[thelist] What is the best programming language for the web?

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Fri May 25 09:30:39 CDT 2007

On 24 May 2007, at 22:11, John Dowdell wrote:

> Sales @ Lycosa wrote, of serverside programming languages:
>> In particular, I am interested in speed of development, cost,
>> processing speed/server load and learning curve.
> Lots of people defend what they know, but Adobe ColdFusion is pretty
> much unassailable on the first and final metrics you cite.

Yes. And that's going to be the case for pretty much all the high  
level languages and frameworks.

The higher the level, the more likely you are to hear "It runs like a  
dog" complaints. But OTOH, the faster you'll be able to produce high  
functionality systems. A good example:

Zope (built largely with Python) runs slower than Python. But it  
provides a lot of useful hooks that save huge amounts of development  
time (robust, role based security for example. And data storage/ 

CMF (built on Zope) runs slower than raw Zope. But it provides lots  
of useful content-handy hooks that save huge amounts of development  

Plone (built on CMF) runs slower than CMF. But it provides just about  
a site in a box, complete with neato-templating, full workflow and a  
bunch of other useful things. If you're OK with the default design  
(and the templating ain't *that* hard to change), you can have a site  
in an afternoon.

On low end servers, with any kind of load, Plone runs like a dog  
(which is why I moved off it for my home server). But if I were  
running a well funded site which required that level of  
functionality, I'd be back in there.

Really, this is nothing more than a rehash of the Phil Greenspun anti- 
middleware argument.

And while server horsepower scales pretty well (I've worked on a web  
project that ran on z/OS backend, meaty P-Series clustered frontend),  
developer time doesn't.

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