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The question is, what's wrong with Standard CGI?
WinCGI is the closest comparison to VBWeb in that you can write WinCGI programs in VB. WinCGI is an alternative to Standard CGI where VBWeb is built on top of Standard CGI. The question is, what's wrong with Standard CGI? Standard CGI starts an instance of the application for every request. That makes the site take a fraction of a second longer to respond. WinCGI does not avoid this problem. Another problem with WinCGI is that only a few servers support it and the support is inconsistent. O'Reilly is the biggest supporter of WinCGI with its Website product. In fact WinCGI was framed by the author of Website. WinCGI is an informal specification. There is no WinCGI standards comity so Website is your safest bet. To O'Reilly's credit, they have nurtured quite a following for WinCGI. That collective experience is a great resource for support. If Website is an option, then WinCGI is worth consideration.
File I/O
Picture of Data Flow
  1. The web server sees that the request is for a WinCGI script so the web server puts the request in a temporary INI file and then starts the script.
  2. The script can get the request from the INI file.
  3. The script writes an HTML response page into a temporary file.
  4. When the web server sees that the script ended, it sends the file to the browser.
Put simply, the WinCGI protocol dictates that all of the incoming data is written to a temporary INI file. (See table) From there, it is easy for a Windows program such as VB to get at the data. For sending data, instead of writing HTML to Standard-Out, the Windows program writes to a file. The web server sends the file to the visitor when the Windows program ends. This is a lot of file I/O, and file I/O is slow. VBWeb reads straight from Standard-In and writes straight to Standard-Out just the way Standard CGI programs ought to.
Multi-Select List Boxes
Multi-Select List Boxes present a problem for the WinCGI protocol. If a visitor selects two lines from a Multi-Select List Box, the web site gets a request that contains two values both with the same name. Since an INI file cannot handle two values with the same name, the WinCGI protocol dictates that the second name gets an '_1' appended to it. Other alternatives, such as Microsoft Visual InterDev, put the values in an array. The VBWeb solution matches InterDev. This makes for an easier transition when your site needs to scale up to the speed advantages of InterDev.
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You may download VBWeb for free but you may not distribute VBWeb or use any part of it for commercial use or profit without a signed written agreement between you and NEWMAN Services Corp. 973-228-5753 pres@newmanservices.com
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