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  1. #1
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    Is PHP really good?

    I am new to Web Development and wondering about choosing either PHP or ASP.NET as my domain. I like PHP but some of my friends are trying to wash my brain by saying that ASP.NET will be good in the long run.

    Are they correct when they say PHP is only used for small projects?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    There is no easy answer to this. Both are viable technologies with advantages and disadvantages. Really it's a matter of personal preference, play a little with both and see which you are more comfortable with.

    Some of the main advantages/disadvantages would be as follows.

    Cost - The PHP/MySQL combo will run on linux and is free. ASP.NET requires IIS which needs Windows servers. ASP.NET uses MS-SQL which is also quite expensive (It is however still possible to use MySQL with ASP.NET)

    Speed - PHP is generally faster as it does not rely on COM based architecture.

    Functionality - with PHP a lot of functions are built in (mail, ft, md5 functions etc.) whereas with ASP.NET you require extra components which again cost money.

    There are other differences but really learning either will still stand you in good stead to learn the other.

    You may have guessed I am a little PHP biased but what I will say is that ASP.NET will make you more employable. I'm not saying that this should be the case it just is. Microsoft have a very good hold of the corporate market and business owners tend to go the Microsoft route. This is slowly changing as the benefits of using open source alternatives are popularised.

  3. #3
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    Andrew thanks for the explanation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Millne View Post
    I will say is that ASP.NET will make you more employable. Microsoft have a very good hold of the corporate market and business owners tend to go the Microsoft route.
    Yes I've seen more ASP.NET jobs in the market where as PHP is just limited to small companies and freelancers.

    But PHP is more popular and now most of medium-sized sites (and even some big ones) are being built using PHP/MYSQL.

    My heart says PHP and I would stick to it. Let others do .NET.

    Thanks again. BTW which technology do you work in?

  4. #4
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    I have a personal preference for PHP but if a client requests ASP then I will respect their wishes and use that. I will however try and find out their reasons why they wish to use ASP.NET. Like I say there are a number of valid reasons to use it. Sometimes the environment you work in will require ASP.NET but if you master one you will not find it difficult to pick up the other.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
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    You should really learn how to do web development in general rather than choosing one specific stack starting out. Now, I, myself, would vote .NET over PHP any day. But I am biased. Still, in the open source world, I would start learning something like Ruby or Python rather than PHP, who's day has largely passed IMHO.

  6. #6
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    Sorry that is true. I was assuming a broad understanding of web development in general, perhaps maybe I shouldn't have.

  7. #7
    Non-Member I87's Avatar
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    asp.net is easier, has more support (well... from the company itself..) but the con is it costs a lot more money than php


    you might want to check out ruby on rails..
    I've heard a lot of good things about it- and I heard it's easy to learn
    I've been contemplating about switching from PHP to RoR for a while

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard bbolte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Millne View Post
    Speed - PHP is generally faster as it does not rely on COM based architecture.
    uhm, not to start a language war or anything, but that's incorrect. ASP.Net isn't based on COM architecture. ASP.old was. .Net is a whole new thing. Saying one is faster than the other is very subjective and really difficult to generate conclusive evidence either way.

    don't get me wrong. i like and use PHP also.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwb_99 View Post
    You should really learn how to do web development in general rather than choosing one specific stack starting out.
    I completely agree with you. So once the basic concepts are clear, one might feel comfortable in switching to some other scripting language.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbolte View Post
    uhm, not to start a language war or anything, but that's incorrect. ASP.Net isn't based on COM architecture. ASP.old was. .Net is a whole new thing. Saying one is faster than the other is very subjective and really difficult to generate conclusive evidence either way.

    don't get me wrong. i like and use PHP also.
    Hehe, I missed that one. I should also note that compiled COM objects are generally much faster than anything interpreted, such as PHP.

  11. #11
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    PHP can be scalable depending on how well you create your class architecture. Just like any language, you can make it work or not work depending on how well you organize it.

    If you plan on scaling with PHP, I would recommend a PHP Framework to keep your code organized and clean.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwb_99 View Post
    Still, in the open source world, I would start learning something like Ruby or Python rather than PHP, who's day has largely passed IMHO.
    I definitely have to disagree with this. I think that PHP is really starting to get interesting. It is gaining much more notoriety as a professional programming language, and with the true OOP functionality introduced with PHP5, it can only get better. With some of the frameworks available (Cake, Symfony, Zend, etc) the ability to make much larger and more efficient applications is becoming easy.

