Sassy B’s Scripting Shootout
My strength as a developer is my aility to wear many hats, in fact, I like learning new stuff. Lately, however, as I become engaged in bigger, longer-term projets,, I’ve come to realize that deep knowledge in one technology is typically a necessary thing.
This article will attempt to give a general overview of the most popular web scripting technologies. I have grouped these according to programming language, because typically the preferred platform for a developer is the one chosen for a given project.
Java Java is an interesting one. Actually, making web sites with java seems cryptic at first. It may be a long way to get from “hello world” to a web page with java, but in the end, you’re better off for it.
Java is the heavyweight of all the languages here simply because it is a general programming language, as opposed to being specifically designed as a web scripting language.
Java’s high level of OO means that the initial learning curve is much steeper than with any of the others as well. In addition, running a web site based on Java requires multiple programs and fairly complex configurations.
Despite this, it is my opinion that Java will be the dominant web applications platform in the next five years. Java offers endless possibilities to the developer, due to it’s high extensibility. ASP ASP, Microsoft’s Active Server Pages, has the unfortunate lot to have been made obselete by .NET. Regardless, ASP installations abound and the popularity of VB/COM and IIS cannot be disputed.
As a platform, the Windows server environment is highly capable, with a range of options for developers, ranging from simple embedded VBScript to C++ COM objects operating in “n-teir” environments.
There are two main limitations for ASP: The Windows OS, and VB itself. The lack of portability with ASP is a tough fact. The tight integration with IIS and Windows itself means that ASP must run on newer Windows installations.
VBScript, while easy to learn and hugely popular, lacks much base functionality in areas like array, string, and error handling. The addition of C++/COM middleware improves this situation greatly. .NET/C# PHP PHP has become rapidly popular in the last year, due to its’ UNIX-friendly syntax, great array handling, and lightweight nature. In addition, the popularity of MySQL, a lightweight, free DBMS, has helped launch PHP into prominence.
PHP was built for the web, and this is it’s strength and weakness