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Re: My list of PHP's shortcomings

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Adam Turoff
August 22, 2001 13:36
Re: My list of PHP's shortcomings
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On Wed, Aug 22, 2001 at 12:39:12PM +0100, Andy Wardley wrote:
> Nathan Torkington, High Priest of the Slippery Lighter, wrote:
> > Here are my reasons why the idea of using PHP on big projects scares
> > me:
> Forgive me for slipping into marketing buzzwords, but I think
> the most succint description of PHP's downfall is that it 
> doesn't support an "n-tier" model.  It doesn't support 3-tier
> and it doesn't even support 2-tier.
> [...]

Forgive me if I don't fall into the trap of "Why I don't like X
(where X != Perl)".  :-)

The web is a *big* place.  No one tool/paradigm/approach/technique
will solve all problems.  So, while n-tier is preferable to a
certain class of problems (perhaps the vast majority of problems
to be solved on the web), there are legitimate (and frequently
non-technical) reasons to choose 1-tier approaches.

Perrin Harkins has a story on comparing the myriad templating
systems available on CPAN.  It's a very delicate subject, and I
think he handled it very well: each has it's niche and which one
you use depends on a variety of constraints, including scalability
vs. performance vs. learnability vs. complexity.

I have no opinion for or against any aspect of PHP.  However, it
is undeniable that PHP is doing something well - it is a simple,
robust, portable system for developing 1-tier web applications[*],
and there is only one of it.  That makes it much simpler to focus on, 
adopt, support, and write about.

As long as there are 27 different 1-tier web toolkits on CPAN, 
they will mostly get lost in the noise while PHP usage increases.
(Ditto for Cold Fusion and ASP to some degree).


*: Like it or not, 1-tier applications are going to be written.
   Deal with it as you like.  Writing axkit/tt2 to support n-tier
   apps is probably the most productive way to deal with it.  :-)

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