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   ► KBTo/From GuidesDelphi PrismLanguage Basics  Print This     

Cross Ref > Language Basics

By Mike Prestwood

Delphi Prism versus ASP Classic: A side by side comparison between Delphi Prism and ASP Classic.

 
Language Basics
 

Language basics is kind of a catch all for absolute beginner stuff. The items (common names) I chose for language basics is a bit random and include items like case sensitivity, commenting, declaring variables, etc.

Case Sensitivity

[Other Languages] 

Languages Focus

Case sensitiviy in this case is referring to commands and variable names. For example, are "printf" and "PrintF" equivalent? Are fullname and FullName equivalent? When you create commands, operations, methods, or variables should you worry about case?

Delphi Prism:   No

Prism is generally not case sensitive. Commands and variable names are not case sensitive.

Note: Prism (and Delphi for .Net) do not automatically match your typed case with the defined case as C# and VB.Net do within the Visual Studio Shell.

Syntax Example:  

The following demonstrates command and variable case insensitiviy.

var
 FullName: String;
begin
 fullname := 'Mike Prestwood';
 MessageBox.Show(fullNAME);
 MESSAGEBOX.SHOW(FULLNAME);
 messAGEbox.sHow(fullname);
end;
ASP Classic:   No

ASP Classic is not case sensitive. My preference for all languages where case sensitivity does not matter is to use camel caps as in the first example above. Many developers coming from a case sensitive language prefer to use all lowercase.

Syntax Example:  

You can use any of the following:

Response.Write "Hello"
response.write "Hello"
RESPONSE.WRITE "Hello"
REsponse.WritE "Hello"




Code Blocks

[Other Languages] 

Languages Focus

The rules for code blocks within a language dictate where you can declare variables, how you "bracket" code, etc.

Delphi Prism:   begin..end

Same as in Delphi for Win32 but Prism also supports inline variable declaration.

Syntax Example:
function DoSomething : integer;
var
 a, b : integer;
begin
 a := 1;
 b := 2;
 var c : integer; //Prism allows inline (local) variables.
 c := a + b;
  
 result := c;
end;
ASP Classic:   End Xxx

In .ASP html pages, you embed ASP code between <% and %>.

ASP Classic code blocks are surrounded by statement ending keywords that all use End such as End Sub, End If, and WEnd.

Syntax Example:
<%
Sub x
End Sub
 
If x Then
End If
 
While x
WEnd
%>




Comments

[Other Languages] 

Languages Focus

Commenting code generally has three purposes: to document your code, for psuedo coding prior to coding, and to embed compiler directives. Most languages support both a single line comment and a multiple line comment. Some languages also use comments to give instructions to the compiler or interpreter.

Delphi Prism:   // or { ... } or (* ... *)

Commenting Code
Delphi uses // for a single line comment and both {} and (**) for multiple line comments. Although you can nest different types of multiple line comments, it is recommended that you don't.

Compiler Directives - $
A special comment. Delphi compiler directives are in the form of {$DIRECTIVE}. Of interest for comments is using the $IFDEF compiler directive to remark out code.

Syntax Example:
//This is a single line comment.
 
{
Multiple line
comment.
}
 
(*
This too is a
multiple line comment.
*)
 
{$IFDEF TEMPOUT}
//...code here
{$ENDIF}
ASP Classic:   ' or REM

Commenting Code
ASP Classic, like all the VB-based languages, uses a single quote (') or the original class-style basic "REM" (most developers just use a quote). ASP Classic does NOT have a multiple line comment.

Preprocessor Directives - @ and #
An @ is used for preprocessor directives within ASP code (within <% %>) and a # is used for HTML-style preprocessor directives.

Note: ASP Classic does not support VB Classic's #If directive.

Syntax Example:
'Single line comment.
REM Old school single line comment.

 

Common Preprocessor Directives include:

<%@LANGUAGE=VBScript%>
<!-- #Include File="includes.inc" -->




Constants

[Other Languages] 

General Info: Computer Language Constants

A constant is just like a variable (it holds a value) but, unlike a variable, you cannot change the value of a constant.

Delphi Prism:   const kPI: Double=3.1459;

In Prism, you define constants similar to how you define variables but use the Const keyword instead of the Var keyword. Specifying the type is optional. If you don't specify the type, the compiler chooses the most appropriate type for you.

Declare class constants as part of the class definitions. Declare local constants above the begin..end. Although Prism support inline variables, inline constants are not supported.

Syntax Example:
//Specified type:
const
kFeetToMeter: Double = 3.2808;
  kMeterToFeet: Double = .3048; 
  kName: String = "Mike";

//Unspecified type:
const kPIShort = 3.14;
ASP Classic:   Const kPI = 3.1459

Scope can be Public or Private. Public Const is the same as just specifying Const. As with variables, all constants are variants. You do not specify the type, it's implied.

Syntax Example:
Const kPI = 3.1459
Const kName = "Mike"
 
//Public variable:
Public Const kFeetToMeter=3.28, kMeterToFeet=.3




End of Statement

[Other Languages] 

Languages Focus

In coding languages, common End of statement specifiers include a semicolon and return (others exist too). Also of concern when studying a language is can you put two statements on a single code line and can you break a single statement into two or more code lines.

