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Designing Active Server Pages by Scott Mitchell

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Creating ASP Pages with PerlScript

If you are an experienced Perl developer, you may find PerlScript more comfortable to use than VBScript or JScript. PerlScript is syntactically similar to Perl. The PerlScript scripting engine is maintained by ActiveState, a company that describes its role as “assist[ing] with the transition of [Perl] scripts between Windows and Unix based systems” (http://www.activestate.com/corporate/). The PerlScript engine can be downloaded for free from ActiveState’s web site, http://www.activestate.com.

With PerlScript, like with Perl and C/C++, each statement must end with a semicolon. PerlScript’s control structures, which are identical to Perl’s, include if ... elsif ... else, for, while, foreach, and foreach ... until. If you are new to Perl, I highly recommend that you obtain a copy of O’Reilly’s Learning Perl, Second Edition by Randal Schwartz and Tom Christiansen.

PerlScript’s Variables and Datatypes

Each PerlScript variable needs to contain a certain prefix. The prefix determines the variable’s datatype. With PerlScript, as with Perl, there are three major datatypes, as illustrated by Table 2.1.

Table 2-1. PerlScript’s Datatypes

Datatype

Prefix

Description

Scalar

$

Contains simple datatypes, such as strings and numbers

Array

@

Contains a variable number of scalar elements indexed by number; arrays are indexed starting at zero

Associative Array

%

Contains a variable number of scalar elements indexed by a string value; also referred to as ...

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