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Author Topic: ASP or C# ?  (Read 2978 times)

kyrathaba

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ASP or C# ?
« on: February 01, 2007, 10:09:43 PM »
I'm certain several of you can answer this question for me:

I've mostly been using Visual C# 2005 Express, but as you know there are several Express IDEs available.  I also have the Visual Web Developer 2005 Express edition.  I understand that equipped with it and a knowledge of ASP, one can code some pretty nifty web applications/services.  My question is this:  isn't finding webhosting with ASP access generally a fee-for-service type thing?  In other words, would I, as a novice programmer mainly learning to program for the fun of it, be able to do much with ASP without having a pay-account on a server somewhere?  I know one can use C# to do lots of stuff with the web/internet, and that's what I've been using all along, but I wondered if spending time and effort with Visual WebDev would be worth it for me personally, as someone with no interest in spending any money ;>

Veign

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Re: ASP or C# ?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2007, 10:30:18 PM »
ASP or ASP.NET (huge difference)...

kyrathaba

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Re: ASP or C# ?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2007, 02:20:00 PM »
I think the Web Developer Express uses ASP.NET (someone correct me if I'm mistaken).  Regardless, it is my (limited) understanding that ASP is a technology for the web.  I just want to know how realistic it would be for me to invest time and energy becoming familiar with it if its use typically is a commercial thing or at the very least requires a paid hosting account.

mouser

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Re: ASP or C# ?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2007, 03:44:01 PM »
There are people who know about ASP and could offer you good advice.

I don't know anything about ASP so take this with a grain of salt, but unless I was working on some very specific business application that had a real good reason to be using ASP, I would much rather work with a platform neutral technology for web services, like PHP, Ruby on Rails, etc.  Just my 2 cents and I look forward to hearing from any ASP people.

mwb1100

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Re: ASP or C# ?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2007, 04:27:38 PM »
You don't need to have a hosted web server to do ASP.NET work - the IIS webserver on WinXP (or Win2000?) will host ASP.NET applications just fine.  I believe that there are other web servers that will host ASP.NET, too, but I've never used them and I'm not sure what their limitations might be.

Because of this, to get started learning to program ASP.NET, there's no additional cost above your development machine.

So the question is really about who do you want to be able to access your application?  If it's just you (or others on your local network), then you don't need 3rd party hosting.  If you want the whole world to access your application then you have 3 options:

1) 3rd party ASP.NET hosting
2) put your machine on the Internet as a web server (make sure you have your security configured properly!)
3) have the installer or install instructions for your application enable (or install) an appropriate web server on the user's machine (this can be tricky)

All of this pretty much applies to the web technologies that Mouser mentioned, too (PHP, etc.)

CWuestefeld

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Re: ASP or C# ?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2007, 04:33:27 PM »
OK, some terminology:

  • ASP is the older technology, it works a lot like PHP or ColdFusion. You generally program in VBScript, but IIRC you could use JavaScript if you prefer.
  • ASP.Net is the current technology, and is fundamentally different. It uses any of the .Net languages (like C#) to program a model that's more reminiscent of old VB forms.
Either way, you'd need to find a host that has Windows servers. I'm not aware of any of these that are free (although I've seen offers for 1 year free hosting). But if it's just for your own learning, you can still do the development and testing on your own machine, and if you've got a good connection, even let it serve pages for the rest of the universe.

FWIW, ASP.Net doesn't need to be platform-dependent. There's an open, platform-neutral implementation of .Net called Mono. And there's a web environment that takes the flavor of Rails and ports it to .Net, letting you leverage your C# knowledge, called MonoRail. I'm not a dynamic language expert, but I expect that if you've learned C# that you might have a learning curve picking up Ruby. But then, maybe learning is exactly what you want to do.

Veign

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Re: ASP or C# ?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2007, 05:08:56 PM »
ASP != ASP.NET

Your best bet is to go with PHP as it can be hosted on a Windows or Linux server and can create some pretty powerful web applications.  You just never know when MS will pull the rug out from under a technology again.

f0dder

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Re: ASP or C# ?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2007, 06:03:02 PM »
If I needed to do web stuff, I'd probably go for PHP - I have a bad impression of ASP from a end-user perspective (though those problems are probably more related to badly configured MSSQL servers than ASP as such).

As for hosting: you get what you pay for. Especially if you need database access. And it seems easier finding stable apache/php hosting than windows/asp (if you don't want to throw a lot of cash after it).
- carpe noctem

kyrathaba

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Re: ASP or C# ?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2007, 06:06:52 PM »
Quote
I expect that if you've learned C# that you might have a learning curve picking up Ruby. But then, maybe learning is exactly what you want to do.

Yes, I would like to learn more (always).  I took a look at Ruby, and the impression I got was that it is quite versatile.  However, the syntax is quite different than what I'm used to, so -- like a small child wrinkling his nose at a newly introduced vegetable -- I shied away from it.  Right now, my rationalization is that I need to learn a LOT more about .NET programming, and the more I play around with other languages, the less focused I'll be on that pursuit.  My coding background is quite limited (one Pascal course in college, then played around with QBasic, then VB6, finally graduating to
C#), so I would like to become proficient in multiple languages.  But, that's a long-term goal.

Thanks for your responses, all.  I'm considerably better informed now.