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  1. #1
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    PHP vs. ASP.NET Fight

    I need help!

    I'm a designer in the process of learning PHP and need some help. At work developers from the IT Dept. keep arguing that asp".NET" is better (for many reasons that they have failed to explain) than PHP. They say PHP can't survive and that it doesn't compare to the speed and agility of ASP.NET.

    One of the explanations that I did get is that with asp.net you can comile code into much faster *.aspx files. Is there an equivalent in PHP?

    In your opinion what are the pros and cons of each?

    Help me win this one please!!!

    Thanks,

    LG
    Luis

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    Sultan of Ping jofa's Avatar
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    Grumpy Mole Man Skunk's Avatar
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    Any speed differences will only become noticeable if your site gets hundreds of hits a minute. ASP.NET does have some significant advantages (the standard class library and the fact that C# is a very nice language spring to mind), but at the end of the day its biggest disadvantage is that if you go with ASP.NET you are pretty much tying yourself to developing for the Windows platform, which leaves you stuck in Microsoft's insidious (and expensive) upgrade cycle PHP can be deployed on a much wider range of operating systems and doesn't tie you to one vendor.

    (I know Mono is an open source project that plans to get .NET running on non-MS platforms, but I don't trust MS not to deliberately screw it up somehow so I will only believe it when I see it deployed).

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    No. Phil.Roberts's Avatar
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    The notion that PHP 'cannot survive' in the face of ASP.NET is, and always has been, total bullfaeces. PHP is free, open source software which can run on damn near any web platform and integrate almost every web technology you care to name. ASP (and ASP.NET) is prorietary, and stuck on Windows. Ive no doubt whatsoever that your IT dept people are long time Microsoftphiles who have probably never used PHP anyway.

    PHP is also a far more appropriate choice for most web apps, in the same way that Java is not always a good choice.
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    SitePoint Wizard gold trophysilver trophy
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    One of the explanations that I did get is that with asp.net you can compile code into much faster *.aspx files. Is there an equivalent in PHP?
    Yep. It's called the Zend Accelerator (or the free alternative - php-accelerator). Guess no one really knows what MS does when it say's it "compiles into .aspx" but thinking about the practicalities, in this case I think "compile" really means cache - so they've finally caught up with something that PHP has been doing for ages now.

    They say PHP can't survive
    You might want to point out that from here - the count is 2,128,669 PHP installations out there running on Apache. Then point out that from here - there's only 1,819,051 IIS web servers out there (more or less required for ASP). Follow that with a quick look at this and how IIS is looking like it's on the downhill slope, especially since Apache 2.0 arrived. .NET may be a great technology, but if no ones interested it's going nowhere.

    As to agility, ask them if they can write a Lotus Notes client in ASP. Then point out that you could write in Java and PHP for about 2 years now and it's now possible to drop Python into PHP.

    The only thing .NET really has to offer that PHP can't do easily (if you discount PHP-GTK) is to interface natively with the client (Windows). Which is nice but given MS's security record, if they unleash that on an unsuspecting Internet, all hell will break lose.

    Main thing to remember is you can't compare PHP with ASP.NET. PHP and ASP can be compare (they're both languages) but .NET is an application framework. Anyway - enough already - it's well discussed in other threads.
    Last edited by HarryF; Jul 10, 2002 at 13:56.

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    morphine for a wooden leg randem's Avatar
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    Re: PHP vs. ASP.NET Fight

    At work developers from the IT Dept. keep arguing that asp.NET is better (for many reasons that they have failed to explain) than PHP.
    This is usually the case. NBM'ers (nothing-but-microsoft) generally have a bunch of vague arguments for why they like MS technologies, but very little fact to stand on. Eventually, after you push them long enough, they all revert back to the same argument: Microsoft has $40bn in cash, they'll always win. (guess again...)

    They say PHP can't survive and that it doesn't compare to the speed and agility of ASP.NET.
    PHP not only will survive, but is doing quite well, and has many more adopters than ASP.net. And PHP can run on Windows while ASP can't run on anything else... so no matter who wins the OS wars, PHP is a sure thing, ASP is not. I'd say that's agility!

    In your opinion what are the pros and cons of each?
    PHP has a reputation for beating ASP in the speed tests.

    PHP has a stronger (more C-like) syntax, while ASP is highly verbose and looks more like pseudocode than like programming.

