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  1. #1
    The doctor is in... silver trophy MarcusJT's Avatar
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    Advice on choosing server-side scripting platforms

    Since this is a recurrent theme (a question along the lines of "What server-side language should I learn?" is started approximately once a month), I thought it might be helpful to create a single thread (a one-stop-shop if you will) listing useful sources of information to aid this decision-making process...

    First off, some pages that provide a pro/con analysis (and brief discussion) of each of the following scripting languages/platforms (with an eye on XML support too):
    ASP
    PHP
    JSP

    SitePoint resident Kevin Yank has also written some articles on this topic:
    http://www.webmasterbase.com/article/265
    http://www.webmasterbase.com/article/546

    Here's article on the particular topic of .Net vs PHP, followed by the thread started in response to it:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/article.php/870
    http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...threadid=75177

    I have also drawn together numerous past threads where this topic has (IMHO) been discussed in a constructive, balanced way or contains one or more particularly good posts on a particular language, so be sure to read each thread in its entirety. They are presented in no particular order:
    http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...threadid=38364
    http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...threadid=15799
    http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...threadid=81713
    http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...threadid=40319
    http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...threadid=48354
    http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...threadid=58412
    http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...threadid=58291
    http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...threadid=67474
    http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...threadid=65968

    In order to stop this becoming YET ANOTHER discussion thread, I have asked an administrator to make it "Important" and lock it.

    Furthermore, if you would like to contribute any links that I have missed, please send a Private Message to a member of the Programming Team.
    Last edited by Mittineague; Jul 23, 2013 at 21:11.
    MarcusJT
    - former ASP web developer / former SPF "ASP Guru"
    - *very* old blog with some useful ASP code

    - Please think, Google, and search these forums before posting!

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard Rick's Avatar
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    I only came to a decision about which programming language to go with when I started getting Kevin Yanks, Building a Database driven site using PHP and MySQL, article in the SP newsletter and decided to follow that through.

    K. Yank's article Which Server-Side Language Is Right For You? was helpful to me when I was choosing.

    At the end of the day all the major ones (asp, php, JSP) etc are very powerful and capable and it comes down the personal preference, which style you feel most confortable using etc.

    For budding PHPer's I really recommend K. Yanks book: Build Your Own Database Driven Website Using PHP & MySQL
    Last edited by zoo; Apr 1, 2003 at 14:38.
    Rick

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot jadmadi's Avatar
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    Last edited by Mittineague; Nov 5, 2010 at 22:22. Reason: pre-new-sticky cleanup

  4. #4
    SitePoint Evangelist ghurtado's Avatar
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    While it is not my favorite by any means, I think for the choices to be balanced, we need to consider ColdFusion as well. There are a handful of situations where this might just be the right scale of programming platform for a starting developer or a small/medium scale project.

    http://www.macromedia.com/software/coldfusion/

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Ruby on Rails is also something you should check out.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Plone and <snip/> are two toolkits that should be looked into as well.
    Last edited by Mittineague; Dec 20, 2010 at 22:42. Reason: pre-new-sticky cleanup

  7. #7

  8. #8
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    One of the problems with this thread is that the title refers to "scripting languages" but the introductory message asks "What server-side language should I learn?". This introduces an ambiguity because in web development not all the server-side programming is done with "scripting".

    "Scripting" usually refers to CGI scripting, i.e., processing GETs and POSTs from pure HTML or HTML/AJAX clients.

    But nowadays a lot of web development is done in Java and C# where the application is divided between the client and server and on the client side it's making function calls to routines on the server and getting return values, EXACTLY as though the called-methods were local, only all the marshalling and unmarshalling is handled behind the scenes so the programmer doesn't have to do it. From a programming standpoint this is a very different paradigm from CGI. My guess is that 5-10 years from now most web programming will use this model.

    So when someone is considering what server-side programming language they should choose they first have to consider which of these architectural models they expect to use.

