Python as replacement for PHP?

David M. Wilson at
Thu Mar 4 20:24:40 CET 2004

Paul Rubin <> wrote...

> The very existence of a "multitude" of Python web environments is a
> serious shortcoming of Python as a PHP replacement.  PHP comes with
> one web environment, not a multitude, so you have just one manual to
> read, not a multitude; one codebase to worry about keeping up with the
> latest releases for, not a multitude, and so forth.

PHP is largely a very flexible templating system with support for
complex expressions and a huge catalogue of predefined procedures
available in a flat namespace. The manual exists for the above
functionality, and makes the assumption that you invent your 'web
environment' ad hoc.

Indeed the situation with the multitude of Python web CMSes and
frameworks could improve, but I don't think you face half the
difficulty in picking a specific Python one over a specific PHP one.

Again, PHP CMSes tend to advertise their flashy featuresets and latest
'mods', whereas Python CMSes tend to list more practical goals.  Take
an example, the Google descriptions for Plone and PostNuke:

   Description: The Postnuke Content Management System offers
   full CSS support and HTML 4.01 transitional compliance...

   Description: Content Management Framework (CMF) that runs on
   top of Zope. Can be used as an intranet server, a...

For someone vaguely familiar with Python, and aware of Zope's
excellent reputation, which is the more obvious and affirming choice
of these two?

> That's ok, Python has no default support at all, intuitive or
> otherwise, for ANY db operations, common or not.

> > We could bring the PHP ADODB, or many of the other numerous PHP APIs
> > for DB connectivity into the picture, but which of these are the
> > obvious choice, and officially endorsed?
> That's precisely the situation Python is in now!

"Obvious", being my favourite word for the month, could maybe have
been put to good use previously. A quick search of will
bring you up the DB-API docs, which is precisely what happened the
first time I went searching for information about Python and

The same cannot be said for PHP, where you'll either get a tutorial
for how to use the raw MySQL/Psql/Oracle API functions exported by the
PHP engine, or you'll get faced with a choice between a plethora of DB

> The site that I worked on spent TWO MILLION U.S. DOLLARS on its web
> server hardware.

Was this sometime between 1999-2000? ;)


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