I don't slam MS for their 'hard work'. I slam them for business practices and inferior products. I couldn't care less that they charge for them.
I have, as yet, to see or read anything that states otherwise. A lot of it is marketing by MS. You see a lot of people trying to learn .NET stuff because they see all the articles and all the ads and say to themselves, "Gee, it's everywhere so I must have to learn it!" but we were all getting along just fine before it came out and we'll all get along fine without it. However, I am aware that half of the Fortune 500 companies use MS servers so you can assume .NET will soon play into their efforts. But I also know that is not true of middle to small business.
That is true of any language. Too many people are looking for a language that will write itself and forgive errors. Just like people used to think validation wasn't important for html/css because browsers would forgive errors; that's not as true anymore. If you want to do serious work, you have to learn the rules.
Okay, thanks for correcting me. However, I still say QUIT ARGUING AND BASHING OTHER LANGUAGES, AND GET TO THE POINT! HE SHOULD START WITH JS! And that came from a professional developer, so let it stand.
Don't bash other people's work. The .NET framework makes the languages more efficient. I may not like Microsoft much, but I will say that .NET is one of their best developments. Don't knock it until you try it. I knocked Linux until I got to play with it a little. I regret being so disapproving. Don't knock .NET until you've programmed with it. I like what I see with it. But what language is best isn't the point here. It's to get the threadstarter into scripting. So, let's all quit getting off topic, and get to the point...
and it's basically the starter scripting language of the web. It has it's problems, (mostly due to browser compatibility, which is one of the places that Microsoft does lack incredibly.)
PHP is a bit more complex, so it's not a great starter language.
You need to start with Client Side Scripting... It doesn't require a web server application like PHP does. PHP is Server Side Scripting. It requires a server application, and it has to be installed on the system.
ASP.NET isn't bad, but it's not the most widely used language. It also requires Microsoft applications to run. It's very capable, but... You have to have the .NET framework installed for it to work.
By all means, avoid PERL for now. It's also very very capable. The only problem is, is is NOT for beginners. It is very difficult to learn. That opinion came from several people, not just me.
CGI isn't a language. It's a type of program.
They can be written in many languages. Commonly, they're written in PERL, or C, neither of which would I recommend for a beginner.
Java is good, but, once again not just from me, it can be very unforgiving in certain areas, and you have to write it carefully. Intelligent hackers can find numerous vulnerabilities in a badly written Java applet. I've seen the result, and it's not pretty... For instance, here's a vulnerability issue...
Limewire, which is a P2P file sharing app, is written in Java. Only in the latest version did they fix a small bug allowing innocent looking files to open websites, some of which are filled to the brim with spyware or viruses. Some are just annoying. That bug is fixed now, but, the fact that it existed showed what can happen with a bug in Java. Not that bugs in other languages on the web can't have catastrophic results, but this is an example on the less harmful end...
"I don't care what it's written in, as long as it get's the job done as efficiently as possible."
W3Schools. Look 'em up.
pull up google, and google "Codepunk" There's a good site there that has a wonderful JS tutorial.