Webdev: the times, they are a changin'

Thomas S Hatch thatch45 at gmail.com
Mon Apr 16 20:43:05 MDT 2012

On Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 8:40 PM, Tod Hansmann <plug.org at todandlorna.com>wrote:

> PLUG peeps,
> Preface: I did the whole raw html files, maybe w/javascript back in the
> mid-90's.  I did CGI with C.  I did PHP since PHP3 came out.  I have
> attempted several times to look at JavaEE and the lives I've broken
> because of the rage it induced is tragic to behold.  So I'm not "new" to
> the field, I just haven't done any serious webdev outside of PHP or
> django in a while.
> The problem: Web dev sucks.  PHP is still, well, PHP.  It was nice as a
> change of pace from CGI.  I like that it's simple, and works easily with
> Apache.  It just doesn't perform well, and it's PHP.  The problem I'm
> faced with is, what else is there, really?  How can I just do simple
> webdev again without the problem that is PHP?  (Seriously, when your
> interpreter performs differently based on what KIND of whitespace you
> have between your brackets, you are no longer my friend.)
> Python:  Django and Pylons are both overcomplicated and constantly
> changing.  (Is it just a python thing in general to wildly change your
> codebase on a whim?)  I like Django, I've worked with it, but if I
> wanted to write a blog, right now, I could do it from scratch in a few
> hours with PHP if I knew nothing of PHP (or in my sister's case when she
> did so, any programming at all), or I could spend the next 4 days
> learning django enough to start actually writing the code for my blog in
> python, and then wonder how the heck it's getting executed under all
> those layers.
> Ruby:  I realize this is a personal thing, but I hate Ruby.  Regardless,
> Rails is no saner than django, and its performance is still terrible,
> even if I didn't hate Ruby.  A friend of mine like Sinatra, but agrees
> that the Ruby side too suffers from changing way too much for our tastes
> between versions.
> Perl:  Well, I've been looking at this.  It's still good, but it's still
> the old CGI model.  There's progress with PSGI, but it's all very
> experimental, or if not considered such, doesn't work with Apache at all
> (or is just a veneer over CGI/FastCGI).  mod_psgi is... less than
> mature.  So I guess if I'm going back to CGI, I'm fine, but that's not
> "the modern way", is it?  Maybe this is stable/mature for Perl?  I've
> never been part of Perl culture, so I don't know.
> There's my overall feel, what's yours?  (Gundy's going to be in here for
> django, I'm sure.  I'm all for it, if it would just get out of the way
> with it's apps and its huge learning curve)  How would you make web dev
> fun and easy and stable again?  (As stable as web dev ever gets, I suppose)
> -Tod Hansmann
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