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Named arguments are command-line arguments that have been associated with a name. All arguments not associated with a name fall in the category of unnamed arguments. The contents of the Arguments collection are always the sum of the contents of Named and Unnamed arguments. In general, a command-line argument includes two distinct types of information: the role and the value.

For most applications, the role of each parameter is implied by the position it occupies on the command line. The program assumes that the first parameter means one thing, the second another, and the third something else. The role of a named argument is not implied by position but comes as a part of the argument itself. Consider this command:. Scripts that define their command-line arguments according to this schema have a way to identify their input values by name. Named arguments are far easier to manipulate because they can be placed anywhere on the command line and are self-explanatory.

Any other combination of characters simply won't work. The value of the parameter is what comes after the colon until a blank character is found. If you want to assign it a string that may contain blanks, you must wrap it in quotes, like this:. When a named argument is stored in the Named collection, the wrapping quotes, if any, are removed. All the named arguments are extracted from the command line, parsed, and made accessible through the Named collection.

The following code returns the number of named arguments for the current script:. The Named collection provides the typical programming interface for collections. This includes properties like Item, Count, and Length. In addition, Named has an extra method, Exists. The Exists method checks whether the collection contains an item whose name matches the specified text:.

All the arguments on the command line that don't have a name are considered unnamed and grouped in the Unnamed collection. You retrieve any unnamed argument as you would retrieve a generic item from Arguments. Script applications implemented through the WSH schema can include metadata, which is information used to request special services from the WSH runtime.

In particular, all the information defined within the runtime element serves as self-documentation. It lets you specify the expected arguments, a description of the script's behavior, and usage information. The runtime element is the parent element within which you define all run-time arguments and usage information. The runtime element is normally placed immediately following the job element. It is a child of a given job, and all of its settings apply only to that particular job:.

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The named element indicates one of the named arguments that a job supports. It recognizes four attributes: Name, Helpstring, Required, and Type. The Name attribute, as you might guess, allows you to define an argument name. The Helpstring attribute specifies the description of the argument. The Required attribute is used to set an argument as required or optional. Type is an optional attribute that describes the type of the argument. It determines how the argument will be parsed from the command line.

Allowed values are "simple," "string," and "boolean," with "simple" being the default value. The runtime elements do not enforce the values set for the arguments it contains. For example, if an argument is marked as required but is actually missing from the command line, no error will be raised. The list of enhancements in WSH 5. But before closing, let me mention a couple of tips that will help you when scripting for Windows XP. First is a visual issue. Windows XP has Visual Styles that can be turned on programmatically.

All that's needed is an XML manifest file with the same name as the executable, with a. Amazingly, the same XML manifest file can work unchanged with any executable on that machine, but you might want to customize the product and copyright information. However, turning themes on for all WSH applications is easy. In doing so, you'll notice that the System32 folder already contains a few other manifest files. Password, implemented in the scriptpw. Although this is not officially part of the WSH 5. The ScriptPW object works as a password reader and allows you to type in sensitive data without displaying it.

The GetPassword method collects and returns the typed text. You use the component as follows:. Password is certainly useful because it addresses functionality that was previously missing.

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Unfortunately, though, it is not perfect. For one thing, it doesn't work in a GUI environment and is only available to console scripts running under the control of cscript. Second, it captures any text you type but it never provides any feedback to the user.

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In particular, it displays only a blinking cursor as you enter text; no special character replaces the individual characters. The WSH core wscript. In the past, a lot of people applied the same model to their applications making them customizable and extensible. The question you may be asking now is what's going to change in this area with the advent of. Scripting has very little to do with.

NET for two good reasons.

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Second, the advantages you get from. NET languages over scripting languages are substantial in terms of performance and programming ease. Whenever you can use a. NET language instead, there's no question about what's better. These new engines are freely redistributable along with the rest of the framework. At this time, the two script engines that the.

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NET and JScript. In addition, a third engine is in the works for the. NET intermediate language IL. This engine would be able to load precompiled IL code but not compile from sources. This new Script for the.

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First, you have full access to the entire. NET platform.

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In other words, you are no longer forced to build a tailor-made object model in your applications just to allow for scripting. NET, the application is inherently programmable in the sense that any constituent public class is accessible without intermediate proxies. However, you can control what objects are effectively reachable via script and you can make the scripts run in a kind of secured sandbox.

The languages you use to script. NET applications are the same first-class languages you use for writing them. They provide advanced features such as strong typing, early binding, and, of course, compiled code. In addition, Script for the. To start using a language engine, you first create an instance of it, add some code, and then add the object model that the script is based upon. Objects are not attached to the engine through living instances as they were with the Windows Script engine. Instead, you need to specify the type and name in order to script the object.

Only when the script executes and an instance of that object is needed will the engine call you back to obtain a usable instance for that kind of object. The interface involved with the setup of the engine is IVsaEngine. The interface for callbacks is IVsaSite. The language engines also support the ability to add references to.

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NET classes by creating an item in the engine with the full name of the involved assembly. In this way, all the types in the assembly are available to the script. When WSH is updated for. NET it is expected to be an application based on the Script for the. What you can expect in the future of WSH, far beyond today's upgrade, is a shell-level environment that knows how to work with any.

NET language from JScript. NET to Visual Basic. NET, and from J to C. Any of these languages will become just another "script" language supported by WSH. Windows Forms are, and will be, full-fledged applications distributed through compiled code.