    As far as which one 'vickyphp' should start with, should depend on what the future outlook for your needs are going to be. If you see yourself making websites and web applications, either freelance or with a web firm, then definitely start with php. Conversely if you are in the position, where you want to get on track with large company's web and application development departments, or industries where php is regarded on the same level as html, then ASP is probably a better fit.

    It is always good if you can learn both, but I think that you should choose the best one for the direction you 'want' to go, start with that one, and learn the other one later.
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Cups's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vickyphp View Post
    I completely agree with you. So once the basic concepts are clear, one might feel comfortable in switching to some other scripting language.
    Hang on, you have to start leaning on SOMETHING ...

    Just look at these SP forums and you will see why more ppl learn and stay liking PHP: from today:

    PHP Forum ~ 150 users online
    ASP Forum ~30 users online
    ROR Forum ~5 users online

    Because when you learn PHP you are also joining a community that for the most part "gives", some might say its an anti establishment community, though I dont agree. (have you ever tried getting support from MS? Come on! )

    I was very touched when I made my first online posting in 1999 about problems installing PHP, within half an hour I had accurate 2 replies, one from Spain and one from Croatia - I found this truly incredible, so much so that all these years later I feel I should give back by helping others where I can.

    What price do you put on the level of support you find here on SP?

    Now, when you are a "real programmer" you might well know the syntactic diffs between these langs, but by then the landscape will have changed ... no doubt.

    You gotta make a choice on where to start learning, well I hope above is one to get you thinking ....

  14. #14
    SitePoint Addict Trent Reimer's Avatar
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    I am a freelancer and continue to use PHP simply because so many of my clients have PHP enabled servers. In a few years I expect Ruby on Rails support to be almost as universal and certainly look forward to being able to take advantage of that. In the mean time I use a framework to manage the code. It's pretty slick actually but if were able to start from scratch and server environment was not an issue I would prefer to use Python or Ruby.

    Your assessments are correct: although PHP in a large corporate setting is still somewhat unusual there are an increasing number of opportunities there. But if that environment is your goal, ASP.NET will get you further. For that matter, if it's mostly about the money you may want to check out J2EE which is not going away any time soon.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Guru Skyblaze's Avatar
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    i re-up this thread to say to you my experience. I started with my own/individual company with php and i liked it very much. Then i decidec at the start of this year to learn and switch to rails. Well now i have to close my company for money problems and i'm searching for a web development job, and i see that most of the web agency job market(at least here in italy) wants php or asp.net developer so i decided to return to php but also because my experience with rails was not so good. I like more php for many reasons and mainly beacause with it i feel i learn more than rails that has so many facilities that hide to you important related concepts

  16. #16
    Patience... bronze trophy solidcodes's Avatar
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    yes!

  17. #17
    SitePoint Guru Skyblaze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solidcodes View Post
    yes!

  18. #18
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    To be honest, I'd say that it all depends on you.

    PHP is great for speed, database connectivity, cost, support and upgradability (if that is a word).

    ASP.NET is great for flexiable languages and ease, but I don't like it. ASP.NET is good, I have to admit, I mean I'm a C# Programmer and putting that into the web is good, but it doesn't always work. The ASP.NET interpreter translates C#, C++, C, Visual Basic, whatever language into HTML, Javascript and some server-side control. However, I have seen the JS that it creates, and it is extremely inefficient, and some of the time doesn't work with non-IE browsers.

    I feel that PHP gives you control. It outputs what you tell it to ouput. ASP.NET outputs all kinds of rubbish, and your clean XHTML coding can be messed up.

    Just my two cents
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Millne View Post
    Functionality - with PHP a lot of functions are built in (mail, ft, md5 functions etc.) whereas with ASP.NET you require extra components which again cost money.

    This was true with old ASP but the .NET framework is really extensive.
    For example, caching (maybe not syntetically correct):

    Cache["test"] = "cached string";

    No need to build a Caching class for it, as with PHP.

    Anyway even though I work fulltime in ASP.NET environments it always seems as if it takes longer time to build ,maintain or debug these applications then its PHP equivalent. I find ASP.NET to complex for the often relatively trivial web application.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Addict chestertondevelopment's Avatar
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    I also think many people here are getting confused between languages and frameworks. Ruby on Rails is a framework, PHP is a language. As far as I'm aware ASP.NET is a bit of both? As you can tell my knowledge of ASP.NET isn't very good, but as has been mentioned above, if you're looking to start a career, it will make you a lot more employable but if you're building a personal project I personally would stay away from it, use PHP/Ruby/Python or even Perl but I don't believe ASP.NET is a viable option due to costs/hosting/support etc


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