PHP vs. Pearl


  1. PHP is so simple that even designers can understand

This is the main problem of PHP and the reason why there are much more PHP-related messages on the forums – even your dog can learn PHP in 24 hours!. Too many designers that suddenly thought that they could program is not a good progamming language community for me. There is a lot of badly designed PHP code out there that is a nightmare to maintain and that in most cases requires a rewrite when complexity of the solution increases even slightly.

What about mixing the both, has anyone made an application that uses both PHP and pearl. For example alot of DNS and e-mailing application are written in perl. Now I am bound to mix them together.

Has anyone attempted this before??

Kind regads



All languages have their place in development! A good designer knows that to design the best possible service for his or her client will always include the use of multi scripting services that must work in harmony with one another!

As for trying to compare Perl to PHP, you can not, they are designed with (2) different objectives in mind! Perl is the thinking language, anything you can think of creating that closely will give you the raw power of C is waiting for you! Perl also does not fill the scope of it design with all the pre-made functions that are included PHP, but it gives you the power to create any function you wish, with more control than maybe using a PHP built in function!

If you know Perl and PHP, you can make a decision on what you believe is better, but to judge one with no knowledge or limited knowledge of the other will make you judgement very basis! PHP is still very young in it development, but it has awesome support and a very good core development team, that is making vast improvement in it development! So, PHP will one day earn it’s place in the real high end development markets over time! On the other hand, Perl is known for getting the job done, it’s core runs the biggest database in the world, and is used everywhere you look, from high end resource intense web environments! From Microsoft to Yahoo and Google to Chase and everywhere in between, Perl will be found, not because it is better than PHP, but because it has proven it’s self to be the king of reliability, while always getting the job done!

Core language tools should be the main reasons for using one language over another and nothing more! If you understand scalars and how are cast, and how the language stores variables you will understand why I wrote that last sentence!

One thing I do notice! When teaching at Perl workshops, the average developer uses much more time thinking about the logic before attempting to even begin the design process! While at PHP workshops I teach at, there is more requests for ‘Show me how’ instead of ‘teach me how’, one may say they are the same thing, but they are not!

So in closing, if your better at PHP, then use that for designing your DB project or if your Perl is better then use that! Because both will give about the same in performance results.

C, ya…


Hi J,

Thanks for that.

I am not a programmer just so you know.

I am looking for a programmer to build my DB, so I was trying to decipher what kind of talent I wanted.

I decided to go w/ PHP simply b/c it can probably do all that I need & it’s easier & cheaper to find someone to do the work plus if I ever need to find someone else to replace that person, it shouldn’t be that hard.

Question, do you have access to a board where students look for opportunities? I want to see if I can get a student for my project, but I’m hesitant b/c of their lack of experience. What do you think?

Thanks & have a great wknd.


personally, I learned perl first, so I guess I am because of this partial to it, but php is very similar, and easier, and has more features that can be more easily implemented. My problem is if everyone is perl illeterate, my new perl free webhosting scrpt may never be worth anything!

I have several problems with PHP:

  1. Backwards compatibility is optional. Case in point: $_POST won’t work on PHP 4.0.x at all. $HTTP_POST_VARS won’t work with PHP 5.0.x out of the box. To write for 4.x and 5.x, you have to check for both. As a side note, you can turn on $HTTP_POST_VARS for 5.x, but it no longer “just works”.

  2. Important components are optional. Database Abstraction Layers (DBALs) are important, especially for portable code. PHP has two of them. One is excruciatingly slow (PEAR DB) and the other isn’t installed by default (dbx). It’s gotten to the point that application develops either write their own, or use a third party DBAL, such as ADODB.

Perl has a well known DBAL, known as DBI. It’s possible to use a different one, but why bother? DBI is ubiquitous in Perl.

Why use a DBAL, you ask? Two reasons: If you are writing an application you’re selling and/or distributing over the web, you really don’t have a choice. The other reason is, If you ever decide to switch database servers, or sometimes even database server versions, it saves a lot of coding time. PHP5 has a new set of PHP functions MySQL 4.1, called mysqli. If you want the new features it offers, and weren’t using an DBAL, you now have to rewrite all your database access code.

  1. Important settings are optional. If you want to write an application to be used on more than one PHP installation, you have to check for several settings, such as magic_quotes_gpc.

Conclusion: PHP is good for developing applications for a single server, but horrible to program applications for use on multiple machines.

NOTE: I’m not saying that Perl is any better. It has its own unique set of problems. I might type something up about that later, but I’m running short on time.

What is $HTTP_POST_VARS replaced with?