardly anyone new is learning classic ASP, and
    > the number of nature of posts in this group bears that out. They've more
    > than halved over the last year or so, and most concern legacy apps. On the
    > other hand, the multitude of newsgroups and forums available for ASP.NET are
    > literally struggling under the strain of increasing activity. If you were
    > running the business, you would probably make the same decisions MS have. I
    > know I would.
    >
    > I think it's called "progress".
    >
    > --
    > Mike Brind



    Mike,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I have an early (the first) version of Visual Studio .NET in an MSDN
    Universal Pack (forgot the exact year). Would I be pissed at myself if I
    invested in installing that one? And would the VS6 InterDev be better that
    the VS.NET (in that MSDN Pack) for my work with ASP Classic/VBScript?

    BTW, my remaining ASP Classic projects are essentially ports from VB6.
    These particular clients have too many problems with fat clients as time goes
    on. Also, users there are more saavy now, and they insist on using their own
    e-mail clients and other personal apps that sometimes create issues with the
    fat client configurations.

    I choose to port these apps rather than re-write them in VB.NET for various
    reasons, but high on the list is my extensive use of Variants in the
    interface to a key OCX I wrote that manages data and the GUI for that product
    platform. Such extensive use of Variants precludes a simple re-write to
    ..NET.

    Cheers,

    Jim Rodgers

    ==========================

    A Rant, An Aside, A Point of View:

    I started using ASP back in 1996 when IIS was a product MS bought from
    Vermeer. I guess ASP got cleaned-up and packaged as such in 1997. At the
    same time MS was wrestling with the VB3-VB4 upgrade (that, too, really was a
    replacement rather than an upgrade). Surely it was at least by then MS
    started the trajectory for the VB5/6 to VB.NET strategy. Still, even back
    then I was suspicious of the use of a scripting tool for ASP. I've always
    been amazed that it worked so well.

    I agree that .NET is vastly superior to its predecessor technologies. I
    once evangelized the superiority of VB over PowerWhateverItWas and Delphi and
    even C++ ...for most In-House tasks like IT and Engineering applications.
    However, despite the superiority of the replacement technologies, I am an
    evangelist NO MORE.

    Especially as my responsibilities now are more related to business
    management and strategy, I am beginning to see software development in a new
    way. When MS decides to dump support -REALLY- for ASP Classic by not
    allowing it to run on new server platforms, then we will see how smart they
    are.

    There is a Perfect Storm brewing out there, and it is not the making of some
    anti-Microsoft or anti-Bill Gates conspiracy. Rather, it is the result of
    SUCCESSFUL Microsoft strategies (more exactly, Philosophies) that they could
    not keep selling INTERNALLY as staff turns over. Let me ramble on.

    Some great strategies are not well-supported by Market Science — just as
    some poor ones (e.g., out-sourcing) seem at first to be well-supported by
    Business Science. Sometimes it takes talented LEADERSHIP with that deeper
    understanding and vision to to push some strategies to fruition — sometimes
    over the dead bodies, as it were, of generally well-informed advisors. I
    have "recommended or approved" (as they say) many millions of dollars worth
    of Microsoft products. I did it because it made sense to me. When my
    detractors wanted to out-source the manufacturing plant to China, I and my
    associates showed the owners how they could do even better keeping it in
    Atlanta. Microsoft, Visual Basic, Access, Excel, and SQL Server were key
    elements in that plan. So was leveraging the under-utilized skills and
    intelligence of the hourly workers. This was the missing link most American
    corporations never find — indeed, they never even look for it.

    Now, Microsoft also is not looking for this critical layer in the
    "time-space continuum" of the Life Cycle of their customers. All those MS
    sales I am responsible for really had their roots in my work with "Microsoft
    Basic," a 4k ROM-based interpreter on my Kim-1 home computer. "Everyone"
    thought that was just a hobby or a toy, but I did post graduate studies using
    that thing! Later, "they" also said the same sorts of comments about Visual
    Basic.

