How to be an instant Web me-2.0 developer
If you're so smart, how come you ain't rich?
What does the P in LAMP stand for?
The best way to go about any small-to-medium scale web 2.0 development is to use LAMP. Others may advocate Microsoft's tools and platforms if they wish, but I have been terminally put off by the remarks of one insider.
This leads on to the question: what does the 'P' stand for? For me, it must always mean PHP. Perl is just too bizarre-looking, and carries more than a whiff of 1996. I was put off Python by an early Bayesian spam filter that ran dog slow and had the habit of irreparably corrupting its database every few weeks. PHP is easy, sensible and quick.
By the way, while we are here, I am baffled by Coding Horror's suggestion that PHP sucks because it has a lot of standard library functions beginning with 'A'.
Huh? 'Lots of functions' is surely good. It means we can call them, instead recoding them again already. That's how it is with the library thing. Would he really think it better if it only had three functions - say
add() for addition,
arcsin() for a bit of token trig, and
aaaaargh() for throwing an error? I'd genuinely like to know.
Despite Mr Atwood, the PHP library continues to grow apace, and think it is a good thing. I believe the
pester_victim_with_stupid_emails() function was added only last month, to help out everybody writing Facebook applications.
We should pause to consider Ruby on Rails
Ok, done that.
AJAX for a cleaner kitchen
Finally, having established that PHP is what you need on the server, you may be wondering what tools I recommend for client side use. That is, after all, why we are here. The following table should make my position clear.
|Tool||What is it?||Pros||Cons||Verdict|
|Java applets||You remember. The status bar. 'Applet loading…'||Supported by Netscape 2.||If I write the word 'crapplet', does that make this article NSFW?||I bet Sun hopes that everybody had forgotten.|
|OpenLaszlo||Open source alternative to Flash that practically nobody has heard of.||Sounds like a good idea. Can either use the Flash runtime, or DHTML.||When I looked at the OpenLaszlo site with Firefox, the basic layout came out all wrong - a major turn off in the circs.||It's one thing to go out on a limb, but this feels like going out on a twig.|
|Silverlight||Microsoft's 'Flash killer', about to go into a new version.||Version 1.0 was reputedly a weedy effort; it is said that the inclusion of .NET languages will improve version 2.0||It's Microsoft, for heaven's sake. They of the terrible websites.||Apart from everything else, at time of writing it's a beta.|
There, I trust that has sorted out your Web 2.0 toolchain for you. If you want more information, I found a useful-if-naturally-biased comparison on the Dojo site, and several good Wikipedia pages. But I am getting dangerously close to supplying useful information, so I had better stop. Best of British. ®