Python as replacement for PHP?

Bob Ippolito bob at redivi.com
Sat Feb 28 07:22:59 CET 2004


On 2004-02-27 23:00:44 -0500, claird at lairds.com (Cameron Laird) said:

> In article <403fa54b at news.zianet.com>,
> Erik Johnson <ej.at.wellkeeper at dot.com> wrote:
> 			.
> 			.
> 			.
>> some probably not. To those that have used PHP: what am I potentially losing
>> that Python really can't replace?
> 			.
> 			.
> 			.
> The first thing that comes to my mind is the panoply of
> data-management bindings PHP builds in.  Those who need
> to work with a variety of hosting providers like the
> comfort of being able to count on the availability of
> their favorite DBMS.

Yes, PHP is widely available and easy to find cheap hosting for.  
Another additional 'benefit' is that PHP programmers are a dime a dozen 
(though you do get what you pay for).  However, I can't imagine that 
you could make a good living developing software for companies who 
can't afford proper hosting, and I've never seen a project get done 
properly when you throw a bunch of low quality developers at it.  
Python is a LITTLE less esoteric than say, lisp or scheme, so the 
argument that it's going to be hard to find good Python programmers to 
maintain your software isn't a very good one either.

All that said, PHP is a good language for a beginner.  Lots of books 
are available that approach the subject from just about any angle, it 
is trivial to setup (you don't have to, you find some $5/mo provider to 
do it for you, or you buy OS X,), and is so underfeatured that you 
couldn't possibly be frightened by its syntax if it is one of the first 
few languages you've seen.  That doesn't mean it's a good language to 
get real things done with though.

Python has its share of problems too, but they typically only surface 
if you're not experienced enough (installing packages, finding 
packages, learning new APIs, etc.), or if you're TOO experienced 
(frustrated about the GIL, lack of multistate, no 
macro-like-facilities, standard distribution isn't stackless, little 
support for async programming, etc).  Python evolves pretty quickly 
though, and we're attacking most of these problems at both ends (I'm 
personally working on packaging/distribution related matters, and 
stackless).

-bob




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