    While all the C++ programmers were having meetings about meetings, and
    listening to guest speakers, and their managers were writing poison e-mails
    (on the VAX!) about my groups amatuer techniques, we were eating their lunch.
    While all the Quality Engineers were setting up mandatory training sessions
    for everyone on God-knows-what-this-time, my team was writing a distributed
    real-time data collection and process control system (Manufacturing Execution
    System) in VB3 and Access 95. Yield went from 70% to 99.9%, and we emerged
    from bankruptcy. While the IT Dept was conducting data model reviews for
    variables naming and orthogonalization — and forcing all development on
    Oracle and Solaris — millions were lost in inappropriate capital
    expenditures, failed IT projects, failed Quality initiatives, and "reusable"
    C++ softwares that other C++ programmers refused to work on unless they could
    do a complete re-write or got a big raise.

    The point is this: SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTISE IS OFTEN MORE IMPORTANT than
    being some kind of big deal smarty-pants know-it-all expert on programming
    science. If you completely detach subject matter experts (test engineering,
    manufacturing engineering, physical simulation, statistical analysis,
    financial analysis, quality engineering, ...even SQL development)... if you
    detach experts from any access to software development tools, there will be a
    price to pay. This price is higher for US and Europe than it will be for
    China and India, but still it is a significant expense. In fact, it is
    STRATEGICALLY IMPORTANT to address this aspect of the fabric of a
    medium-to-large company.

    I fear VB.NET and C# and whatever are 29% too much trouble for the real
    producers of the company to leverage. In my experience, most pure
    "programmers" have no other bottom-line skills or knowledge besides their one
    or two programming languages and maybe a superficial awareness of systems
    architecture. Engineers, scientists, and mathematicians got a wonderful gift
    when VB3 came around. Suddenly, they could write code for THEIR needs
    without jumping through all kinds of corporate hoops to get at programming
    resources. Moreover, VB ran on THEIR computer, not the corporate mini or
    mainframe. This is an exact parallel to how, perhaps five years earlier,
    professionals found they could write their own documents without submitting a
    requisition to the Word Processing Department. Productivity went through the
    roof — and in more than some small part, it was due to the leadership and
    vision of Bill Gates.

    Consequently, the late 1980's and especially the 1990's became a period of
    fantastically-improved results (especially productivity) in global
    corporations. The stock market went berserk. And in the late 1990's, the
    Internet multiplied this effect — until that bubble burst.

    My concern for programmers today is that many of them will not add value.
    Just as the Word Processing clerk had to go back to being an admin assistant.
    And if you are good enough to be regarded as a professional programmer, then
    you better live in India. Watch what happens. And watch how moves [like
    making VB completely different] break the siphon — they create a rift in the
    time-space continuum of corporate business culture. Ladies and gentlemen, we
    are only now at this point. I'm still seeing A WHOLE LOT of "asp"s on
    website links today — they are not all "aspx" just yet. And where did some
    of the previous software development managers go? They were promoted so they
    could crush VB and perhaps even Microsoft (yes, I took my meds!) — because
    "understanding what is the best language" is the only core skill they have.
    This results in a strategic misalignment which will maintain the current
    "resource leak" we know of as out-sourcing.

    In the future, after all this shakes out, I believe we will see very
    carefully made distinctions between computer technologies developed in-house
    for situationally-unique uses (in hundreds of ways) and those purchased (many
    as software services) for complex but well-understood common problems like
    ERP and personal productivity. Isn't this obvious already? But we also will
    see (as we do not now see) ways to address the CONTINUITY and
    interoperability of these two realms.

    In this perspective, classic VB plays its role in-house. So what happens to
    the knowledge workers who have heretofore kicked-butt because they knew
    Excel, Access, VB, VBA, and/or VBScript? They are abandoned by Microsoft
    since Bill Gates left. I do not yet know who is their new benefactor. I
    feel lost in the woods without a compass. Is Delphi still viable? Did
    Delphi ever get support on UNIX? Didn't Borland change their name to Delphi?
    How is that going?

