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Old 08-18-08, 02:16 PM   #1
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Picking an Opensource language...

Sigh, the time has come. I actually have to decide which language to use for our company. Now, a bit of a background. I am a ubergeek. 25+ years of development, C++, assembly language, large scale database SQL, etc. BUT, I avoided web like it was a disease... except for whipping together our website. Making a website is not development like I did, more like doing a Word document...

Anyway, we are doing more and more with our website and for internal systems and I have a fulltime developer. He is a VB developer with 5+ years experience, and is very good it seems.

Now, here is the question: If you were going to pick a open source language for a VB developer, what would you choose? Ruby? Python? PHP / Ajax?

We need to connect to a database, which will most likely be MySQL or something like it. Okay, I am ready, those of you who are not fossils, tell me what you think...

LET THE LANGUAGE WARS BEGIN!!!!
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Old 08-18-08, 02:17 PM   #2
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Compiled = C++
Non compiled = PHP
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Old 08-18-08, 02:21 PM   #3
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Compiled = C++
Non compiled = PHP
I have more than a decade experience with C++, to write applications when you have a background in VB in C++ would mean A) you want to use up my money, or B) you are a masochist!

C++ is a great language, but not for someone moving from VB. Also, did you notice the bit about website?
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Old 08-18-08, 02:28 PM   #4
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For all of your functions on a dynamic website, I like PHP. My programmers have written some very large web based applications using PHP/MySQL with no problems.
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Old 08-18-08, 02:34 PM   #5
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Do you use AJAX with it or not? Just curious.
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Old 08-18-08, 02:44 PM   #6
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I'm a fan of Python, myself, and it's got a few good web frameworks, which should help to make his progress faster. I've also heard really good things about Ruby on Rails, although I've also heard that it's slower than other solutions.

PHP, on the other hand, has a reputation among the people I know for having a little too much magic going on behind the scenes, and poor facilities for large-scale programming.

If he's really very good, then it won't matter too much which language you pick, since you can write good code in any of them. Well, almost any of them.
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Old 08-18-08, 02:46 PM   #7
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Old 08-18-08, 02:50 PM   #8
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VB?

spawn of Satan™!

C RuLEz!
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Old 08-18-08, 02:52 PM   #9
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Do you use AJAX with it or not? Just curious.
We do some java scripting, it is pretty much on an as needed basis for client side stuff. AJAX seems to more native to Microsoft (correct me if I'm wrong). Everything we do is Unix/Linux.
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Old 08-18-08, 02:56 PM   #10
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We do some java scripting, it is pretty much on an as needed basis for client side stuff. AJAX seems to more native to Microsoft (correct me if I'm wrong). Everything we do is Unix/Linux.
As far as I know AJAX is not Microsoft - there is PHP / AJAX solutions. It does use Java Scripting if I recall.
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Old 08-18-08, 02:59 PM   #11
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I'm a fan of Python, myself, and it's got a few good web frameworks, which should help to make his progress faster. I've also heard really good things about Ruby on Rails, although I've also heard that it's slower than other solutions.

PHP, on the other hand, has a reputation among the people I know for having a little too much magic going on behind the scenes, and poor facilities for large-scale programming.

If he's really very good, then it won't matter too much which language you pick, since you can write good code in any of them. Well, almost any of them.
I have Python on my system, it looks pretty interesting really.

I have done some PHP development, it seemed fine.

I have so far done nothing with Ruby on Rails. Slowness will matter to me. I hate slow apps and our connectiong is only 256 / 256. The local server of course is much faster.
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Old 08-18-08, 03:02 PM   #12
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I envy you.

I currently manage a portion of a website belonging to a federal government agency, and they abhor open-source anything. So I am currently stuck with using ColdFusion for the dynamic web apps, and - are you ready for this? - MS Access for the databases (I swear I'm not making this up).

It's like holding an airplane together with shoe strings.

I miss PHP, and I really miss MySQL/PostgreSQL
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Old 08-18-08, 03:03 PM   #13
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Are you asking the right question, or should the question be what architecture?

This is potentially like buying hardware before architecting a system based on available budget. Sometimes you have to do it, but it isn't always the best course. You may want to examine your long range requirements internally and externally and select an architecture, which would guide you to the language. For example, (though not necessarily a suggestion) if you decide to select the J2EE framework as your direction, then the answer to the language question becomes pretty easy to answer.
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Old 08-18-08, 03:08 PM   #14
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crtreedude I used to teach VB 6 and then inherited a PHP mySQL site and had no problems with the transfer. I think once you understand languages you can bounce back and forth between them. IMO there really is no OS language that would be a smooth transfer from some one with a VB background. But once you know what a loop and if statement is then the rest is semantics, at least for web programming anyway.