    All the .net languages are new and untested, and knowing Microsoft's reputation, there will no doubt be hundreds of security holes and bugs discovered in the CLR. PHP has been in wide-spread use for a few years now, and is completely open-source, so bugs are few and they are fixed immediately.

    A PHP program can send an email with ONE LINE of code. Try that in ASP.net

    Want more?

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    Talking Re: Re: PHP vs. ASP.NET Fight

    Originally posted by randem

    A PHP program can send an email with ONE LINE of code. Try that in ASP.net
    ok
    Code:
    System.Web.Mail.SmtpMail.Send("from@email.com", "to@email.com", "Subject", "Body");

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    Re: Re: PHP vs. ASP.NET Fight

    Originally posted by randem

    PHP has a reputation for beating ASP in the speed tests.

    PHP has a stronger (more C-like) syntax, while ASP is highly verbose and looks more like pseudocode than like programming.
    This thread is on the newest version of ASP, ASP.NET which is clearly faster than PHP.

    PHP only has a more C-like syntax than VB, not C# or J#. Anyway syntax is secondary anyone can quickly learn the syntax of a different language, it is the concepts that take longer, of which all the .net languages have more in common with C++ than PHP.

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    SitePoint Addict LiveTronix's Avatar
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    In my opinion php has some huge advantages.

    - You can run it on so many operating system
    - if something is broken it will be fixed a lot quicker then asp.net because of it's huge openness
    - Easy to Learn many resources
    - Hotscripts.com - look at whats already done for free, with this said you can saves hours in programming time by borrowing others code for the beginning of your projects.
    - The php community is also much more open, there are so many resources to help others along.

    These advantages don't have much to do with the actual syntax comparison but in my opinion they are very valid.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Addict LiveTronix's Avatar
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    Re: Re: PHP vs. ASP.NET Fight

    Originally posted by randem

    Eventually, after you push them long enough, they all revert back to the same argument: Microsoft has $40bn in cash, they'll always win. (guess again...)
    Have any of you seen Anti-Trust where the main character is not worried about any of the bigger companies. He says anykid working from his garage can develop something that will put him out of business. I think the PHP-ASP war will not put MS of of business but ASP being closed defiantly puts PHP at a huge advantage. ASP.NET may be faster right now but give PHP some time to catch up. PHP updates so much more the ASP so we'll see whos faster in 6 months .

  11. #11
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Re: PHP vs. ASP.NET Fight

    Originally posted by Atomsk
    A PHP program can send an email with ONE LINE of code. Try that in ASP.net

    ok
    Code:
    System.Web.Mail.SmtpMail.Send("from@email.com", "to@email.com", "Subject", "Body");

    This reflects many PHP guys opinions on ASP. So many people automatically put off Microsoft technologies before even trying them.

    I started with PHP about 18 months ago, and have done it since. I love the language, and I definitely don't think it will die. However, I'm currently looking into ASP.NET, and I can safely say that it, without real contest, is generally superior to PHP. The "battle" between old-ASP and PHP generally just came down to a matter of taste and amounts of jobs, but ASP.NET really is superior, believe me.

    ASP.NET has several major differences from PHP:
    • It's compiled
      Just like all .NET software, ASP.NET is compiled. This makes it immensely faster than PHP, which is interpreted. Not really an issue unless you have enormous amounts of page views (think 150 per SECOND), though.
    • It's written using full OOP programming languages
      ASP.NET is written using "real" OO programming languages of your choice. PHP is just a simple scripting language in comparison to C# or C++. This gives you more control, speed, and more reusability, but also means that code is more complex, and has a steeper learning curve.
    • It separates code and HTML really nicely
      This is where ASP.NET, IMHO, really does blow PHP out of the water. Out of the box, PHP's separation of content and code is a piece of donkey excrement. Once you start using a proper templating system like Smarty, things look much better. However, ASP.NET's Web Forms, Server/User Controls and Data Grid just smacks Smarty around with a trout, really. It's so smart, clean and saves so much time. Before anyone forms an opinion on ASP.NET, he/she should go read though the official ASP.NET Quick start Tutorials. Really - there is a great chance you will be impressed.
    • It automates a lot of the boring code
      Web Forms in ASP.NET just makes you write less code. Check out Kevin Yanks article on ASP.NET form processing basics.


