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February 11, 2005, 11:10 am
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I went out and bought a PHP book. I figured I wanted to explore the
possibility of web development in case I found myself between jobs. I
have a little anxiety about the current economy and want to bone up on
my skills to help me feel more secure if you know what I mean.
I have a computer science degree, have done alot of C++ work, a good
deal of perl and some java. I'm a talented developer and have worked
with some large applications and complex code and designed a few
complicated things as well. I wasn't sure if web development tends to
be challenging or not. Alot of web sites are pretty lame, some html and
forms. No one is going to pay me much money for doing work that any
shmoe can do by throwing together some html gui front end stuff and it
wouldn't be much fun for me either.
So I wasn't sure what to expect. I bought the perl/CGI book to get a
low level feel for web stuff and decided to read up on PHP.
I was amazed at how PHP is just basicaly C++, Java, and Perl thrown
together with a few other interesting things. I skimmed through the
language section. It was kind of like, yep that looks familiar C switch
statements, various types of class functionality, what a breeze ! Been
there done that, no problemo ! such an easy learning curve there !
Is PHP mainly used for web development ? It looks like it
could be a general purpose programming language.
Is there much heavy duty PHP web development where you have alot of
reusable modules and complexity ? I imagine there must be alot of web
development that doesn't use half the stuff they provide in the
I saw you can imbed PHP in your HTML. That seems too funky except in
small doses. I did some XSLT, using xml/html to write code seems a bit
weird. Anyway, I am still reading, I'm only 1/3 or 1/4 through the
book. It's moderately thick. PHP is a freebie right ?
Anyone use C# or ASP.net ? Any thoughts on those ? I feel a tendency to
want to shy away from any microsoft language for some reason. We have
Visual C++, I had to port some stuff to that. It's seemed heavy and
complex. I didn't like the documentation and various complexities on
how to install .dll files through whatever they called that installer.
Unix is definetly cryptic, but for some reason I like Unix types of
Re: new to PHP
It is mainly used for Web development, but there is nothing to stop
you using for other things. There are plenty of examples around for
no-web and even standalone exe programs.
remember though, PHP is an interpreted language. Don't expect good
performance for compute intensive tasks. For pushing data around and
general logic type stuff (typical in web environments) it is fine.
There's plenty of heavy duty duty stuff out there. Just follow some
links from the php.net website or look at sourceforge and you will get
a good idea.
For small pages, emedding php/html is no real issue. For larger
projects you would use one of the existing frameworks to create more
Most of our code is ASP.NET using C#, but I use php for quick stuff
and some http services as it is a lot easier to get something working
If you know C# then you will be amazed at how similar PHP5 is. In many
cases you can translate C# to PHP5 almost line by line with only small
changes (adding $ for variables for example).
If you look at the PRADO php framework, this is very close to the
ASP.NET framework also.
BTW I do all of this under Windows with IIS5/6. There is no real
complexity to install it. You should be up and running withing 10
minutes of downloading the zip file.
Use PHP designer http://www.mpsoftware.dk / under Windows and you will
never look back ;)