The SHAPE command is the bane of my existence

I inherited some classic ASP code not long ago that needed some enhancement.  The look-and-feel of the site is pretty nice, but under the covers there’s tons of the inline SQL I hate so much.  But worse than that is the previous developer’s use of the SHAPE command.  I’d never used it, even when I last wrote classic ASP with my own hands (around 2003).  Once this project is over, I hope never to see it or use it again.  I’m really struggling to understand how it works (and why things were done this way).  I’m hoping this article will help me figure it out.  I’m grateful that someone took the time to actually develop a formal grammar for this command.  It reminds me a lot of the BNF notation we learned as 1st year computer science majors in college.