    I'm not going to get into the debate of whether .NET is really going to be tied to the Windows platform or not (even though Microsoft HAS released the source code of the FreeBSD .NET CLI for anyone to look, and is having Corel Develop a proper framework for it), but I will say, as a PHP coder, that ASP.NET is a very good piece of technology.
    Last edited by M. Johansson; Jul 13, 2002 at 08:25.
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    Grumpy Mole Man Skunk's Avatar
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    Don't confuse ASP and ASP.NET. ASP is basically an IIS extension to allow it to execute scripts. ASP.NET is the web scripting element of .NET, which is a whole new development platform.

    PHP beats the pants off traditional ASP, but ASP.NET has some big advantages over PHP (compiled scripts, the ability to use proper OOP langauges such as C#, a very well designed standard library). That said I'm not goign to touch .NET until I'm sure that the open source implementation will be a viable alternative to hosting on a Microsoft platform.

    PHP is also easier and cheaper to host.

  13. #13
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Skunk
    PHP is also easier and cheaper to host.
    Definetly! That's a big advantage of PHP that I didn't think about.
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    SitePoint Wizard gold trophysilver trophy
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    I get tired of hearing this;

    It's compiled
    Just like all .NET software, ASP.NET is compiled. This makes it immensely faster than PHP, which is interpreted. Not really an issue unless you have enormous amounts of page views (think 150 per SECOND), though.
    and

    This thread is on the newest version of ASP, ASP.NET which is clearly faster than PHP.
    MS feeds the hype and everyone swallows it whole. I've already said this once in this post (as well as in loads of others) but I'll say it again, more clearly.

    PHP.ZendAccelerator is still faster than ASP.NET

    It's been possible to do this for two years already, using the Zend Accelerator. What Microsoft call "compiling" in regard to .NET is not real compiling. Zend, who are more honest, admit it's a form of caching. But in case you're in any doubt, read this.

    Is the Zend Accelerator a type of a Web Cache or a Proxy?

    No. The Zend Accelerator is a caching module designed specifically for PHP and the Zend Engine. It does not cache HTML documents or images, but rather, compiled PHP applications. For truly dynamic pages, such performance products can actually slow down response time. The Zend Accelerator was designed to optimize the scripts that dynamic pages depend on.
    And if you don't feel like paying for Zend (but if you use MS - you'll love to blow money), there's even a free alternative: http://www.php-accelerator.co.uk.

    Now further quotes.

    From Zend here;

    Deliver faster responses to user requests (up to 5 times faster!)
    From MS here;

    Most applications migrated from classic ASP see a 3x to 5x increase in pages served.
    Notice how both improve by up to 5 times. That's because they're doing exactly the same thing. They're hooked into each enviroment at a low enough level to compile/cache pages so that only the dynamic parts (dB connections etc.) get "re-processed".

    So in conclusion: Oh dear! ASP is back where it started - still lagging behind PHP (it always was faster)!

    If you're going to talking about ASP.NET (which is language + application framework) then hey - I'll talk about PHP.ZendAcc in future.

    Otherwise;

    It's written using full OOP programming languages
    That sure is going to help all those web designers out there who get by in PHP but aren't programmers and have no interesting in OO. For most web sites, you do not need OO coding. Punkt. Period. Full stop. The web is about "throw away code". And if you want OO, PHP offers it. And as it turns out, .NET isn't quite so hot at OO - think many PHP coders will grin when they see this

    It separates code and HTML really nicely
    I've looked at links you've pointed out. I (or any reasonably experienced PHP coder) could write a PHP class that simulates the datagrid perfectly, as well as the new ASP+ / C# templating system, without a great deal of effort. And again the difference is, while MS are forcing you into a style of development, you can choose one of many PHP solutions or write your own.

    It automates a lot of the boring code
    I automate my own boring code, just as Kevin does here.

    .NET blows out on being Windows only and here's a prime example. If you head to Brinkster and buy they're Premium hosting account [$13 setup + $13 / month) only then do you get access to all these Com Components. And don't expect installing new Components to be free - they cost money after all. That's a typical, cheap ASP host.

    With PHP, you'll find thousands of hosting companies offering all the functionality of those components for free (as a default install) and will probably be willing to install further libraries for free or at a very small charge. That's because all the libraries are typically open source in the first place.

    .NET is, in my opinion, a language only for those backed by a corporate account.
    Last edited by HarryF; Jul 15, 2002 at 06:45.

