ASP.NET - A Bedtime Story

,Web Beast Map

ASP.NET - A Bedtime Story

Web Beasts

Once upon a time, a knight was exploring new lands when he discover a creature which became know as the web beast. When the knight first saw the creature, he realized immediately this was no ordinary beast. This huge beast behaved differently than the various small beasts he had encountered. The knight knew a beast this large could be very valuable if he could find a way to train it. So the knight enlisted the help of wizards from several kingdoms to study the beast.

The knight created an encampment near the beast where the wizards could gather. When the knight revealed the beast to the wizards there was great excitement. The wizards also realized the immense value of the beast, and each wizard wanted to claim control of the web beast for his own kingdom. Even though the wizards had similar appearance, with their white beards and silk robes, the wizards had received different training in their various kingdoms. As a result the wizards knew different types of magic, and some wizards knew more magic than others. Their different training, and their desire to control the web beast for their own kingdom, created a number of disagreements among the wizards. While the wizards argued about their observations of the web beast, on one thing they all agreed. They needed to find a way to communicate with the web beast.

Communicating with Web Beasts

The wizards tried to communicate with the beasts using every language and every type of magic they knew. The wizards put on quite a show for the beast. The most powerful, and universally feared, dark wizard would approach the beast during the middle of the night and put on spectacular displays of magic. But perhaps the most entertaining wizard was Marcus Misspell from the kingdom of OddDucs. Marcus of OddDucs was very exuberant in casting his spells, but unfortunately his spells usually resulted in comical disasters. However, no matter what the wizards tried, they were just not able to communicate with the beast.

After a few weeks of hearing the wizards argue, the knight grew impatient and decided he would create a new language for communicating with the web beast. He led a web beast out into the country-side and found a peaceful place to work on his new language. Once the knight finished his new language, he led the web beast to the prestigious School for Wizards and presented the web beast and his new language to the students. The knight called his new language HTML and demonstrated how it was used to communicate with the beast. After his presentation to the students, the knight rode back to the wizards' camp.

The wizards were sitting around the campfire smoking their pipes and arguing as usual. When the knight announced he had created a new language for communicating with the web beast, the wizards were stunned. Why had they not thought of this? They listened intently as the knight explained the details of HTML. The knight explained how HTML used tags to surround elements of the language. The tags would enable the web beast to understand certain language elements. The wizards all liked the idea of this new language and applauded the knight for his efforts. But secretly each wizard was also thinking of ways they could change the language to be more suitable for their own kingdoms.

The wizards began to study how the beasts responded to HTML. A young wizard, who had trained extensively in the magic of medicine, diagnosed the web beast with transient global amnesia. He explained that it was not really a defect, its was just how the web beasts were created. It seems a web beast could not remember what had just transpired, which made communicating with them a challenge. The medical wizard called this strange way of communicating HTTP. He explained how HTTP treated every communication as an independent pair of "requests" and "responses". You could ask a beast: "Did you see the boat go by?" and the beast would response: "Yes, I saw the boat go by". But when you followed up with the question : "What color was it?" you would get the response: "I have no idea what you are talking about".

The medical wizard's discovery caused a entirely new area of research for the wizards called State Management. Many wizards spend long hours researching methods to help the beast remember previous events and carry on a conversation. However the methods they created all work differently and some would help the beasts remember for longer periods of time than others. One method allowed the wizards to carry on a conversation, but when they communicated with the beast the next day, the beast had forgotten the previous conversation. This research continues to this very day, with new methods being developed and tested.

Finding a use for the Web Beasts

It was during this time that Queen Catherine was to celebrate her birthday. Married to King William, the wealthiest of the kings, it was sure to be a splendid event. However when King William sent word for his wizards to prepare new displays of magic for the event, he was told no wizards were available. King William learned about the wizards lengthy research at the web beast encampment and contacted the other kings to discuss the situation. Soon all the kings demanded their wizards return with a web beast which would benefit their kingdom. After a frantic discussion about how the web beast could be used, the wizards decided they would have the web beasts replace the town criers. The beasts voice would carry for miles, while the current town criers voice could only be heard for a few blocks. The web beasts would allow the king's announcement to be heard immediately over the entire kingdom. Soon each of the wizards returned to their kingdoms with a web beast in tow to present to their king.

The kings liked the idea of their decrees being broadcast over their entire kingdom. So the business of importing and training web beasts began across all the kingdoms. Each of the wizards introduced their own magical elements into the HTML language in an effort make their web beast perform better than the web beasts of other kingdoms. However, all the wizard's magical elements could not make the beast speak with the eloquence of the town criers. Sure the web beasts had loud voices, but their voices had not been trained like the town criers. The town criers could emphasize the important words and vary their speech patterns with pauses and different pitches to be more expressive. While the web beasts could only read the HTML scripts in a boring monotone voice.

