Python v PHP: fair comparison?

Luis M. González luismg at
Wed Nov 15 06:30:20 CET 2006

>> Yes, php is only for web.
> Absolutely false.  Most of my standalone, command-line scripts for
> manipulating my unix users in LDAP are written in PHP, although we're
> rewriting them in python.
> Although I can't think of a single app written in php that's not web-
> based (other than standalone scripts I have written), there are up-to-
> date php bindings for GTK:
> Michael

Fair enough, this has been possible due to the enormous popularity of php.
You can also hit a nail with your shoe instead of using a hammer, and if you 
try hard you may even succeed. You can also digg a a grave with a spoon 
instead of a shovel, and after a couple of days you'll be finished.
You may be able to use php to create a stand alone app, but php was created 
with the solely purpose of being a tool for creating dynamic web sites.
And you have to admit that using php for a non-web app is like trying to fit 
a a square into a round hole.
Php is no more than a simplified C-ish language, dynamically typed with a 
lot of functions aimed at web tasks. Without these built-in functions, 
there's little you can do with it in your web apps.
On the otehr hand, you don't need a thousand built-in functions in python 
for achieving every single task on a web site. You just write them, often 
with just a couple of lines, because the language is that flexible an 
You don't have to remember each and every function for every task, this is 

I think that even as a general purpose language, python is still much more 
adecuate, fast, fun and flexible than php for building web apps.


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