  9. #9
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    Thumbs up Have a look at Lasso

    Lasso defenitely has to be included in this list. Here are some links for further information:

    The archives of primary community list, LassoTalk:
    http://www.listsearch.com/LassoTalk.lasso?tab1=about

    An open forum for ideas, solutions and articles on Lasso and web
    solutions in general:
    http://www.ldml.org/

    Should speak for itself:
    http://www.lassoforge.com/

    A forum for exchange of developer names, jobs and code:
    http://www.lassoscripts.com/

    A forum for exchange of socalled custom tags and custom types, Lasso'ish for 'functions' and 'classes':
    http://www.tagswap.net/

    A web application framework for highly professional developing in
    Lasso - free of charge:
    http://www.pageblocks.org

    The company developing and selling Lasso, OmniPilot:
    http://www.omnipilot.com/lasso

    Learning stuff for beginners from OmniPilot:
    http://www.omnipilot.com/Resources+f...ers.2225.lasso

    Projects ect made with Lasso:
    http://reference.omnipilot.com

    Best wishes - Nikolaj/Music&Media
    Music&Media
    Web Solutions for Cultural Businesses

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    http://www.opensourcecms.com has demos of almost all CMS packages around.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Member
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    My .02s are that it may be helpful to know who you're going to be doing work for...

    ASP/.net - Government and Private sector companies with deep pockets (most of Fortune 500), and non-profits that are MS centric.

    JSP - Specialized technology firms, contractors to the Feds or Military sectors, usually very large & and long established companies (ie. Gieco) and a lot of firms in the wireless/PDA world.

    PHP - Non-profits, startups, small/mid-sized firms, ISPs, technology innovating firms, new media firms, large universities, cool kids, and the rest of the entire world.

    Disclaimer, these are just my personal experiences doing web dev work here in Washington DC. You results may vary... widely.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Member
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    I found this scheme of programming languages history, I think some might find it interesting:
    http://www.levenez.com/lang/history.html
    actually seen it in a fancy Silverlight edition, but that was on a commercial site and I don't feel like posting the link here.

    My contribution:
    an important factor is that all of the major languages are cross-platform. I've just been reading about mod_mono and it's been constantly improved since 2004. My point is, people with different backgrounds don't need to stick to their platforms.
    If I had to pick one now, though, I'd say ASP.Net because it's the most rewarding. Using stuff like Visual Studio Express and mod_mono for hosting, breaks the myth of ASP.Net being so expensive.
    But that's just if i had to pick one framework. Besides, I use Linux all the time now.
    I'd say that learning as many languages as possible might be the best way, though time-consuming.

  13. #13
    secure webapps for all Aleksejs's Avatar
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    You might also enjoy these series of articles:
    You Used THAT Programming Language to Write What?!

  14. #14
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    There is a wide variety of languages, not just the ones discussed in the OP's statement...

    ASP (Classic)
    ASP.NET
    PHP
    JSP
    Coldfusion (Supprised no-one mentioned this earlier)
    Lasso
    Perl / CGI
    OpenLaszlo
    Python
    Ruby
    Smalltalk (Seaside/Squeak)

    Personally I feel each have their own advantages and disadvantages but I tend to naturally incline towards PHP & mySQL if im doing general purpose scripting or Python/Ruby if I require something with a bit more intensive coding.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Zealot revivalx's Avatar
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    Web advertising solution

    Business is not about money, it is about trust..

  16. #16
    SitePoint Member
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    hey guys what do u think about the flash action scripting along with flex today in the market flex are very demand language for the online gaming program.

  17. #17
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    At the end of the day all the major ones (asp, php, JSP) etc are very powerful and capable and it comes down the personal preference, which style you feel most confortable using etc.

    For budding PHPer"s I really recommend K. Yanks book: Build Your Own Database Driven Website Using PHP & MySQL


    <snip/>
    Last edited by Mittineague; Jul 6, 2012 at 11:00. Reason: Please wait until you get your signature for your links.

  18. #18
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    only ASP..there are manyyyy advantages which i can tell for asp ... php has noe debugging as asp is best in debuging and asp give more serverside coding then others ..sp is simple and we also have full support in coding on every single event
    regards
    Andy
    Last edited by Stevie D; Oct 18, 2012 at 05:33. Reason: Fake signature deleted

  19. #19
    Yugo full of anvils bronze trophy hillsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShytKicka
    I don't think a language matters. Because syntax is similar in all languages. And almost every language out there, has to ability to do something the other language has only in a different way/form.

    There's no difference in what to choose, all deliver similar results. Not to mention, if you are going to list languages, list many of them, not 3.
    Yes and no. I think debates on which language is better are pretty dumb. But there are often significant differences between the platforms/frameworks available for each language. Plone is one example where it's trivially easy to do stuff that's quite hard in competing ASP.NET or PHP systems, even if the languages used to build them are fundamentally similar.
    that's me!
    Now A Pom. And a Plone Nut
    Broccoli Martinez Airpark


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