> To offer a counterpoint to no PHP folks, One reason I like PHP is because
right now its pretty much essential to know if you are using open source web
also a must for web work.
beast. It is just so accessible and (carefully deployed) powerful that it is
hard to resist. A kind of Dennis the Menace of the web.
PHP is another story. I do need it for just those apps Karen describes. When
I want to dig in I need PHP. But I still hate PHP. The online documentation
is great, but it really _needs_ this documentation since it seems every
function uses a slightly different parameter order or return type and you
never know what to expect without looking it up. Unfortunately, this loose
ethic has infected code written with PHP so that Drupal and WordPress both
suffer the same problems.
Yes, if you are going to dig into existing apps you may need PHP. That's why
it is good to know what problems you need to solve _before_ committing to
your language. The code already written is part of the _community_ of the
language. You will do better if you can speak the language of the community.
But if you do not have to learn PHP, I would not make it a starting point.
It is just too scattered to be fun, at least for me. I would never use PHP
> I keep toying with Ruby on Rails and getting about 1/3 of the way into the
> book I have before getting completely sidetracked by another project.
I had this same problem for a few years. Part of the turn-off for me was the
very "insiderness" of the Ruby crowd. Rails, especially, forces a way of
thinking on you, a "religion" as I often term it. Many languages do this,
but I found many of the books assumed you were ready to adopt the religion,
and I was not.
I finally broke through this barrier with the help of "Learning Rails" from
O'Reilly press. The authors of this book are explicitly skeptical of some of
the Rails religion, and make it clear when they are following "the way" and
when they wander afield a bit. I found this welcoming and very helpful for
arriving at Rails with my own set of questions and assumptions.
I don't think Rails is magical or a solution to all (or even most) problems.
But I do think it is a great deal of fun and a very efficient and effective
framework for database-backed web apps. Especially if you have found
yourself enjoying SmallTalk, Model-View-Controller, Cocoa programming, or
the like, you might find a comfortable home and community in Ruby on Rails
once you break through the crusty religious barrier.
Eric Celeste / [log in to unmask] / http://eric.clst.org / 651-323-2009