[thelist] RE: PHP 'proof of concept' virus developed

Warden, Matt mwarden at odyssey-design.com
Tue Jan 9 18:35:26 CST 2001

> At its simplest, a hypertext preprocessor is a program that runs on the web
> server, either as a plug-in to the web server or as a traditional CGI. It
> parses web pages requested from the server for embedded commands like
> database lookups or business logic decisions and executes them before the
> finished page is sent to the browser as plain HTML. PHP is similar in rough
> concept to JSP, ASP, Cold Fusion, and quite a few other three letter
> acronym technologies. Proponents of it (myself included) will bore you
> stupid with performance claims and its inherent "Microsoft-free open-source
> purity". It's a great, easy to learn programming environment, and I can't
> recommend it highly enough.
> Why not download a copy and try it out? It's free, after all -- there are
> great how-to books available, too. And you cannot beat the user support
> network.
> Walter

You realize, Walter, that you may have just spurred another one of those huge
debates on PHP vs. ASP vs. JSP vs. CF vs. SNOBOL... erm, well, maybe not that
last one.

May God have mercy on your soul.  ;-)

<tip type="scripting environments">
There is a myriad of choices when it comes to choosing a dynamic scripting
language to learn. It all boils down to: there is no best. There is usually a
best for a SITUATION, but when learning a language, you usually don't know the
situation it would be used in.

You have "platform independant" languages (which really isn't *completely*
true) like Java and PHP and now (to a lesser extent) Cold Fusion. Depending on
how it is implemented, like in the case of Java, these will run slower than
code that is compiled for a specific platform.

You have languages known for speed, like PHP and (depending on how you code
and what version you're using) ASP.

Then you have learning curve. If you know Java, then servlets and JSP are a
snap. People say PHP is simple, but I dunno. They have who-knows-how-many
functions and every time I code PHP, I have to run to the reference. And there
always seems to be quite a number of different ways to do certain tasks. BUT,
when I finally get the solution, it's only a few lines. ASP is simple if you
have a client-side scripting background in JavaScript/JScript or VBScript.
ASP+ seems to be a learning platau rather than a learning curve. But, if
you're a true programmer, it might be mucho simple. Cold Fusion seems
*relatively* simple (from what I've looked at), but I would go nuts with the
tag-based coding. Which leads me to coding styles in the languages:

Cold Fusion uses a tag-based structure. This is good and bad. This is good
because it's a familiar structure to new-comers. It's kind of annoying to have
CF tags intermixed with HTML tags and makes color-coded editors a MUST. ASP
and PHP and JSP all use a similar structure:


Java Servlets don't intermingle code with HTML like the others do. It's
Java... all of it. Kind of like CGI, except there's no little trick (that I
know of) to get around out.println()-ing it all.

And there are many more differences. The point is that there is no one best.
There might be a *better* one for you, probably more than one, but what is
"best" really depends on where you are using it and for what you are using it.


Ouch, that was a little long-winded. Hmmmm... if anything starts that debate
up again, it probably will this email. Oh well.


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