Language Choice

    Date: 01/17/06 (WebDesign)    Keywords: php, programming, mysql, database, sql, java, postgresql, web, apache

    I need some advice in regard to which language to use for developing a dynamic website. My wife and I are thinking about creating a LMAO website, which will allow people to organize various LMAO projects. The website will allow users to register, log in, create projects, join projects, upload pictures, and so on. It's not terribly large project, but still pretty complicated for people who haven't done any web development and little programming in general.

    The first problem is deciding upon a language to use. The site will, at least in the beginning, run on our server at home, which is FreeBSD running Apache2 (or anything else we want, to be honest. I'm not giving up FreeBSD, though!). It looks like all major languages in the field, including PERL, Ruby (and Ruby on Rails), Python, and PHP work well with Apache, so that shouldn't be a problem. For the database back-end, we'll be using PostgreSQL or MySQL (if we have to), both of which are widely supported as well.

    My wife doesn't have much experience in programming, so for her it will be new experience one way or the other. I have some, but still little. The only language I'm familiar with and can actually write something useful in is Common Lisp. There exists mod_lisp and a couple of web development frameworks, TBNL and UnCommon Web, but the process seems hacky -- from what I can tell -- unless one uses a commercial CL implementations that cost a lot.

    I've looked briefly at Python and Ruby, as well as asked for opinions from various groups of people (programmers who prefer Lisp, Ruby, or Python), but it's all still looks like mambo-jumbo to me. The only thing they agree on is that one should refrain from using PHP for anything non-trivial, so I'm inclined to believe that. As far as PERL is concerned, I've always had a distaste for it, so am not all that keen on using it.

    Could anyone recommend one of these language, or perhaps another one, that would be suitable for our needs? I've pretty much made up my mind in regards to PHP and PERL, so I'm not looking for a debate about why they're good. I also wish to stay away from Windows-based and Java-based solutions.


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