Appendix F. The Two-Minute VBScript-to-Perl Tutorial

Heresy to talk about VBScript in a book largely focused on Perl tools? Perhaps, but if you put down the pitchfork for a second, I’ll explain why it is useful to spend two minutes learning a little VBScript. The following rationale assumes you have some familiarity with machines running Windows-based operating systems. If you’ve never had any contact with Windows machines, and never expect to, please skip to the next appendix. The rest of you, follow me.

It may border on the tautological to say this, but Microsoft expects administrators to automate their tasks using Microsoft technologies. Perl has been shoehorned into this realm largely thanks to the efforts of Jan Dubois and the other contributors to the Win32::OLE module. This module gives us a way to communicate with other parts of the Microsoft software universe on an almost equal footing with Microsoft scripting languages like VBScript.

Win32::OLE makes communication possible, but it doesn’t always make it easy. Perl doesn’t share the same DWMM (Do What Microsoft Means) language idioms as VBScript, so it’s not always clear how an apparently simple piece of VBScript code that performs some behind-the-scenes magic for the programmer can be translated. This difficulty is compounded by the lack of reference and teaching material written in our native language. Barring a few notable exceptions, like David Roth’s books, the vast majority of the material on Windows scripting is written ...

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