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Browsing the computer bookshelves is a disheartening pastime these days. For every book of lasting value, there are a hundred recycled, rehashed, and repurposed books on Java, web servers, Internet security, and the various flavors of HTML. But even against this dismal background, Microsoft Press's Programming Active Server Pages stands out as one of the lamest releases I've seen in some time.
Strictly speaking, Programming Active Server Pages is barely about Active Server Pages at all. Active Server Pages per se are web pages that are coded in a mixture of HTML and a subset of Visual Basic, with server-side execution on Microsoft's IIS version 3.0 or 4.0, and return pure HTML code to the client browser. Only one chapter of the book and a few pages of the appendices are devoted to this topic.
The remainder of the book provides a superficial introduction to the features of Internet Information Server, Internet Explorer 4.0, client-side VBScript programming, Dynamic HTML, ActiveX controls, Visual Interdev, and Microsoft Transaction Server. The book's several web application examples are heavily dependent on proprietary Microsoft technologies, so they will be nearly useless to developers that are concerned with platform and browser independence.--Dr. Dobb's Electronic Review of Computer Books