    And what is the role of VB.NET? It can only be in the big software realm —
    shrink-wrapped and Software-As-A-Service products. But can it really compete
    here up against Enterprise Java Beans and C++? I don't really know that
    either, but I am not putting ANY money on .NET. Finally, if these products
    are "what you buy" and not what you make (unless you are a big software
    "manufacturer"), then who will be hiring most .NET programmers? I don't
    think Microsoft cares WHO buys their stuff; but, then, that's the whole
    problem.

    Ah, yes, I feel better now.
    Jim Rodgers, Aug 19, 2007
    #8
  9. Jim Rodgers

    Mike Brind Guest

    "Jim Rodgers" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Mike Brind" wrote:
    >
    >> Forget it. You cannot use VWD for classic ASP debugging because it does
    >> not
    >> support attaching to process. It's not an upgrade on Visual Interdev
    >> anymore than VB.NET is an upgrade of VB6 or ASP.NET is an upgrade of
    >> Classic
    >> ASP. They are entirely different technologies. They are replacements
    >> for
    >> older technologies that Microsoft have decided not to provide any
    >> backwards
    >> compatibility for.
    >>
    >> You can, however, invest in the full version of Visual Studio 2005 and
    >> use
    >> that to debug classic ASP, and read about why they have cut classic ASP
    >> support from this product:
    >> http://blogs.msdn.com/greggm/archive/2006/03/15/552108.aspx. Oh, and VWD
    >> is
    >> the cut-down version of VS2005 - not an upgrade on anything at all.
    >>
    >> I guess the difficulty that MS have is that they introduced the .NET
    >> framework 6-7 years ago. VS2005 is the third version of the .NET IDE and
    >> they have the fourth - VS2008 - in Beta2. The framework itself is now on
    >> version 3.5. Classic ASP only ever made version 3.0, and that was
    >> launched
    >> in Feb 2000. Most serious developers have moved onto the .NET framework
    >> now
    >> and have the paid-for IDE. Hardly anyone new is learning classic ASP,
    >> and
    >> the number of nature of posts in this group bears that out. They've more
    >> than halved over the last year or so, and most concern legacy apps. On
    >> the
    >> other hand, the multitude of newsgroups and forums available for ASP.NET
    >> are
    >> literally struggling under the strain of increasing activity. If you
    >> were
    >> running the business, you would probably make the same decisions MS have.
    >> I
    >> know I would.
    >>
    >> I think it's called "progress".
    >>
    >> --
    >> Mike Brind