Soon, it was evident that the citizens were growing tired of listening to the beast's monotone voice. So the wizards enhanced their HTML tags to include a style element. Style elements could point to a list, which they called CSS, which would instruct the beasts as to how to change their voices when reading particular words and sentences. However the poor web beasts couldn't remember the ordering of all the complicated rules the wizards presented for improving their speech. So the wizards created three books containing their speech rules. The web beasts were instructed to first lookup a speech rule in book #1. If they did not find the appropriate rule in book #1, they were told to look in book #2. If they did not find the rule in book #2, then they must look in book #3. Finally, if a rule was not found in any of the books, the web beast should use their own natural way of speaking. The web beast reluctantly agree because they frequently found the rule in book #1 and then they could stop looking. They understood if the same rule, with different instructions, was found in books #2 or #3, it was okay for them to ignore it. The first appropriate rule they found in the 1-2-3 book sequence was always the one they used.

The wizards where happy with the way they had improved the web beasts voice, but there were times when the rules conflicted and a latter rule was more appropriate than the first rule the web beasts found. So the wizards created a way to handle these excepts to the normal rules by marking some of the rules as !important. A rule marked as !important always received precedence over the other rules, regardless of where it was found in the 1-2-3 book sequence. This made the web beasts grumble because now they always had to look through all three books to find these exceptions to the normal rules. To get the web beasts to cooperate, the wizards have to feed them the best cookies and pies in the kingdom. The web beast became very fond of the cookies. So the new way of improving the web beast's speech was working, and the citizens began accepting the web beasts as a suitable replacement for the town criers.

Council of the Web Sages

A few years after the web beasts took over for the town criers, a small coastal kingdom came under attack from a neighboring kingdom who wanted to take over their ports. The small kingdom used their web beasts to send a request for help from their friends in a neighboring kingdom. The web beasts quickly relayed the message to the border of the kingdom. Unfortunately the web beasts of the coastal kingdom were unable to communicate with the neighboring web beasts. The problem was the wizards of each kingdom had modified the original HTML to such a degree that the web beasts could no longer clearly understand the HTML used in the other kingdoms. As a result help arrived too late to help defend the coastal kingdom.

When the knight who created HTML, heard of this situation, he decided to form a council of sages to create a uniform version of HTML which all web beast could understand. To allow the wizards to continue to improve HTML, the council agreed to meet every few years and consider all the latest changes before publishing their latest version of uniform HTML. The council found the same uniformity was also required for CSS. Over the years the kingdoms discovered it was important to use the uniform versions of HTML and CSS so their web beasts could carry message across all the kingdoms. Now not only were the kingdoms more secure, but the kingdoms found it easier to share its news and culture with other kingdoms.

,Dragon Imported by the Dark Wizard

The Age of the Dragons

Web Beasts Defend the Kingdoms

It was with great surprise that citizens of the kingdom of Tranquility first witnessed huge fire-breathing creatures fly over the jagged mountain peaks of Sierra del Diablo in the early morning hours of a cold January day. It was but a few weeks later that the dragons began terrorizing the citizens by swooping down from the sky to burn their houses and crops. Brave knights followed the dragons as they returned over the mountains and discovered this was the work of the dark wizard from the kingdom of Malice.

For weeks the dragons continued to terrorize the citizens of Tranquility. Then one day a dragon flew too close to a web beast and the beast swap the dragon out of the sky like a pesky fly. When the wizards observed the web beasts' ability to dispatch the dragons, they tried to direct the beasts to chase after the dragons and remove them from the kingdom. But the wizards soon realized the HTML language contained very few commands for directing behavior. So a bright young apprentice wizard named Eich, came up with a solution. Eich quickly created a language which contained several commands for controlling the web beast's behavior. Eich initially called this new language Mocha. But his senior wizards decided the language should be called JavaScript instead. Using JavaScript the wizards were able to command the beasts to defend their kingdom against the dragons. Soon the kingdom of Tranquility was more peaceful than ever as the wizards were now able to use JavaScript to command the web beasts to perform many useful tasks. As word of the new JavaScript language spread across the kingdoms, all the great wizards wanted to use this new language to control their own web beasts.

It seemed many wizards had not learned from their experience with creating different versions of HTML. These wizards set about making changes to the new JavaScript language to suit their own particular needs. Then the wizards trained their web beasts to only understand their particular dialect of the language. Some wizards saw the folly in all these slightly different dialects and asked the council of web sages to create a uniform version of the language. However the web sages were reluctant to undertake this new endeavor. So the wizards turned to a distant council of sages known as ECMA. ECMA did indeed create a uniform version of the language, but they called it by yet another name. They called it ECMAScript. As time went on the ECMA sages found they also needed to meet every few years to consider the wizards latest changes. Each time they meet they created a new version of the uniform language. They used numbers to distinguish between the versions, such as ECMAScript 3.1 or ECMAScript 5. However this did not stop some wizards from continuing to create their own version of the language and calling them by various names. These wizards would simply say their new language was compatible with a particular version of ECMAScript.

