Why PHP is so much more popular for web-development

Christoph Haas email at christoph-haas.de
Wed Jul 25 22:02:44 CEST 2007

On Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 12:34:08PM -0700, walterbyrd wrote:
> When I posted "Python" I meant the Python web-developement world. In
> particular, python frameworks, like CherryPy, have requirements that
> are not realistic for most shared hosting plans.

It's true that the requirements are higher than what the old-school
CGI/PHP web hosters offer. But with todays virtual root servers it's
really inexpensive to run such a server. And using frameworks allows you
to control all aspects of the web serving like URL dispatching, error
handling and is probably even faster than PHP because necessary
resources (like database connections) are initalized upon startup of the
web application. PHP and CGIs do this everytime they get called.

> Maybe I'm wrong, but I often get the idea that those  who develop
> python frameworks don't give a thought to the realities of shared
> hosting. They seem to think that everybody has complete control over
> the server. Things are very different in the PHP universe.

Without wanting to sound arrogant: it's my belief that web hosters just
offering htdocs/PHP will probably just be useful for the noob-customers
who have no idea of operating systems but just want their blinking
personal homepage online.

There are good PHP applications and I wouldn't want to give up
phpmyadmin or squirrelmail. But with today's demand for fully
controllable interactive (you will never hear me propagate that bullshit
buzzword "Web x.0") web sites a framework seems to be a viable way.
For me PHP has a bitter taste of "easy enough for every noob to use it"
which makes it the language the most insecure applications are written

> The point is: PHP framework makers are very considerate of the
> realities of shared hosting. Python framework makers don't seem to
> give it a thought. Just maybe, that's something that Python could
> learn from PHP.

Perhaps. But the hosting market changes. And I believe that PHP suits
the simpler applications better. I would point a beginner in web
programming more likely to PHP than torture them with frameworks. It's
just too heavy. OTOH full-featured frameworks are way more complicated
and have eviler requirements but there are hardly any limitation on the
kinds of sites you can power with them.



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