    >
    >
    > Mike,
    >
    > Thank you for your reply.
    >
    > I have an early (the first) version of Visual Studio .NET in an MSDN
    > Universal Pack (forgot the exact year). Would I be pissed at myself if I
    > invested in installing that one? And would the VS6 InterDev be better
    > that
    > the VS.NET (in that MSDN Pack) for my work with ASP Classic/VBScript?
    >
    > BTW, my remaining ASP Classic projects are essentially ports from VB6.
    > These particular clients have too many problems with fat clients as time
    > goes
    > on. Also, users there are more saavy now, and they insist on using their
    > own
    > e-mail clients and other personal apps that sometimes create issues with
    > the
    > fat client configurations.
    >
    > I choose to port these apps rather than re-write them in VB.NET for
    > various
    > reasons, but high on the list is my extensive use of Variants in the
    > interface to a key OCX I wrote that manages data and the GUI for that
    > product
    > platform. Such extensive use of Variants precludes a simple re-write to
    > .NET.
    >
    > Cheers,
    >
    > Jim Rodgers
    >
    > ==========================
    >
    > A Rant, An Aside, A Point of View:
    >
    > I started using ASP back in 1996 when IIS was a product MS bought from
    > Vermeer. I guess ASP got cleaned-up and packaged as such in 1997. At the
    > same time MS was wrestling with the VB3-VB4 upgrade (that, too, really was
    > a
    > replacement rather than an upgrade). Surely it was at least by then MS
    > started the trajectory for the VB5/6 to VB.NET strategy. Still, even back
    > then I was suspicious of the use of a scripting tool for ASP. I've always
    > been amazed that it worked so well.
    >
    > I agree that .NET is vastly superior to its predecessor technologies. I
    > once evangelized the superiority of VB over PowerWhateverItWas and Delphi
    > and
    > even C++ ...for most In-House tasks like IT and Engineering applications.
    > However, despite the superiority of the replacement technologies, I am an
    > evangelist NO MORE.
    >
    > Especially as my responsibilities now are more related to business
    > management and strategy, I am beginning to see software development in a
    > new
    > way. When MS decides to dump support -REALLY- for ASP Classic by not
    > allowing it to run on new server platforms, then we will see how smart
    > they
    > are.
    >
    > There is a Perfect Storm brewing out there, and it is not the making of
    > some
    > anti-Microsoft or anti-Bill Gates conspiracy. Rather, it is the result of
    > SUCCESSFUL Microsoft strategies (more exactly, Philosophies) that they
    > could
    > not keep selling INTERNALLY as staff turns over. Let me ramble on.
    >
    > Some great strategies are not well-supported by Market Science - just as
    > some poor ones (e.g., out-sourcing) seem at first to be well-supported by
    > Business Science. Sometimes it takes talented LEADERSHIP with that deeper
    > understanding and vision to to push some strategies to fruition -
    > sometimes
    > over the dead bodies, as it were, of generally well-informed advisors. I
    > have "recommended or approved" (as they say) many millions of dollars
    > worth
    > of Microsoft products. I did it because it made sense to me. When my
    > detractors wanted to out-source the manufacturing plant to China, I and my
    > associates showed the owners how they could do even better keeping it in
    > Atlanta. Microsoft, Visual Basic, Access, Excel, and SQL Server were key
    > elements in that plan. So was leveraging the under-utilized skills and
    > intelligence of the hourly workers. This was the missing link most
    > American
    > corporations never find - indeed, they never even look for it.
    >
    > Now, Microsoft also is not looking for this critical layer in the
    > "time-space continuum" of the Life Cycle of their customers. All those MS
    > sales I am responsible for really had their roots in my work with
    > "Microsoft
    > Basic," a 4k ROM-based interpreter on my Kim-1 home computer. "Everyone"
    > thought that was just a hobby or a toy, but I did post graduate studies
    > using
    > that thing! Later, "they" also said the same sorts of comments about
    > Visual
    > Basic.
    >
    > While all the C++ programmers were having meetings about meetings, and
    > listening to guest speakers, and their managers were writing poison
    > e-mails
    > (on the VAX!) about my groups amatuer techniques, we were eating their
    > lunch.
    > While all the Quality Engineers were setting up mandatory training
    > sessions
    > for everyone on God-knows-what-this-time, my team was writing a
    > distributed
    > real-time data collection and process control system (Manufacturing
    > Execution
    > System) in VB3 and Access 95. Yield went from 70% to 99.9%, and we
    > emerged
    > from bankruptcy. While the IT Dept was conducting data model reviews for
    > variables naming and orthogonalization - and forcing all development on