Delphi Prism:   ;

Object Pascal uses a semicolon ";" as an end of statement specifier and you can put multiple statements on a single line of code and put a single statement on two or more code lines if you wish.

Syntax Example:  
MessageBox.Show("Hello1");
MessageBox.Show("Hello2");
MessageBox.Show("Hello3");

//Same line works too:
MessageBox.Show("Hello4");  MessageBox.Show("Hello5");

//Two or more lines works too:
MessageBox.Show
("Hello6");
ASP Classic:   Return

A return marks the end of a statement and you cannot combine statements on a single line of code. You can break a single statement into two or more code lines by using a space and underscore " _".

Syntax Example:
Response.Write("Hello1")
Response.Write("Hello2")
Response.Write("Hello3")

'The following commented code on a single line does not work...
' Response.Write("Hello4") Response.Write("Hello5")

'Two or more lines works too with a space+underscore:
Response.Write _
("Hello6")




Literals

[Other Languages] 

General Info: Programming Literals

A value directly written into the source code of a computer program (as opposed to an identifier like a variable or constant). Literals cannot be changed. Common types of literals include string literals, floating point literals, integer literals, and hexidemal literals. Literal strings are usually either quoted (") or use an apostrophe (') which is often referred to as a single quote. Sometimes quotes are inaccurately referred to as double quotes.

Languages Focus

In addition to understanding whether to use a quote or apostrophe for string literals, you also want to know how to specify and work with other types of literals including floating point literals. Some compilers allow leading and trailing decimals (.1 + .1), while some require a leading or trailing 0 as in (0.1 + 0.1). Also, because floating point literals are difficult for compilers to represent accurately, you need to understand how the compiler handles them and how to use rounding and trimming commands correctly for the nature of the project your are coding.

Delphi Prism:   quote or apostrophe

In Prism, you use either quotes or apostrophes for string literals.

Different than Delphi, you can start floating point literals with a decimal or an integer. For example, to specify a fractional floating point literal between 1 and -1, you can preceed the decimal with a 0 or not.

x := .1 + .1;     //Does work.
x := 0.1 + 0.1;   //Does work.
Syntax Example:  
MessageBox.Show('Hello');
MessageBox.Show("Hello");

//Example of embedding quotes and apostropes:
MessageBox.Show('He said, "Who''s computer?"');
MessageBox.Show("She said, ""Mike's computer"".");
ASP Classic:   quote

String literals are quoted as in "Prestwood". If you need to embed a quote use two quotes in a row.

To specify a floating point literal between 1 and -1, you can preceed the decimal with a 0 or not (both work). In other words, preceding and following decimals are allowed (both .1 and 0.1). Trailing decimals are also allowed (1, 1., and 1.0 are all equivalent and allowed).

Syntax Example:
Response.Write "Hello"
Response.Write "Hello ""Mike""."
  
'Does ASP evaluate this simple
'floating point math correctly? No! 
If (.1 + .1 + .1) = .3 Then
 Response.Write "Correct"
Else
 Response.Write "Not correct"
End If




Variables

[Other Languages] 

Languages Focus

A variable holds a value that you can use and change throughout your code so long as the variable is within scope. With variable declaration, you not only want to know the syntax of how you declare a variable but you also want to know where. Are you allowed to declare a variable inline? What are the available scopes: local vs. global. Can you assign a value at the same time you declare a variable?

Delphi Prism:   var x: Integer := 0;

Prism supports type inference where you just use a variable and the compiler will then choose the lowest type possible (such as an Integer before a LongInt). With Prism, you frequently do not have to use commands to convert from one type to another.

Variable names are not case sensitive. The Prism language offers both old-style declaring variables before the begin as well as in-line variable declaration.

Prism does support variable initialization too.

Prism offers many variable types. Some common variable types include Integer, LongInt, Single, Double, Boolean, and String.

Syntax Example:  
var
FName: String; //This is old-style.
begin
FName := "Mike Prestwood";
MessageBox.Show(FName);

Var Age: LongInt; //Local variables.
Age:=36;
MessageBox.Show(Fname + " is " + Age + " years old");

//Assign values too...
Var Wife: String:="Lisa"; Var WifeAge: Integer:=32;
messagebox.Show(wife + " is " + Wifeage + ".");
end;
ASP Classic:   Dim x

ASP Classic is a loosely typed language. No variable types in ASP (all variables are variants). Declaring variables is even optional unless you use the Option Explicit statement to force explicit declaration of all variables with Dim in that script. Using Option Explicit is strongly recommended to avoid incorrectly typing an existing variable and to avoid any confusion about variable scope.

For example, at the top of my common include file, I have the following:

<%@LANGUAGE=VBScript%>
<%
Option Explicit
'...more code here.
%>
Syntax Example:
Dim Fullname
Dim Age
Dim Weight
 
FullName = "Mike Prestwood"
Age = 32
Weight = 154.4
 
'Declaritive assignment not supported:
''Dim Married = "Y"   '>>>Not supported.




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