IBM Goes Gonzo Now for PHP!

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This is big news!

Please don't consider this a troll -- my contributions to this
newsgroup should show that I am not. However, I have to speak out
against Java for a few reasons and cite this move from IBM as a big
boost for PHP and a chip away at Java. So, if you're a newbie who is
pondering which language to switch to, I don't recommend Java. Heck,
even Sun's own Scott McNeally once said that they underestimated LAMP
(and my favorite -- LAPP (because of PostgreSQL instead of MySQL)).

I used to be a Java fan before I became a PHP fan. I used to do Java
Server Pages and had also done some standalone Java apps with a GUI. I
was Java crazy. But then I was blinded by my own enthusiasm, blocking
out the sun. I soon realized that the object nazis have infected Java
with a slow, convoluted API. In order to do what would normally be some
simple tasks in Java, you often have to fight with the strict typing.
For instance, I recall time after time of finding the very function I
wanted to get something done, but then found I had to run my string or
other variable data through anywhere from 5 to 6 hard-to-understand,
poorly documented APIs in order to get the right data type ready to
send to my final function I had found to complete the task. So then
they say, "Yeah, but well, that strict typing means you have more
speed," but I don't buy that. It meant more APIs (each with their own
speed hit) and the strict typing didn't give me any more performance
gain than I would have with other comparable languages. And then there
was the Java version thing with almost an uncanny lack of regard for
prior support. And last there was the Java vendor thing where my Java
code won't work on your Java vendor's server software.

Last, I have to speak out against all this object modeling stuff which
is something that happens with .NET and Java dev teams. Programmers
these days often go too far in this direction, delaying project
deadlines in the name of object purity and object worship. Sure, the
opposite side of this -- spaghetti code -- is a bad thing, but like the
ancient Greeks used to say, "Nothing in excess" is the best advice. I
can sit down with some good thought and prior work on PHP, think out a
good long range strategy with only a handful of objects, and knock a
project out in record time. I can even make it so that a workgroup of
programmers can each work on their part of the PHP project without
being hung up in object workshops (which should be called object ritual

So, newbies -- go PHP, not Java, and you'll see what I mean. It's like
a breath of fresh air.

Re: IBM Goes Gonzo Now for PHP!

Re: IBM Goes Gonzo Now for PHP!

In the article they also mention that they wish to push Cloudscape.
Let's hope they don't try to push a Cloudscape/PHP combo. That would
like totally suck, and here's why:

* It would basically mean that you now have a Java dependency, and I've
already spoken out about that here.

* Cloudscape is like HSQL. The main Swiss developer who wrote HSQL left
that for Cloudscape. Am I right on this? There are some similarities in
concept. I recall using HSQL and was thrilled with its low dependencies
and how powerful it was. I also looked at the early Java code for that
project and was fascinated by how simple the design was, which should
be an inspiration for any GCC++ programmer out there if they want to
build something comparable in C++ that runs much faster. However, that
was in my Java days which I have since left behind, most gladly.

* One of the reasons that PHP is great is because its extension
libraries are writen in GCC++ and so are cross-platform and run fast.
So when you want a database, PHP gives you APIs that are super fast to
reach it.

* My recommendation for PHPers is PostgreSQL as one's database of
choice, no matter how large or small the project. I'm like a bigot in
this sense and I'd be hard-pressed, after my excellent experiences with
it, to leave it for something else. PostgreSQL simply just /works/. And
I have tried and left MySQL behind. In fact, here's a link for you PHP
developers on a recent survey of open source databases:

....which lists MySQL as #1, but, surprisingly, Firebird is now #2.
PostgreSQL is #3, but perhaps it has to do with the funny name?? Notice
how everything else falls way down in percentage of usage.

Re: IBM Goes Gonzo Now for PHP!

Google Mike wrote:
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Guess what?  Now they are doing it to PHP, too... :)


Re: IBM Goes Gonzo Now for PHP!

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I am not sure IBM's declaration is such great news. Their involvement will
probably destroy the very thing you described that's nice about PHP.

Re: IBM Goes Gonzo Now for PHP!

Yikes. Didn't think of that. I'll keep it in mind.

Re: IBM Goes Gonzo Now for PHP!

Hi Mike,

If you would have known a little about the history of OO you wouldn't
have had to try out Java yourself to know that it was just another
product that attempted to get away with stealing one of Smalltalk's
features and not be haunted by the rest of it's fabulous design. Like
Bill, who stole the GUI (thoug it was already second hand by then) and
ignoored the VM, got haunted by the VM through Java, Java is now haunted
by weak typing. I wonder what will be next.


Henk Verhoeven,

Google Mike wrote:

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