    > Oracle and Solaris - millions were lost in inappropriate capital
    > expenditures, failed IT projects, failed Quality initiatives, and
    > "reusable"
    > C++ softwares that other C++ programmers refused to work on unless they
    > could
    > do a complete re-write or got a big raise.
    >
    > The point is this: SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTISE IS OFTEN MORE IMPORTANT than
    > being some kind of big deal smarty-pants know-it-all expert on programming
    > science. If you completely detach subject matter experts (test
    > engineering,
    > manufacturing engineering, physical simulation, statistical analysis,
    > financial analysis, quality engineering, ...even SQL development)... if
    > you
    > detach experts from any access to software development tools, there will
    > be a
    > price to pay. This price is higher for US and Europe than it will be for
    > China and India, but still it is a significant expense. In fact, it is
    > STRATEGICALLY IMPORTANT to address this aspect of the fabric of a
    > medium-to-large company.
    >
    > I fear VB.NET and C# and whatever are 29% too much trouble for the real
    > producers of the company to leverage. In my experience, most pure
    > "programmers" have no other bottom-line skills or knowledge besides their
    > one
    > or two programming languages and maybe a superficial awareness of systems
    > architecture. Engineers, scientists, and mathematicians got a wonderful
    > gift
    > when VB3 came around. Suddenly, they could write code for THEIR needs
    > without jumping through all kinds of corporate hoops to get at programming
    > resources. Moreover, VB ran on THEIR computer, not the corporate mini or
    > mainframe. This is an exact parallel to how, perhaps five years earlier,
    > professionals found they could write their own documents without
    > submitting a
    > requisition to the Word Processing Department. Productivity went through
    > the
    > roof - and in more than some small part, it was due to the leadership and
    > vision of Bill Gates.
    >
    > Consequently, the late 1980's and especially the 1990's became a period of
    > fantastically-improved results (especially productivity) in global
    > corporations. The stock market went berserk. And in the late 1990's, the
    > Internet multiplied this effect - until that bubble burst.
    >
    > My concern for programmers today is that many of them will not add value.
    > Just as the Word Processing clerk had to go back to being an admin
    > assistant.
    > And if you are good enough to be regarded as a professional programmer,
    > then
    > you better live in India. Watch what happens. And watch how moves [like
    > making VB completely different] break the siphon - they create a rift in
    > the
    > time-space continuum of corporate business culture. Ladies and gentlemen,
    > we
    > are only now at this point. I'm still seeing A WHOLE LOT of "asp"s on
    > website links today - they are not all "aspx" just yet. And where did
    > some
    > of the previous software development managers go? They were promoted so
    > they
    > could crush VB and perhaps even Microsoft (yes, I took my meds!) - because
    > "understanding what is the best language" is the only core skill they
    > have.
    > This results in a strategic misalignment which will maintain the current
    > "resource leak" we know of as out-sourcing.
    >
    > In the future, after all this shakes out, I believe we will see very
    > carefully made distinctions between computer technologies developed
    > in-house
    > for situationally-unique uses (in hundreds of ways) and those purchased
    > (many
    > as software services) for complex but well-understood common problems like
    > ERP and personal productivity. Isn't this obvious already? But we also
    > will
    > see (as we do not now see) ways to address the CONTINUITY and
    > interoperability of these two realms.
    >
    > In this perspective, classic VB plays its role in-house. So what happens
    > to
    > the knowledge workers who have heretofore kicked-butt because they knew
    > Excel, Access, VB, VBA, and/or VBScript? They are abandoned by Microsoft
    > since Bill Gates left. I do not yet know who is their new benefactor. I
    > feel lost in the woods without a compass. Is Delphi still viable? Did
    > Delphi ever get support on UNIX? Didn't Borland change their name to
    > Delphi?
    > How is that going?
    >
    > And what is the role of VB.NET? It can only be in the big software
    > realm -
    > shrink-wrapped and Software-As-A-Service products. But can it really
    > compete
    > here up against Enterprise Java Beans and C++? I don't really know that
    > either, but I am not putting ANY money on .NET. Finally, if these
    > products
    > are "what you buy" and not what you make (unless you are a big software
    > "manufacturer"), then who will be hiring most .NET programmers? I don't
    > think Microsoft cares WHO buys their stuff; but, then, that's the whole
    > problem.
    >
    > Ah, yes, I feel better now.
    >