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    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by HarryF

    PHP.ZendAccelerator is still faster than ASP.NET
    Okay. Sorry - my bad. Correction: ASP.NET is insanely fast, and PHP is slightly more insanely fast.

    That sure is going to help all those web designers out there who get by in PHP but aren't programmers and have no interesting in OO. For most web sites, you do not need OO coding. Punkt. Period. Full stop. The web is about "throw away code". And if you want OO, PHP offers it. And as it turns out, .NET isn't quite so hot at OO - think many PHP coders will grin when they see this
    I like OOP since it saves me time. Of course you don't need OO to write a web site. I just think that OO is nice for reusability - I can reuse a lot of code on the next web site I write. But that's just me - I never said OO was for everyone.

    I've looked at links you've pointed out. I (or any reasonably experienced PHP coder) could write a PHP class that simulates the datagrid perfectly, as well as the new ASP+ / C# templating system, without a great deal of effort. And again the difference is, while MS are forcing you into a style of development, you can choose one of many PHP solutions or write your own.
    Of course you can. I just pointed out that it has a very nice templating system built in. I never said it was an end-all solution.

    I automate my own boring code, just as Kevin does here.
    Okay.

    .NET blows out on being Windows only and here's a prime example. If you head to Brinkster and buy they're Premium hosting account [$13 setup + $13 / month) only then do you get access to all these Com Components. And don't expect installing new Components to be free - they cost money after all. That's a typical, cheap ASP host.

    With PHP, you'll find thousands of hosting companies offering all the functionality of those components for free (as a default install) and will probably be willing to install further libraries for free or at a very small charge. That's because all the libraries are typically open source in the first place.
    Yup, as I mentioned in the post above yours, PHP is cheaper to host.

    .NET is, in my opinion, a language only for those backed by a corporate account.
    I agree - ASP.NET is not for the hobbyist.
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    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Oh, and out of curiosity, how is ASP.NET not compiled? As I've understood it, the code is compiled into native code when it is first ran, and then it's... well, compiled?

    From Arstechnicas article on .NET:
    When running the executable, the CLR uses Just-In-Time compilation. As each method within the executable gets called, it gets compiled to native code; subsequent calls to the same method don't have to undergo the same compilation, so the overhead is only incurred once.
    Last edited by M. Johansson; Jul 15, 2002 at 07:39.
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    SitePoint Wizard gold trophysilver trophy
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    *Wipes froth from corners of mouth*

    Oh, and out of curiosity, how is ASP.NET not compiled?
    It's an interesting question which is hard to answer both on the PHP and .NET sides of the fence - lips are fairly tighly shut, but the best explaination I've seen comes from php-accelerator - if you read that carefully, you notice it sounds an aweful lot like what .NET does - the version checking and all.

    If you did deep, you'll also find little snippets like this;

    ASP.NET uses a disk-based cache to store the compiled DLLs, guaranteeing a virtual infinite number of ASP.NET Web pages to be "cached" (that is, not needing to be recompiled each time the page is visited).
    or this

    ASP.NET Pages are compiled
    When an ASP.NET page is first requested, it is compiled and cached on the server. This means that an ASP.NET page performs very rapidly. All ASP.NET code is compiled rather than interpreted, which permits early binding, strong typing, and just-in-time (JIT) compiling to native code.
    But I'm 99.9% sure both .NET and ZendAcc / PHP Accelerator are doing basically the same thing. If you use "compile" in the strictest sense a C++ coder might use it, I'm sure neither is really compiled.

    The basic idea is in old days of ASP 3.0 or PHP (without Accelerator), a script was "re-parsed" (or compiled) each time it was run. So for PHP, the langauge get's interpreted (aka compiled) into something more like C++ (bytecode I believe it's called). This wasn't particular fast so people looked for ways to speed it up.

    One simple approach was to cache the output - the end result - a web page. That works for a static page but where dynamic content from a dB is concerned, you need a new version of the page each time, making this approach more or less useless.

    But then someone realised that to the number of times a script gets run from a site, it very rarely changes.

    So if you cache the compiled bytecode, you would save the PHP (or now ASP) parser from having to repeat the job over and over again for every script execution, while still allowing for "dynamic content", because the bytecode contains instructions on which database to access, the queries to run etc, in a form that is very fast for the low level C++ executables that make PHP "happen" to work with.

