Question:

I am a 'nuts&bolts' guy - I need to know what kind of nuts and bolts to use for what kind of job, I don't need to know about the philosophy of why the nuts are having their threads inverted. Nuts and bolts have a practical use. I just want to learn about the practical uses to apply to IIS, and I believe you have provided me with a reasonable starting-point. If it is not all collected in one place, that cannot throw me.

At the moment, I am filing on a kind of skeleton home-page, if it comes out alright, even vaguely so, I am considering enhancing the concept, I am not contemplating doing any .ASP (probably a misjudgement) but am fond of the concept of dynamically generated HTML & CSS - so, would it be in order to say that the depths that I will need to take myself, initially, regarding IIS revolves around learning how to configure 'what' depending on the 'what' - if you get my drift? And the smartest thing to do would be to learn how to script the configuration? It would be nice if I could find my focus rather quickly, and the technicalities of that would seem to be within my immidiate reach.

Answer:

The concept of dynamically generating HTML and CSS ties into my "blitz course" description in this blog entry in the following way. Where I said "launch the handler to generate a response", you now assume that the handler is a piece of code which takes as input a "script" which tells it how to intermingle dynamic logic with HTTP response output to generate a response.

In other words, you want to look into technologies like ASP and ASP.Net because they are technologies which provide such a handler to IIS that takes as input some form of "script" which combined with framework logic of the respective ASP/ASP.Net technology, result in dynamic generation of HTTP response output. IIS is merely the platform technology upon which these framework technologies layer their user-designed logic to allow users to easily configure and build dynamic web pages.

So, when you make a request to http://localhost/MyPage.aspx , what the selecation of the handler is described in this blog entry:
http://blogs.msdn.com/david.wang/archive/2005/10/14/HOWTO_IIS_6_Request_Processing_Basics_Part_1.aspx

Basically, IIS determines that the request is to an .aspx page, which is handled by the ASP.Net ISAPI Handler. So, after it does a URL-to-Filesystem mapping of /MyPage.aspx to something like C:\inetpub\wwwroot\MyPage.aspx, it invokes the ASP.Net ISAPI handler telling it to process C:\inetpub\wwwroot\MyPage.aspx . At this point, ASP.Net ISAPI Handler reads the MyPage.aspx file, which contains code similar to:

<%
Response.Write( "Hello World" );
%>

And the handler dynamically parses/compiles the code to something that ultimately generates "Hello World" written as HTTP Response back to IIS.

In other words, the problem of dynamically generating HTML pages is transformed into scripting the manipulation of a technology framework such as ASP or ASP.Net to accomplish the same task on IIS. At this point, your questions revolve around learning, configuring, and using a framework like ASP or ASP.Net... which incidentally is no longer an IIS question. :-)

//David