    In answer to your original question, I installed VS2003 to have a go at .Net
    1.1 about 3-4 years ago. I never tried debugging classic ASP pages with it,
    and I had never used Visual Interdev. My debugging methods were restricted
    to Response.Write, so I cannot give you a view on the relative strengths of
    each product. Perhaps someone else here can.

    I hated 1.1, so I never really used VS2003 at all, despite having paid
    over£1000.00 for the version I bought. If anyone would like the Pro
    version, including original box, Windows Server 2003, SQL Server 2000,
    Exchange Server 2003 etc, etc... I can be persuaded to do a deal ;-)

    As far as the rest of your post is concerned, I haven't read it all, but I
    can't imagine that MS would withdraw asp.dll from IIS. There would be no
    point. It is, after all, just an ISAPI. And there are still millions of
    sites that need it to run. What hosting company in its right mind would
    upgrade to a new server platform where they couldn't run existing customer
    sites? And bear in mind that the revenue stream that .Net is designed to
    improve most at MS is Server and OS licences. That's why they give away
    extraordinarily powerful IDEs like VWD etc. MS won't stop providing
    runtimes - they'll just not develop the platforms further. Equally, if you
    want to continue to do your thing in VB/VBScript/VBA, I am sure that you
    will be able to for a long time to come.

    Oh, and my brother uses Delphi, although I think he has migrated over to
    Delphi.Net now.... ;-)

    --
    Mike Brind
    Mike Brind, Aug 20, 2007
    #9
  10. Jim,

    Sorry for the delay. Parts of this may be -- actually make that, this is
    surely incomplete, it's an extensive topic, and I have many hours of
    frustration invested into making it work. But the ROI has been huge.

    The funny thing to me is, how fine the line between success and failure.
    How many times have you jumped that gap between the two, by changing some
    settings, hacking a registry key, or doing something else that was trivial,
    if you knew what to do?

    Tragically, the line between possible and impossible is equally fine, and
    perhaps even more opaque. So, each of us has to decide when to cut his
    losses. Making that decision too early -- as many have done in this realm,
    imho -- actually increases losses in the long run.

    If you want to continue this discussion privately, let me know in a post to
    the NG, and email me at my spam dump address ( --
    yes it's a real domain) and I'll keep an eye out for it... but first read
    the rest of my response, inline, below...


    "Jim Rodgers" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Mark J. McGinty" wrote:
    >> Did you read my first post? If you perform the reality check I
    >> described,
    >> and VWD is capable of debugging script (because that's exactly what
    >> classic
    >> ASP is: script) it should show up as an option, in a list of installed
    >> debugging applications that you can choose from.

    >
    > Mark, I'm not really sure what you mean. I wish I knew exactly
    > where to look. Will I see the words "installed" or "debugging
    > applications"? Am I looking in VWD or MSE for this?


    That's what you're in the process of discovering... pointless to try to
    answer here. (Answers with reasons further down.)


    >> If VWD does show in the list, you'll only need a little config, and to
    >> figure out how to make VWD attach to ASP's script host process. (Usually
    >> a
    >> Process menu item, that opens a dialog.) From there, set some break
    >> points
    >> and you're in.

    >
    > ====================
    >
    > Mark,
    >
    > Well, I didn't really understand what you were trying to explain.
    > And I could tell you never used VWD to write/debug Classic ASP.


    I've never laid eyes on VWD for any purpose.


    > You were just telling me how to get it work if it were to work.
    > I appreciate your knowledge and your intellectual flexibility to try
    > to help me.
    >
    > ================
    >
    > So I just started hacking away at it to see what happens.


    That's often the only way to get any real answers. :)


    > - First, I tried to run a VB script.
    > - Windows says I "should" (must) change the scripting host to CScript.


    The alternative is to execute the script explicitly with CScript:

    CSCRIPT scriptname.vbs //x
    CSCRIPT scriptname.js //x

    > - I don't want to. Hoping the "//x" will save me.
    > - Somehow, I wind-up in MS MSE...


    The //x script took you there, //x invokes the script debugger [app].
    Apparently, the only script debugger you have installed is MSE -- but that's
    not a bad thing at all, it is a very capable script debugger. If you had
    more than one (like, say, you installed Visual Studio 2005) it would offer
    you a choice.

    > - - a scripting environment? a debugger?


    Windows Script Host is the scripting environment, that part is a given. MSE
    is both a source file editor, and a debugging environment.

    At the point MSE opened, it should've displayed the script source you're now
    debugging. You should see tool bar buttons that toggle display of the call
    stack window, locals window, immediate window, and watch window. You should
    also see buttons with the familiar step into, step over and step out of
    symbols. The highlighted line of code is the next one that will execute;
    the step into and step over buttons will step through each line...

