Suckage Is Relative

Having mastered application development in every conceivable way, I have decided to demonstrate my superior coding abilities to the world through the World Wide Web.  I know it won’t be a challenge – what possible challenges remain to one such as myself? – but it will allow for a higher ego boost::work ratio than this piddling .NET client software nonsense.

Ok, now that I’ve gotten fantasy out of the way, let’s talk a little bit of cold, sad reality.

First: I’d be happy if I mastered sanitizing user form input.  I’ll be mastering client-side application development right around the time when someone invents the warp drive.

Second: I can’t blame anyone for using PHP.  Because I’m going to.

I’ve decided that it would be in my best interest to know how to do web development, since that’s probably the future of most available programming work out there and it’s also the most likely hobby-coding I’m likely to do.  I rarely think “Damn, I wish I had the skills to build that Enterprise Java Application,” but come home every day and bemoan the fact that I don’t know where to begin on simple websites to host creative projects.  My hacking must serve my writing, and that means web development.

Brennen hates PHP a lot, and I can’t argue with any of his reasons for hating it:

  1. The culture produces sloppy, unreadable code.
  2. The language is often inelegant and sometimes downright ugly
  3. It encourages bad design practices (see problem 1)

On the other hand, I put up my first, test web form with pointless-but-effective actions in about 30 seconds of coding with no configuration goofiness.

I hacked around with Python – a language I love very, very dearly – in the hopes of doing a web project based in it, but the prospect of screwing around with CGI, WSGI, flup, and whatever other framework nonsense it demanded was starting to make my brain swell.  It might be a fantastic platform once you get things going, but I had to get things going and as I still have to learn an awful lot of other web-related nonsense first…well, let’s just say I’ll worry about Pylons and Django when that’s the only other thing I have left to learn.  And even then I’m not sure it’s worth the overhead.

The point is, Python is a way better language than PHP.  In fact, I don’t think I enjoy coding in any language as much as I enjoy working in Python.  It’s clean and lovely and has simple to use language structures that make working with common things like lists not a complete annoyance.

But language elegance doesn’t matter if deployment is a bear.  Deployment sucks under the best of circumstances, so adding on additional deployment nightmares and the possibility of things just not working when I have to move to a new server so I can type:

for item in list:
    print item.Name

instead of:

for(i=0; i < list.length; i++)
{  echo list[i].Name; }

may not be worth it.

And anyway: PHP still beats ASP.Net any day of the week.  Then again, if John Stamos were transmuted into a web development platform, it would be better than ASP.Net, too, so that’s not much of a comparison.

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