All these name for the same basic language seemed foolish to most wizards, so they just referred to all versions of the language as simply JavaScript. Unfortunately the web beasts were greatly confused by all these different versions. Most beasts had only been taught one particular version. When a wizard tried to give a web beast directions using a different version, the beast became confused and was not always sure what it was being asked to do. So another group of wizards banded together and took a different approach to solving the problem of all these JavaScript versions. This group created a condensed notation which would be feed into a smart translator. The translator would change the notation into the particular version of JavaScript that each individual beast understood. They name this notation jQuery, and the wizards soon realized this notation also provided a more concise way to give instructions to the beasts. jQuery became quite popular because it allowed the wizards to write one set of concise command instructions that could be understood by all the beasts.

It was just not all the versions of JavaScript which caused turmoil among the wizards. Some wizards feared if they taught their web beasts JavaScript then it would be possible for someone to give the web beasts malicious commands which could harm the citizens. Gradually the wizards removed commands which could be used maliciously and provided additional training to the web beasts to safeguard against them being command to do evil deeds. As time went on, JavaScript became an extremely popular language. The initial differences between all the various versions of the language tended to fade away with time. A wizard name Doug published many articles defending JavaScript. Doug observed how JavaScript received a bad reputation because some of the early implementations were very buggy, and there were initially my security loop holes. Eventually the wizards grew comfortable using JavaScript to direct the simple behaviors of web beasts in every more creative ways.

,Queen Catherine

The Web Beasts Rescue Queen Catherine

The web beasts could now understand HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. As the citizens watched the web beasts perform more and more difficult tasks, they begin to expect great things from the web beasts. But the wizards knew there were limitations to the web beasts capabilities. These limitations were about to become apparent to the citizens as well.

The Dark Wizard had been secretly training knights to tame and ride the dragons he had imported from the far East. Once trained he led the knights on a night raid on the kingdom of Contentment. The invaders headed straight for the palace and could not believe their luck when they found Queen Catherine alone in the gardens. They swooped down and captured the queen and flew her back over the Sierra del Diablo mountains to the kingdom of the Dark Wizard.

The citizens knew their knights could not cross the rugged mountains in sufficient numbers to rescue their queen, so the citizens turned to their web beasts to rescue their queen. However rescuing a queen from a distant land is much more complicated that swatting a dragon from the sky. The beasts would have to carry out a large number of complex instructions with no wizards nearby to help them. Even with jQuery the wizards were not able to create such a large number of complex instructions. So the wizards began experimenting with new ways to give the beasts more powerful instructions. By now the web beasts were growing weary of learning all these rules and languages. So the wizards came up with a compromise solution for the web beasts. Each web beast would be given to a translator device which would convert the more complicated languages into the simpler HTML, CSS, and JavaScript which the beasts could already understand. The wizards hastily created translators which used existing complex languages of the time. The wizards could now began preparing the beasts for the daring rescue mission.

Using the complex languages and translators work well most of the time. However somethings it seemed the beast was not always behaving according their instructions. Some wizards became frustrated with their beasts and said the beasts were not capable of understanding the complex instructions. The problem was most evident when the web beasts did not perform the instructions in the correct order. However, when the wizard took a close look at the how the instructions were being translated into HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, they discovered the fault was not with the web beasts. The first problem they discovered was the wizards were changing the translators so often, that they were not keeping all the translators up to date with the lastest rules. To further confuse things it was just not one group of wizards who were changing the translation rules. Initially several groups of wizards were creating rules. Another problem was the inconsistent ways the translators were converting the complex languages into HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Even when the same complex language was used, a different translator could have subtle differences in translation which would affect the web beasts instructions. The wizards did not have time to form a council to resolve all these differences. The wizards realized that getting the web beasts to follow these complex instructions required the wizards to know all the variations of these rules, languages and procedures. Furthermore, it required the wizards to have a full understanding of which of these rules, languages and procedures a particular web beast understood.

The surprise invasion of the web beasts over the Sierra del Diablo mountains was successful in rescuing Queen Catherine and returning her back to her kingdom. But it was only with good fortune and sheer luck that the mission succeeded. When King William learned of all the mishaps and near disasters of the mission, he knew he had to make improvements to the entire process of training the wizards and web beasts. King William met with best of his advisors and they created new methods, tools, languages, and procedures for the complex training of web beasts.

,Web Beast Wizard

The Web Beasts get Advanced Training

King William knew how fussy the wizards were about using their favorite languages. So King William developed a two-stage translator. The first stage would create one of the several different languages used by wizards into the same common language. The second stage would then translate the common language into the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for the web beasts.

King William went on to create a development platform for creating instructions for web beasts. This platform included a library of sentences which made it quicker to compose some of the commonly used instructions for the beasts. The library also provided consistency in the directions created for web beasts. King William called this library the Foundational Class Library (FCL). King William also created rules for how languages should be created so they could be used together when giving directions to the web beasts. He called these rules the Common Language Interface (CLI). He had the foresight to submit his CLI to the Council of Sages to become a standard for use by anyone. So today many languages can easily be used together to provide instructions to the web beasts.

King William included a powerful suite of tools as part of his development platform. He also published extensive documentation and provided hundreds of free courses for learning how to work with the tools and the languages. King William bundled his development components together and called it the .NET framework. King William appointed numerous wizards to keep improving his development platform.


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