    > - I look under options and see "Processes."
    > - So I start VWD, go back to MSE, and VWD is in the list.


    At this point I think we can probably write-off VWD as a script debugger; if
    it was one, you would've been given a choice between it and MSE.


    > - I "attach" MSE to VWD from MSE.


    Pointless, because ASP script is executed by IIS. Depending on the
    isolation setting in IIS, it may appear in the processes window as
    DLLHOST.EXE if your ASP app are set for high isolation. I forget what
    the process is for the other isolation settings, but the key thing is the
    word "script" in the languages or type column of the processes list.

    Before you look for it in the processes window, you'll want to load a page
    of your ASP app to establish a session -- it's gotta be running before it
    can be debugged. And there are settings in IIS to enable debugging. In the
    properties dialog for a virtual server or virtual directory, in the
    Directory tab, if the Create button has been clicked, the Configuration
    button will be enabled; clicking the Configuration button opens another
    property sheet, which has a Debugging tab, in which there are 2
    checkboxes -- I always check them both. Also, my experience has been that
    debugging must be enabled on the web root, as well as on all parents of the
    app/dir you wish to debug.

    All of this assumes you have IIS running on your machine, and the ASP code
    running on your local IIS (typically something like
    http://localhost/myappdir/mypage.asp where myappdir is the name of a virtual
    directory.) There are provisions for remotely debugging ASP code running on
    another workstation or server, but my luck with that has been hit and miss.
    I know I can depend on it working locally.


    This is about the end of anything of tutorial value... I had some more
    comments, that are already typed below, value of which are questionable at
    best... read on at risk of wasting your time. :)


    > - Next, I go back to VWD and open a familiar asp file.
    > - I click on the little green arrow.
    > - - is it run??? it never did anything before...
    > - Some things happen and then THIS:
    >
    > Server Error in '/wwwroot' Application.
    > ---------------------------------------------------
    > This type of page is not served.
    > Description: The type of page you have requested is
    > not served because it has been explicitly forbidden.
    > The extension '.asp' may be incorrect. Please review
    > the URL below and make sure that it is spelled correctly.
    >
    > Requested URL: /wwwroot/Application.asp
    > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    > Version Information:
    > Microsoft .NET Framework Version:2.0.50727.832; ASP.NET
    > Version:2.0.50727.832
    >
    > ==================
    >
    > So, maybe VWD does not "rock for ASP Classic" as
    > a certain MVP recently told me it did.


    Doesn't sound like it, but hard to say, sight unseen.


    > Does Microsoft understand that this sort of crap is a
    > BARRIER to entry for customers? Now I'm supposed to
    > feel inclined to use one MS product because another
    > one is boobytrapped?


    I'm sure they're aware that x% of users will encounter this or that hardship
    When you consider that MS is large enough to buy out the suppliers and the
    customers of competitors they want to sink -- and that they have done
    exactly that on many occasions... given that, how much could they possibly
    be expected to care?

    The thing about their software that absolutely floors me, is the way their
    new versions tend to omit features that previous releases supported, and
    that I got used to using.

    Case in point, access to collections and arrays in the script debugger.
    Say, for instance, your script creates an MSXML2.DOMDocument object, which
    as you may know, given that it contains one or more nodes, has a childNodes
    property that is essentially a collection of nodes. Further, each node in
    child nodes, that contains one or more nodes, also has a childNodes
    property. In Interdev and MSE, when you click the + to expand childNodes,
    you see underneath, a list of +'s, one for each child node. In VS 2003 and
    VS 2005, click the +, all you get is a count. If you want to examine a
    child node, you must dereference each one you want to see in the watch
    window or immediate window.

    So my question is, why do they expect us to accept an use something that's
    so much less functional, when we "upgrade" to their latest release? In this
    particular case, the only argument against the way it used to work that I
    can imagine, was that large arrays could take awhile to render in a
    treeview. So why not limit the loop that demand-loads the branch? Why not
    stop at 50 or 100, and tack-on a dummy node that says [more...] that's
    replaced with the next 50 or 100 when clicked?

