I want to learn a new language...

Michael L Torrie torriem at chem.byu.edu
Thu Feb 15 14:56:31 MST 2007

On Thu, 2007-02-15 at 14:49 -0700, Andrew Jorgensen wrote:
> On 2/15/07, Steve <smorrey at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Just curious but why was PHP not brought up in the debate?
> > It's widely used, relatively respectable language, and there seems to
> > be a hot market right now for PHP programmers, add that to the Java
> > skills and your talking a pretty good paying job.
> 'cause it's a web language.  Anyone who wants to make it more than
> that is silly.

Nay, not so.  PHP is a good general-domain language.  In fact, if you
wanted to, you could write full-blown GUI apps with it.  I don't know of
anyone doing it, but a full GTK app would be no more difficult or less
powerful in PHP than it would be in python or perl.

Before I got heavily into Python, I used php for more things than web
programming. In fact, php makes a great general-purpose scripting
language.  The plethora of built-in libraries make doing things like
hacking a quick script to add a field to every ldap record on my server
very easy.  It seemed to me to be a good mix of perl and C, but was able
to do many things bash does also.  Up until recently most of my main
system administration scripts were written in php, mainly because of the
ease of use of the ldap routines.

On the subject of full-blown apps, I think the age of the dynamic
language has truly come in this area.  I think it is silly to do UI
stuff in the static, compiled languages like Java or C++.  For me, I
plan to do almost all GTK gui work in python from now on.  

The simplicity and power of embedding python into a C or C++ app means
it just doesn't make a lot of sense to do the more mind-numbing GUI
coding in C or C++.  In fact, one of the great advantages of python is
that there is no difference between embedding python in a C program or
extending python with C.  It's the same stuff.  Therefore it makes sense
to code in python generally, calling out to C or C++ (or Java with
jython or what have you) for some things that have to be done there.
This makes python a better choice for general programming than php
(which has a not so wonderful C API).


> Java is too but more that's more debatable.
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