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  1. #1
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    What's the point of VBScript?

    Hi guys,
    Sorry if I swore in the title.

    My teenaged son is doing Stuff at school where they are teaching him \/BScript. He has to build things which even with my limited knowledge, would be better done in perl or php etc because it doesn;t work in any browser except IE.

    I am curious as to what the point of it might be. I see that there isn't a forum for it here so, tentatively, I ask what you guys think of it.

    My own view (with limited knowledge of it), is that it would be much better to teach other, non-proprietory, languages which have wider use, eg php or perl etc.

    My Son's own view is that they teach it because they don't know anything else. Sadly, that sounds plausible but not (I think), particularly conducive to a better education or competitive employment potential.

    So what's your view plz.

    Bazz
    "The day you stop learning is the day you become obsolete"! - my late Dad.

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  • #2
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    Your son's reasoning is probably correct as to why they teach it.

    VBScript isn't bad, it just depends in what context they are making them use it. If it is client-side scripting on the web, that is very bad. However VBScript can be quite useful on Windows systems for automating things where a batch file doesn't have the needed capability.

    And of course ASP uses a form of VBScript too.
    OracleGuy

  • #3
    Senior Coder nikkiH's Avatar
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    Your camparison of vbscript to perl makes me think they are teaching it in the context of ASP/ASP.NET, which is widely used and very useful. (server-side web app)
    Nearly everyone who codes in Classic ASP uses vbscript as the language (the other choice being jscript).
    ASP.NET allows VBscript, C#, and a few others, with VB still leading the pack for frequency of use IME (I prefer C#, personally).

    Vbscript is also useful to know for HTAs, windows script host (WSH) apps, VBA (for excel and word macros) and VB.NET.

    As to client-side scripting in a web environment, it is MSIE only and thus useful only to intranet apps where MSIE is the only browser used. Javascript is the standard for client-side scripting for the internet. Perl and PHP are server-side. It makes no difference what the browser is. The browser doesn't know Perl from a hole in the wall.

    I use VB in some form or another daily here at work, in our Windows environment.

    If this post contains any code, I may or may not have tested it. It's probably just example code, so no getting knickers in a bunch over a typo, OK? If it doesn't have basic error checking in it, such as object detection or checking if objects are null before using them, put that in there. I'm giving examples, not typing up your whole app for you. You run code at your own risk.
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  • #4
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    Well to me it seems just like a web page with buttons (grey and horrible) to go to other parts of his program and there is also a login page and such like. He would like to put it into a web page and to enable each subscriber to amend their own passwords etc., which presently they can only do by accessing the notepad file continaing all of them. In a web page, he would get higher marks. When he told nme this I thought uh?? what about server side?

    But if it has to be VB then; it has to be. No point in saying something that will demoralise him and result in lesser interest/lower grades for the sake of pedantism. It would be good though, if he had the time, to do it their way and with a server side language especially if it would impress their brain's marking process.

    PS my comparison to perl is only because I am a bit familiar with it and it can do what he needs.

    Bazz
    Last edited by bazz; 10-12-2005 at 06:58 PM.
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  • #5
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
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    In a lot of cases a particular programming language is taught because that is the one that the teacher knows best. Where the language is being taught in school where the purpose is to introduce the student to programming computers the exact language chosen is irrelevant as it is the concept of programming that is what is being taught.

    Programming languages can be placed into one of several categories depending on the style of programming used. The most popular styles are

    - Object Oriented (eg. C++)
    - Structured (eg. COBOL)
    - Rules based (eg. XSLT)

    Some languages allow for more than one of these styles to be used.
    Once one language that follows a particular style has been learned it is easier to learn other languages that use the same style as you already have an idea of how to do what you need and just need to obtain the specific language syntax.
    Stephen
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    ... in school ... the exact language chosen is irrelevant as it is the concept of programming that is what is being taught.
    I agree with felgall that the lanuage used to teach concepts of computer programming is somewhat irrelevant. (On a side note: I wish schools would stop teaching any form of basic as the first language. It teaches bad habits).

    Unfortunately many people who teach computers in primary and high school are doing so because that is what they were told to teach, not because they have a background in it. As a consiquence, they often end up teaching courses in the syntax of a particular language rather than the concepts of computer programming and using the language as a way to illustrate those concepts.

    The best thing you can do for your son is to (gently) introduce him to some of the concepts of programming computers and illustrate how these concepts are embodied by what he's doing in VBScript. In this way you can supplement what the teacher is doing and make sure that he is getting the education in programming that you think he should have.

  • #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hyperbole
    The best thing you can do for your son is to (gently) introduce him to some of the concepts of programming computers and illustrate how these concepts are embodied by what he's doing in VBScript.
    Well I have introduced him to Coding Forums so that he can learn at his own pace, which, I am sure, is quicker than mine.

    In this way you can supplement what the teacher is doing and make sure that he is getting the education in programming that you think he should have.
    I think the term 'best' is appropriate here I don't know how much he will continue to code after he goes to university but, I just want to try, to ensure that he gets off to the best start with a good grounding and then can progress from there, under his own 'steam'. (if 'steam' isn't a too antiquated an expression around here )

    Bazz
    Last edited by bazz; 10-14-2005 at 10:57 AM.
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  • #8
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    Bazz ...

