I am looking for some advice on which way to go. I am a web designer and use asp for some basic things, but I'd like to learn more. Can someone give me your opinion on whether someone new should learn classic asp or jump into asp.net? I know most people will be using asp.net in the future, so I'll need to learn it, but it seems that a lot of people still use asp, so it would be good to know. Is asp easier to learn than asp.net, and would it be easier to learn asp.net after learning asp? Is asp.net more of an upgrade where asp would be helpful to know, or a complete restructuring where I'd be better off skipping the old asp?
One more thing - is asp.net more of an enterprise solution than asp or should it be used regardless of project size?
First off, I am a weekend web programmer. I do VBA6 on Access to a SQL backend at my day job. I have completed one site in ASP classic. My first advice would be to take a running start and jump right into asp.net. There is a steep learning curve, but do not give up. It can be used to develop much quicker, etc. It is also OOP so you will need to do focused thought before you begin a project. asp.net is a part of the '.net framework'. This whole package addresses many problems from the past(and it does add it's own set of problems), but is truely the next step in the right direction. As I read somewhere else on the internet. You are either on the bus or you are not. Check out http://www.franklins.net/dotnetrocks.asp for interviews with 'industory pundits' on their views for the .net framework.
I started learning ASP 2 years ago and found it complex to start with but like everyone once you get going you'll eventually get the hang of it.
Over the last 6 months i have been learning ASP.NET using VB.NET and not C#.NET.
I had a complex form validation script to right for a client using ASP, it took about 3,000 lines of code. I redid the script as a tester using ASP.NET and produced the same script in just over 50 lines.
You are correct in saying everyone is using ASP and not so many using ASP.NET, you got to remember that ASP 1 was released in 1997 and .NET just last year.
The thing the impressed me about .NET is that the whole architecture is build around XML. Everything thing you write in ASP.NET is converted in to XML the advantage of this is cross platform compatibility. You only need to write on version of a page and it will work on any browsers using any operating system.
ASP has its uses but ASP.NET blows it away to the Stone Age. ASP.NET offers the power of runtime, this offers the developer the use of client and server side scripting from the one language.
Really i can sit here all day pointing out hundreds of advantages in using ASP.NET but if your looking to make a career out of it get into ASP.NET ASAP because the market will be needing ASP.NET developers not now but in 2 years time and they will be paying big bucks for developers with at least 2 years experience. ASP is great to know how to use, but the future is ASP.NET and getting yourself ahead of the rest will put you in a great position.