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  1. #1
    Confirmed Halfwit
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    I have a friend who is interested in learning the various web programming technologies, so he can get into the market and find a better job. (He's pretty decent at HTML already.)

    I've recommended he learn Perl first, because it is much more prevelent and every server has it. PHP is blooming, but I think he should learn the "basic" languages first.

    Any thoughts? Should he just jump right in to PHP or ASP and skip Perl? Also, he's on a pretty tight budget. Can you recommend a good book for both Perl and PHP? (He's pretty quick, so an 'idiots guide' intro book would be a waste.)

    Thanks everyone!

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  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    I would tell your friend to learn PHP first as it is fast replacing Perl for soem applications and is on the rise all of the time.

    Perl is to slow for large applications and now that we have PHP4 and the Zend optimiser PHP is much much faster than perl can ever be.

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  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    perl is equal to PHP

    even tho PHP is a lot faster and a lot easier to learn... you cant say perl is "basic" ..

    I would say to learn one of the more advanced languages like PHP or ASP as their demand is increasing

    most big companies are Microsoft Dependent, so to get better jobs, ASP would help him more .. PHP is fun, and easy, and a great language, and demand is starting to increase

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  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Perl is so under-estimated these days its ridiculous...

    I've got a baseball site that will eventually be run mostly with a Perl-based database (a heavily modified/souped up version of DBMan from Gossamer-Threads.com)...it's actually the components of 3 DBs...a relational database...it'll be storing probably around 700 records in once and a few thousand in two others...

    Perl is capable of quite a lot, but I'd have to agree that PHP is the heir apparent...



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  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot
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    PHP seems to be a good language. And I plan to leanr it in "detail" within the next month or two. However, PERL is by far more powerful than PHP in server side administration, ect. I will probably end up doing some of my sites with PHP, but some MUST stay in PERL because of what it can do.

    Richard

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  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    richb, not necessarily... I agree with the fact that perl is better when it comes to dealing with files, but hey, you can install php as a cgi too, and it can handle files, stdin, with equal efficiency, although console work might be slightly more of a headache with php ...

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  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Maybe I'm wrong. But I have never heard of a PHP file being able to create linux users, check POP3 mail accounts, FTP into other servers, ect. Besides, I agree PHP is probably a great language, for it's purpose, but to say it is more powerful than PERL just seems wrong.

    Richard

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  8. #8
    Confirmed Halfwit
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    So do you think the Perl or PHP would be better for him to learn?

    Any suggestions about a good first book? I hear O'reilly one is pretty good.

    Thanks.

  9. #9
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    PHP has built in FTP functions.. as for POP3, it has full socket capabilities, with the POP3 RFC in one hand, you could program it for such .. for creating linux users, its simply opening a few files, adding a few lines.. i dont see anything hard there

    as for a book, "Professional PHP Programming" from "WROX Press" is good..

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  10. #10
    SitePoint Author Kevin Yank's Avatar
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    I'd recommend learning PHP first, since just about everything you learn as you get into PHP can be applied directly to Perl. The advantage of PHP is that a beginner can produce useful results more quickly. If/when your needs outgrow PHP, making the leap to Perl just requires learning a few new things.


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  11. #11
    Hi there! Owen's Avatar
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    Perl was originally designed to do Unix administration tasks. It was then adapted for web work. PHP is probably better for quick/simple/numerous project, but Perl is better for monolithic problems. Of course, Perl has a HUGE collection of pre-made programs available that you can adapt for your own usage, so that should be a factor (are you going to reinvent the wheel or adapt something already made by someone else?)

    Owen

  12. #12
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    i agree with owen on that point

    i wanna reinvent the wheel !!! (and fire!!)


  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    Re-invent the wheel for me, because the existing wheels might not do the job you think they might do, just as an example did you know a triangular 'wheel' is better than a circular one when dealing with extremely lumpy ground? (Well it is)

    PHP cna do FTP, PHP can do POP3 as well, the IMAP functions in PHP also do SMTP, POP3, NNTP and access to local mailboxes, still think that PHP can't do half the things perl can do? PHP can also supports the use of COM objects under Win32 environments, inbuilt functions for creating Flash files (if you have compiled it in), in built XML parser, XML DOM support, PDF file creation - do I need to go on?

    PHP is going to be the new Perl.

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  14. #14
    SitePoint Zealot
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    I guess I put my foot in my mouth. Yet, becuase I do not know PHP well, and I would hope that you also know PERL: Which programming language would be better for a site that handles numerous ammounts of file/directories. As in continues opening/reading (no editing). I do not think it would be relevant to put all the files into a MySQL database as the files being opened need to be seperated. (This is hard to explain.)