PHP is very easy to use and learn and has a huge community behind it. It's sort of kind of like C, has lots of methods and functions, sessions are easy, ect...
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Old 08-18-08, 03:09 PM   #15
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As far as I know AJAX is not Microsoft - there is PHP / AJAX solutions. It does use Java Scripting if I recall.
Correct. AJAX is just a "Trendy" term. It is really just using javascript to make asynchronous client side calls back to the web server, and using the various Javascript DOM functions to alter the page with the results. It is true that it originally started with an IE only javascript call, but that is definitely not the case today- almost any modern browser can do asynchronous server calls in javascript.

I write exclusively in PHP, and am a fan. It definitely has its drawbacks, and you need to be careful with some security issues (less so with PHP 5), but it gets the job done. As for AJAX, I do quite a bit of AJAX-y stuff, and PHP handles it just fine. There are a few good JSON libraries for PHP which make this easy.

Something you may want to look at are some of the nice new frameworks for PHP- Symfony and CakePHP come to mind. They can make your life much easier if you are familiar with the idea of a MVC framework.
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Old 08-18-08, 03:29 PM   #16
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Why open source languages only? Seems like vb.net would be most logical for a vb developer looking to create web related projects.
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Old 08-18-08, 03:30 PM   #17
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Are you asking the right question, or should the question be what architecture?

This is potentially like buying hardware before architecting a system based on available budget. Sometimes you have to do it, but it isn't always the best course. You may want to examine your long range requirements internally and externally and select an architecture, which would guide you to the language. For example, (though not necessarily a suggestion) if you decide to select the J2EE framework as your direction, then the answer to the language question becomes pretty easy to answer.
Wow! Learned that is school, did you? Youngster, you do know I was a Chief Architect in several companies, right? Software and Hardware. I have a budget for anything I would like to buy too - and them some. It is easy to get it approved (I am the owner of the company. )

And, no, the language question never is easy, I know more than 25 different languages and can code almost anything in any of them. It isn't like there is only a single language out there, now is there?

But, my experience is more geared toward low level development (drivers, operating systems, huge database design, etc.) than database applications. It has been a while since I did any.

So far, PHP is winning it seems, which makes me happy.

And yes, I consider VB the spawn of the devil (i.e. Bill Gates) as well. If it wasn't for Billies love of the language of Basic, we never would have been cursed with such a thing.
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Old 08-18-08, 03:31 PM   #18
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Nothing beats VB.
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Old 08-18-08, 03:34 PM   #19
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Why open source languages only? Seems like vb.net would be most logical for a vb developer looking to create web related projects.
No no, die vile Microsoft developer!!!! I have used vb.net by the way, I would prefer a root canal. Why is it anything that Microsoft touches turns into bloatware?

(by the way, I made lots of money programming using Microsoft software and... fixing their bugs)
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Old 08-18-08, 03:36 PM   #20
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And yes, I consider VB the spawn of the devil (i.e. Bill Gates) as well. If it wasn't for Billies love of the language of Basic, we never would have been cursed with such a thing.
Ha! You think VB is bad? Try VBScript (yes it is different).
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Old 08-18-08, 03:37 PM   #21
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Nothing beats VB.
You might be right, I myself have tried bats, hammers, sledgehammers, you just can't seem to kill the beast...
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Old 08-18-08, 03:49 PM   #22
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Open source languages:

Compiled -- C/C++
Non compiled -- perl

Most web stuff:
PHP

Closed languages:

C#

Last edited by mlts22; 08-18-08 at 03:55 PM. Reason: Forgot one vital language
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Old 08-18-08, 03:53 PM   #23
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Open source languages:

Compiled -- C/C++
Non compiled -- perl

Closed languages:

C#
You are really going to write a database application in C / C++ ? And, you are going to use perl to write database applications?

And, if I am going to use a language like C++, I am going to use it, not some mamby pamby thing like C#... (I like my guns, knives and bombs, thank you very much...)
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Old 08-18-08, 04:03 PM   #24
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You are really going to write a database application in C / C++ ? And, you are going to use perl to write database applications?
We've done it, then switched to PHP (PHP3 way back in the day).


How about bash
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Old 08-18-08, 04:36 PM   #25
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Compiled: C or C++
Interpreted: Python

I spent a decade programming in Perl, but made the switch when I joined my current employer, and have formed the opinion now that Python is more future-proof.

Other langs to look at: Lua
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