On Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 6:00 AM, Ethan Gruber <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> The language you choose is somewhat dependent on the data you're working
> with.  I don't find that Ruby or PHP are particularly good at dealing with
> XML. They're passable for data manipulation and migration, but I wouldn't
> use them to render large collections of structured XML data, like EAD or
> TEI collections, or whatever.

It's also dependent on your environment. You may or may not have a say in
this, and chances are you'll have to work with code that others wrote. If
you mess with systems, it's hard to avoid working with perl.

Ruby is popular here, but relatively few jobs call for it, it's slow, and
the support community is way smaller than it is for some of the other

PHP is decent for web stuff, but it's not a good all purpose language. Yes,
you *can* do just about anything with it (presuming you don't need
something it just doesn't do like multithreading), but if you're not root,
you could easily find it wasn't allocated nearly enough memory or time to
do what you want. It's also not fast even if it is considerably faster than
ruby. Speed's no biggie if your program is calling something else that does
the real work or if you don't have that much processing to do. But it could
be a big deal if you have to cut through lots of data regularly.

Even if you don't intend to do much coding, it's impossible to avoid
working with a number of languages. Learn what you need, as you need it. If
you're trying to figure out what to start with, use whatever the people
you're most likely to turn to help use. The best resource (if you have
access) is a willing local person who you can ask questions.