    If PHP is so much better than PERL in speed, and can do the same things; why, in any case, would PERL be better?

    NOTE: I am trying to learn, and am not just supporting my prefered language.

    Richard

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  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>Originally posted by richjb:
    Maybe I'm wrong. But I have never heard of a PHP file being able to create linux users, check POP3 mail accounts, FTP into other servers, ect. Besides, I agree PHP is probably a great language, for it's purpose, but to say it is more powerful than PERL just seems wrong.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Of course it does...because there are a buttload of Perl scripts readily available, but you need look no furter than UBB and vBulletin to realize how much more powerful PHP is.

    As for checking email with PHP...there's an entire chapter in Wrox Press' "Professional PHP Programming" dedicated to setting up and online mailbox...but I think it's using IMAP, not POP3...still interesting though.

    PHP is the next Perl; I couldn't agree more with that statement...Perl will fade, but due to the high amount of scripts in circulation and it's ease of use for simple web tasks, it'll always stick around to a certain degree...like the way DOS has; some still make use of it and most of us have it on our computers



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  16. #16
    SitePoint Zealot
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>Originally posted by TWTCommish:
    Of course it does...because there are a buttload of Perl scripts readily available, but you need look no furter than UBB and vBulletin to realize how much more powerful PHP is.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The ubb and vbulletin comparison does show bad on PERL. However, the person who pprgorammed the UBB has ups and downs. Looking through the code you can see where he did it one way, then changed it, then changed it back. In other words, he is not someone you should judge the language on. Try judging it on something like endymions mailman.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>As for checking email with PHP...there's an entire chapter in Wrox Press' "Professional PHP Programming" dedicated to setting up and online mailbox...but I think it's using IMAP, not POP3...still interesting though. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Thak you. The manual pages I have seen on php.net have almost no explination (atleast with workable examples, which is how I learn).

    Richard

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  17. #17
    Hi there! Owen's Avatar
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    Actually, Perl is getting stronger and stronger. Linux is installed using Perl scripts, and they are havily used (you can't escape Perl on Linux - it's installed by default). Perl is going to be around for a lot longer.

    TWTCormish - don't forget about Yahoo and Excite which are made in Perl! I would also like to point out the reason that vBullitin is faster is due to MySQL databases vs flat-file AND better programming not Perl/PHP. I think for speed Perl and PHP are both very similar.

    Owen

  18. #18
    Hi there! Owen's Avatar
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    One more thing. Perl and PHP are very similar. I think you can basically do everything in both languages no problem. PHP has a less steep learning curve, but is less powerful at many tasks. Perl can do amazing things in no time at all, but can be very cryptic.

    As you can tell I'm biased towards Perl, but just look at both languages and pick which one is easier for you and does what you need (ie man pages, complexity, time, etc.)

    Owen

    [This message has been edited by Owen (edited July 27, 2000).]

  19. #19
    SitePoint Zealot
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    And here I thought I was all alone in a forum of PHP biased users.

    Richard

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  20. #20
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>Originally posted by Owen:
    Perl was originally designed to do Unix administration tasks. It was then adapted for web work. PHP is probably better for quick/simple/numerous project, but Perl is better for monolithic problems. Of course, Perl has a HUGE collection of pre-made programs available that you can adapt for your own usage, so that should be a factor (are you going to reinvent the wheel or adapt something already made by someone else?)

    Owen
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This made me think you were PHP biased. Yet, I couldn't see where you thought that PHP was going to let you reinvent the wheel. Yes, PERL has modules and already made programs, but you don't have to use the already made programs (make your own) or modules (probably be slower not to, but you might make them better). Not to mention, it would appear as though PHP was PERL built in HTML with mod_perl and all the "glory" of CPAN activated. How could you, then, possibly reinvent the wheel?

    Just curious...

    Richard

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  21. #21
    Hi there! Owen's Avatar
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    From my experience PHP is great for simpler programs (displaying headers, processing forms, etc) while Perl is better for larger programs (databases, complicated programs, etc).

    By not reinventing the wheel, I just meant that there is a huge number of pre-made programs out there you can use -- more than for PHP at any rate. If you are doing something simple, you obviously wouldn't want to use a CPAN mod, but if you wanted something more complicated, it could be a huge timesaver. (Okay. Maybe "reinventing the wheel" wasn't the best choice of words.)

    Owen

    [This message has been edited by Owen (edited July 28, 2000).]


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