    So what Microsoft and Zend are doing is partially compiling a script into bytecode then caching it for re-use. This is not the same as a executable you compile from C++ program, for example, which I'd call "truly" compiled. This quote from MS here sums it up;

    Because ASP.NET does not have compile-time knowledge of any applications you write on top of it, it cannot use static references to resolve and reference application code. Instead, ASP.NET must use a dynamic class/assembly resolution approach to make the transition from the ASP.NET runtime into application code.
    While Zend use the term "advanced caching" - which is kinda wooly and doesn't tap the vein that developers respond to, MS dare to use the word "compiled" and get everyone to blindly quote it as massive improvement over competing languages. Perhaps Zend should learn something for the motto: "Who dare wins".

    It's no coincidence that both are quote "5 times faster" - there's only so much this approach can do for you and both have probably hit their limits.

  18. #18
    .NET inside archigamer's Avatar
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    i have been doing some research and i have found that the code validation controls that are generated by asp.net do not work with any version of netscape. another reason to go with php.
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    Super Ninja Monkey Travis's Avatar
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    Whats that? A Microsoft product doesn't work with Netscape? Well, what did you expect from a company that has trid everything to make their web browser the only one used? Its probably just another way for Microsoft to push Netscape (and Mozilla) out of the market.
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    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by archigamer
    i have been doing some research and i have found that the code validation controls that are generated by asp.net do not work with any version of netscape. another reason to go with php.
    ASP.NET has some nifty form validation controls that can generate javascript, which lights up those red little "*" next to form fields that needs to be filled in - i.e. they are mad dynamic instead of static. These JS snippets are NOT required to work for form validaton to work, as all form validation is done server side.

    The server controls works absolutely flawlessly in any standards compliant browser (Read: IE, Opera, Mozilla, etc). I personally couldn't care less if the server controls doesn't work in NS4, since NS4 usage will be very low when .NET picks off, and secondly because NS4 users aren't even going to notice that they don't have dynamic "*".

    If you are still unhappy with the form validation control javascript not working with NS4, you can just redefine/rewrite the server control. PHP doesn't even have form validation controls in the first place.
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    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    You can see an example of the Form Validation here:
    http://samples.gotdotnet.com/quickst...alidator8.aspx
    Fill in the form, press validate, and then change the field to be incorrect if it was correct, and vice versa, and the red text beside the form field will change. Source code here.
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    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Well, Harry, I guess time will tell whether ASP.NET or PHP is faster. I don't belive marketing texts, whether they come from Microsoft, Zend or anyone. I believe benchmarks. Some real benchmarks will come soon enough, I guess. One thing is sure, though - .NET is very fast. This guy made a goddarn 3D engine using it.
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    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Oh, and I just recalled an advantage of ASP.NET - it has a totally free and very good development tool for ASP.NET, called Web Matrix. It's essentially a scaled-down/customized version of Visual Studio.NET. It has WYSIWYG, Direct editing and viewing of your SQL db in the little DB window, code completion, and editing over FTP. It also includes lightweight versions of IIS and SQL server. (Full functional, but won't handle real load) There is nothing like it for PHP that is free.

    ASP.NET is more expensive to host, but it's cheaper to develop for.
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    SitePoint Wizard gold trophysilver trophy
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    Well, Harry, I guess time will tell whether ASP.NET or PHP is faster. I don't belive marketing texts, whether they come from Microsoft, Zend or anyone. I believe benchmarks. Some real benchmarks will come soon enough, I guess. One thing is sure, though - .NET is very fast. This guy made a goddarn 3D engine using it.
    I think you're mixing things up here. .NET has to be capable of making things like a 3D engine - it's the future platform for all MS technology. That has nothing to do with building websites - that's a client application.

    As to marketing texts, don't believe the hype (which is exactly what everyone has done with .NET). .NET or Zend Accelerator simply optimise the process of interpreting scripts. If you know a hard core C++ coder, have a long chat with them about how a C binary is compile and how this compares to what .NET does. All in all, the .NET languages and PHP can only get so fast (and will always be as fast as each other) - there's a limit to how much you can do with a script. If you want to get faster, you'll need a true binary.

    For some benchmarks, try this for a start.

  25. #25
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    PS: Some real feedback on VS from MS developers: http://www.dnjonline.com/articles/to...newsgroups.asp


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