Build scripts that work more like applications so you can monitor progress and display results in a formatted manner.
Every year at this time I like to try something new and different—perhaps a new food that I was never brave enough to try before. In keeping with that spirit, I'd like you to try something
new this year, as well: HTML Applications, also known as HTAs.
A downside of scripts is that they're not very interactive. Most of the time when you run a script, you just see a blank command-line window while you wait for either a C:\> prompt indicating success, or an error message telling you to start over.
Well, fret no more. HTAs present a useful scripting interface that enables you to monitor progress, display results in a formatted manner, and, well … just build scripts that work more like applications. All you need is your script code and a little bit of HTML know-how.
Let's take a look at how they work. Copy the following code or right click here to download a text version of the code . Save the file with the .HTA extension and double-click it. You might have to right-click it and select "Open With …" and specify Internet Explorer. Once it runs, you'll see that world-famous "Hello World" application appear:
My First HTA
Chris Brooke, MCSE, is a contributing editor for Redmond magazine and director of enterprise technology for ComponentSource. He specializes in development, integration services and network/Internet administration. Send questions or your favorite scripts to firstname.lastname@example.org.