    > At best, I may dust-off my old
    > VS6 stuff when I go back to make DLLs of my VBScript.
    > (I never bothered with VInterDev because at the time I
    > was a purely VB6 guy.)


    I still have VS6 installed, and I still use it to write some COM and Win32
    stuff in C++. I also like VS6 tech ref better than the newer incarnations,
    it doesn't take a week to load, it doesn't try to force .net down my throat
    with literally every search (even with all the .net topics cleared in the
    filter) and most of all, it never gives me help for the IDE, or worse yet,
    help for the help system, when I want API tech ref!

    Plus I like VS6 as a generic text editor, it loads quickly enough to use it
    for most things... but it doesn't let you debug script... Enter MSE or
    Interdev -- which isn't really much more capable than MSE; the debugging
    facilties are equal between them.


    > After all these years, and all this fighting FOR Microsoft,
    > I am ready, finally, to look at another vendor who respects
    > MY needs at least a little rather than _only_ HIS. One of my
    > needs is to support all the work I have already done while
    > making transitions to new technologies as I choose.
    >
    > The product already is not supported. So why,exactly, did
    > they go through the trouble to break it further?


    If their old technology becomes less practical/viable for any reason, the
    new technology automatically becomes more practical/viable.










    > ==============
    >
    > I understand that "Enterprise Java Beans" is the future of
    > serious server-side development. There are numerous
    > platforms that support these applications. They run great
    > on Windows as well as Solaris (of course!) and HPUX, AIX,
    > etc.
    >
    > You can configure an app to launch as many VM's as you need
    > to scale up to the task. In a world where multi-chip and multi-
    > core has been the norm for years now, this makes sense. And
    > these java apps are like VB in that they are interpreted but can
    > be compiled. You can configure the point at which your codes
    > switch from interpreted to compiled. And it's not just a Sun
    > thing: these systems run on various platforms from IBM, BEA,
    > etc. Great SOA platforms with great interactivity with major
    > database products. Imagine your Oracle package spawning
    > EVB's on your eight-way quad-core Windows box! And you can
    > use IIS to balance the server farm.
    >
    > Do software companies make a profit doing things this way?
    > Just ask JDA. They've been making out like bandits since they
    > bought Manugistics, who excelled at this architecture.
    >
    > Does anyone understand my point?
    >
    > You can start by writing simple scripts and wind up writing real
    > software! I thought that Microsoft was the one who created
    > opportunities this way. It is the Bill Gates way. But Bill is out of
    > it now; and so, I fear, is Microsoft.
    >
    > I feel it is a matter of principle, that if MS -REFUSES- to let me
    > have ONE IDE for their overlapping product technologies in my
    > overlapping projects and overlapping market spaces, then this
    > is a company that has lost its heart -- and my loyalty.
    >
    > =================
    >
    > OK. OK. OK. So I'm freaking out a little bit here. After all, the
    > old Visual InterDev tool still works, right? And VWD is certainly
    > just an upgrade on that platform, right?
    >
    > Right.
    >
    > And VWD surely is better than FrontPage... I guess.
    >
    > I guess.
    >
    > And it's free. (Once again, it's the "Drug Dealer" model of
    > software development.)
    >
    > Whaddaya want for free?
    >
    > ========================
    >
    > If I pissed you off with this rant, then, please, forgive me.
    >
    > This is costing me REAL money; and could cost me a lot more
    > than THAT. Anyway, I have a couple more large projects to do
    > on ASP Classic and VBScript,...
    >
    > ... so I would like to hang out here a little longer if you guys will
    > have me. I'll try to pay my way by helping to answer others'
    > questions from time to time if I can.
    >
    > And I appreciate all te help you guys give me here.
    >
    > Cheers and Regards,
    >
    > Jim Rodgers
    >
    Mark J. McGinty, Aug 20, 2007
    #10
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