Friday, March 6, 2009

Website Technologies

Htaccess file allows you to set parameters for your web site and folders (directories). The most common use is to protect directories by defining usernames and passwords. Htaccess can be used for many other things as well, including denying access to specific addresses, keeping out hostile spiders and redirecting traffic transparently to the user. The downside of htaccess is the language used is often extremely obscure, difficult to understand and extraordinarily precise. A small error in your htaccess file can disable your entire web site until the error is fixed.

 Java is a client-side (meaning it's executed by the browser not the server) language. It is efficient and very powerful. The primary advantage of Java over ActiveX is Java has a sane security model (called the Sandbox Model), while the ActiveX model is so imbecilic as to defy imagination. Java is also much less likely to crash systems. On the other hand, Java is substantially slower than ActiveX, and there are many tasks that simply cannot be performed in Java because it is denied access to the operating system and disk itself. 

 This is a scripting language which is interpreted and executed by the browser. It is very useful for getting tasks done on the client, such as moving pictures around the screen, creating very dynamic navigation systems and even games. JavaScript is generally preferable on internet sites because it is supported on more browsers than VBScript, which is the chief competitor.

 The Microsoft Office suite includes a number of tools, including Word, Excel, Access and Powerpoint. Each of these tools has the ability to save in HTML format and has special commands for the internet. This is especially useful, for example, if you work in an office where people are trained in Excel and you don't want to retrain them to create web pages. On the other hand, if you are creating internet web sites (as opposed to intranet sites) you probably would be better off using web specific products to edit your web pages.

A great scripting language which makes use of the CGI standard to allow work to be done on the web server. PERL is very easy to learn (as programming languages go) and straightforward to use. It is most useful for guestbooks, email forms and other similar, simply tasks. PERL's primary disadvantage is the overhead on the server is very high, as one process is created each time a routine is called, and the language is interpreted, which means the code is recompiled each time it is run. For complex tasks, a server-side scripting language such as PHP or ASP is much preferred.

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