    I agree with the others that BASIC in general is a programming language that can teach a lot of bad habits. Visual BASIC (VB), is better though, since it's more of an object oriented language. But again, as the others say, programming in general (no matter the language) develops a special kind of thinking ... the process being more important than the language.

    Once your son learns how programs flow, how information is passed between programs and subroutines, variable types, strings, and most important ... DEBUGGING! Fixing the goof-ups is the most valuable teaching tool. Think about how much you learned about Perl by troubleshooting your failing scripts.

    In my opinion, the best "first" language to learn for students would be C++.

    Schools usually have funding problems and teachers will stick with whatever they can legally come up with, without pirating software. A person can learn some Visual BASIC for free using Excel VB Macros, or other integrated Microsoft programs. It costs a lot to install Borland Turbo C++ in a room full of PC's.

    Perl has it's own unique problems when it comes to student teaching. The difference between using Perl on your own server, or using Perl on a webhost. The level of knowledge needed goes way beyond Perl ... getting into server stuff, networking, UNIX, etc. Using Perl on a webhost almost always requires a knowledge of HTML. Where does the programming language begin and end? Tough to teach in one year of school.

    PHP is like Perl ... requires website knowledge (HTML, Javascripting, etc).

    But, with your Perl programming skills, you can almost look at any programming source code and sort of decipher what the program is doing. That's the magic of learning programming in general ... you know how programs are structured and how they flow, and a variable is a variable.

    ... and don't even begin to show your son "thechrissystem" source code ...
    he'll run away from programming and never look back

    --max--

  • #9
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    ... and don't even begin to show your son "thechrissystem" source code ...
    he'll run away from programming and never look back
    I know that feeling every morning, when I first look at it

    Max, you've been quiet for a while.

    I can understand now, thanks to all of you, some of the values of VBscript and that it has its uses. And I can see a constructive side to it, even if I were only to consider it as a first step into coding.

    Thanks.

    Bazz
    "The day you stop learning is the day you become obsolete"! - my late Dad.

    Why do some people say "I don't know for sure"? If they don't know for sure then, they don't know!
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  • #10
    Regular Coder GO ILLINI's Avatar
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    at the school i go to(in 8th grade at least) they teach very, very limited css and some basic html. they occasionally throw a simple javascript variable and document.write in there to try to confuse the dumber people.
    My idea is that you talk to the school and suggest to them taht they teach something thats not crap. I tried VBscript and hated it.

    FOROT TO SAY:
    they also had us try mslogo. most people failed so they stoped that. MsLogo is basic bitmap imaging with commands like:
    fd 100 (forward 100 px)
    right 90 (rotate cursor 90 deg.)
    ellipse 90 90 (circle with middle-top radius=90px and mid-right radius=90)
    there are also many other commands. But why most people failed is because there is no GUI just a blank page and a command line.
    Last edited by GO ILLINI; 10-14-2005 at 10:26 PM.
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  • #11
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    MSLogo ...

    When I was in 8th grade, they called it "Turtle Logo" ...
    it was the same thing though ... go straight, turn, etc.

    GO ILLINI,
    I wish you were able to afford a copy of Borland C++ (or Turbo C)
    whatever they're calling it now. And I wish your teacher would
    teach that. Perfect for Jr/Sr High age students.

  • #12
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    Borland C++ ? Are there different brands of it, with Borland being your recommendation?

    I know nothing about C++ but see that both my son and I might learn perl, and other coding, much quicker if I did.

    Bazz
    "The day you stop learning is the day you become obsolete"! - my late Dad.

    Why do some people say "I don't know for sure"? If they don't know for sure then, they don't know!
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  • #13
    Regular Coder GO ILLINI's Avatar
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    haha they still call it turtle. at least my teacher does. but the program title and stuff is mslogo. And in my opinion it is the stupidest program ever. I mean it doesnt really teach you anything. My school is like some prestigious bs school. So they have a "technology director" that makes professional website, runs about 10 different servers from his house. He runs the school website. He knows about 20 different programing languages besides web stuff. including dead ones. Basicly hes just a computer genius that wanted to sit in an office doing nothing for the rest of his life and he gets paid to do it.
    EDIT:
    What makes it perfect or jr high kids?
    Last edited by GO ILLINI; 10-16-2005 at 08:11 PM.
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  • #14
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    Borland?? C++ ...

    I guess I never thought about who created the software. I've only used the Borland version on a PC. Maybe there are other versions?

    I think the schools that use C++ selected it for the cost.

    http://shop.borland.com/dr/v2/ec_MAI...P=0&CACHE_ID=0

    C++ for Jr. & Sr. High students ...
    I think it's perfect because it teaches the correct programming skills and habits, it's a high enough level to learn powerful, useable programs without the extreme technical depth of processors, servers, and geeky stuff beyond most novice programmers.

    A programming student can edit a code, compile it, and have a working executable (stand-alone) program in a few short lessons. C++ provides advanced programmers with all the room to grow that they need.

    I'm a bit old fashioned ... I used Borland C++ with the first version ... I'm guessing things have changed (for me, that was 25 years ago).

    --max--
    Last edited by mlseim; 10-16-2005 at 08:57 PM.

  • #15
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
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    I started out using the Borland version of C++ and then switched to the Watcom version that is much better (that's the version that was used to compile a lot of operating systems back in the mid 90s). This was many years ago and so I don't know if the Watcom version is still produced. Microsoft also have (had?) a version of C++. There are lots of C++ compilers available on Linux as well.
    Stephen
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