|Keep It Simple, Stupid|
Yet Another Perl/PHP/CF/NET Comparison Questionby gryphon (Abbot)
|on Sep 13, 2003 at 19:11 UTC||Need Help??|
Greetings fellow Perl Monks,
I just got off IM with the manager of local computer school's training. He's something like a "dean" of this computer science school, except the school is a public training company, not an academic university. Anyway, I've been hiring grads from his school for the last year or so, and while they have good PHP skills and generally can pick up Perl fast, I've been really concerned about their lack of initial Perl skills. Here's a run-down of the conversation:
Gryphon: I was wondering about my volunteering to teach some Perl coursework. Off the record, I really like the "can do" attitude of <school name> grads, but I'm concerned that they claim they can code Perl but havenít even heard of CPAN.
What could I have said at this point? Anything other than hard numbers or well-written documentation would have been brushed aside and ignored.
I know this topic has come up again and again here on PerlMonks and elsewhere, but I have not yet found anything solid I can throw at people like "Dean" in situations like this. I can only toss over anecdotal pseudo evidence, personal experience, and incomplete benchmark test results. Obviously, his last statement is based 90% on religious bigotry, and I'd like to have a complete resource that all but proves how wrong he is.
In a production environment, Perl runs just as fast as PHP and much faster than CF. Properly configured, mod_perl will run just as fast as compiled C++ (in my experience at least). But even if Perl was slightly slower, so what? Adding CPU, RAM, and disk space is ridiculously cheap. Ultimately, the cost of a software language choice is in development time pre-launch and engineering operational support post-launch. Regardless, CF isn't free. Perl is. PHP isn't bad, it's just limited. With CPAN, I can do just about anything (and I do mean anything) in Perl. What's that quote? "Over 90% of any Perl application is already written." That's an amazingly powerful concept that is lost on anyone who's not familiar with CPAN, which is most non-Perl and junior Perl people.
So here's the problem: We all know these truths to be self-evident, that not all scripting languages are created equal. The rest of the world apparently does not know and needs evidence to prove the case. I'd like to work on developing something that compares the aspects of Perl, PHP, CF, .NET, JSP, and perhaps a few others. Has anyone found anything like this? I'm not talking about an article of a couple pages in length that compares PHP and Perl, giving the reader warm-fuzzies about each language. I need hard and cold facts that will make the CF/.NET zealots reexamine their beliefs.