Python v PHP: fair comparison?

Paul Boddie paul at
Wed Nov 15 16:57:23 CET 2006

walterbyrd wrote:
> The problem is that the system requirements for django and turbogears
> are sky-high. I think Django requires Apache 2.0 (and maybe mod_python
> 3.x), and CherryPy (part of turbogears) requires Python 2.4. If you are
> developing for a hosted environment, this can be a big problem. Few
> enough hosters provide python to begin with, then add to that such
> requirements as apache 2.0 - and you left with almost nothing.

I guessed that this was what you meant by "PHP has a lower barrier to
entry", even though others chose to interpret that in the context of
how easy or consistent the technology would seem to be in comparison
with Python. While it's true that PHP seems to be widely available, and
the newcomer can probably get immediate results by just publishing a
few files, the availability of relatively inexpensive virtual server
hosting seems to undermine claims that no-one supports Python together
with a modern selection of server programs.

I've been tempted to get some "dynamic" hosting at some point, and the
major difference between now and the last time I looked into this
(possibly about three or so years ago), is that back then you had to
spend a fair amount of money to get anything other than an
inconveniently accessible CGI directory requiring a version of
cgipython that could run on the inconveniently chosen version of
FreeBSD so beloved of certain hosting providers. Now, you can get a
virtual server populated with your own GNU/Linux distribution, or if
that sounds like too much work, there's a choice of hosting providers
that support Python plus certain servers "out of the box".

Things seem to have moved on, and very much for the better, too.


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