It all began with Tim Berners-Lee at CERN and the good old HTML. CERN, which is now mostly famous for its Large Hadron Collider, has recently gained major publicity by attracting the attention of frivolous news chasing the possibility of a black hole. I think even cooler than a black hole marking the end of humanity, is the virtual world that has largely impacted her evolution. The internet happened partly because of the outcome of CERN’s research and now we have a world beside the real world, functioning in parallel and becoming the flesh and blood of a terrestrial specy who was one day drawing on cave walls. HTML later became lingua franca of a world that was becoming bigger while making our real world smaller and smaller.
HTML is the basic language understood by all WWW (World Wide Web) clients. It can execute on a PC under any operating system such as Windows, Mac, Linux, or on a Unix workstation. However, it is limited in its computational power intentionally because it can prevent the execution of dangerous programs on the client machine. Web programmers, who are now much more sophisticated in their applications, provide different type of services to a growing demand of interactive content. Today, most users have competent client machines which are capable of doing much more than HTML allows. Fortunately, there is steady development in the field, and today the number of capable applications is expanding. We can easily build database-driven websites with various scripting languages such as PHP, ASP.NET, JSP, Perl, Cold Fusion and etc. This gives programmers a head ache. They generally fall into two main groups – proprietary and open-source, both have their own share of the market.
The languages mentioned below are all attempts to create the “ideal” Web programming language, which is usually done by extending and restricting existing languages. Web programming languages have a variety of ancestors: scripting languages, shell languages, mark-up languages and conventional programming languages. This document attempt to present a short introduction of the most important languages being used in Web today.
Characteristics Of Web Programming Languages
There is a diverse range of languages available and suitable for Web programming. There is no reason to believe that any one language will completely prevail and monopolize the Web programming scene. When you are developing a simple website, the question of which programming language and framework to choose can come up for things such as contact submission forms, photo galleries, jQuery Slider or any other dynamic content components that is generated by the web-server. When you are shopping for a web designer or web developer, you will hear them say “We program in PHP” or “We develop in ASP.NET/C#” and you might wonder what they are talking about and which one is better than the other.
As you can see, there is a fairly good selection of languages for web developers to choose to develop their web applications. There are many more languages available, some of them more specialized such as VRML, but discussing them is out of the scope of this article. Most developers have a working knowledge for at least a few of the frameworks, but tend to specialize in one.
New languages and language extensions are being developed to increase the usability of the Internet on a daily basis. Here we will look at some of the important languages that have shaped the Internet over the years and give a brief overview of each one of them.
ASP.NET – Active Server Pages
The.NET Framework is the infrastructure for the Microsoft.NET platform. It is an environment that can be used for building, deploying, and running Web applications and Web Services with easier and quicker programming.
ASP.NET runs inside IIS which comes free with Windows servers. It enables scripts to be executed by an Internet server. This web development technology is built into the.NET Framework and utilizes full featured programming languages such as C# or VB.NET to build web applications. I personally like C# very much and I think it is a great language to code with and extremely easy to use.
ASP.NET drastically reduces the amount of code required to build large applications. With built-in Windows authentication and pre-application configuration, security and safety are guaranteed. But the main disadvantage is that ASP.NET applications can only run on Windows platform.
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