[UPHPU] CDBaby Return From Rails to PHP

John David Anderson uphpu at johndavidanderson.net
Sun Sep 23 22:44:04 MDT 2007

On Sep 23, 2007, at 8:54 PM, Roberto Mello wrote:

> On 9/23/07, John David Anderson <uphpu at johndavidanderson.net> wrote:
>> I think the choice of PHP over Ruby is a deployment based issue. I
>> don't see how Ruby (or Python, or whatever) has a significant
>> advantage over PHP just by virtue of the language itself. I realize
> That makes no sense at all. The choice of language and framework goes
> FAR beyond deployment, which is just one aspect of a whole broad range
> of issues. You can keep lying to yourself, but it won't make it any
> more true.

Um... okay.

Take it easy. The comment was made to infer that it's generally  
easier to deploy your average PHP application? It's probably hard to  
find a hosting provider that doesn't have an Apache+PHP setup than  
the contrary. Can you really say that it's just as easy to get a Ruby  
app on a wide spectrum of hosts as it is PHP? If you do, I don't  
think you'll find many who agree with you. Sorry for not covering  
every potential aspect of application development in my last email:  
my bad.

Your efforts to enforce my personal intellectual honesty aren't  
really appreciated, or welcome either, for that matter.

>> Ruby has some really nice features, but the bells and whistles there
>> don't make much get-it-done difference in the long run. You can write
>> applications just as easy in either. I can get things done if
>> everything isn't an object, without lambda functions or whatever.  
>> Sorry.
> Languages do make a difference. If languages were identical, there'd
> be no incentive to write new ones, and everybody would be collude to
> one. If it's just a matter of deployment, why are you not writing your
> web applications with C CGI scripts?

You've shifted the point and put words in my mouth.

I'm not comparing two technologies that are decades apart from each  
other, I'm talking about two contemporary scripting languages that  
are commonly used to write web applications. If there was a clear  
winner, we wouldn't be having this conversation. I respect Rails devs  
and view them as guys who like their stuff just as much as I like  
mine. Anyone who tries to shift this into some sort of moral or  
philosophical argument is going to end up looking like a lost prophet  
in the long run.

There is no significant difference between the two. I just don't use  
Rails because PHP is essentially omnipresent on the web. Its on a  
vast amount of existing services, it ties into everything, and there  
is a world of working, current knowledge on how it behaves. I just  
don't see that with Ruby and Rails yet.

> If you just admit that PHP has some very, very serious flaws and hacks
> in the language, and note that  you have your ways to deal with them,
> people will take you more seriously.

When did I deny that? Is there something I did to offend in my last  
message? Your overt effort to belittle me honestly has me surprised.

Goodness. Now I'm all worried people think I'm not serious. ;)

This is a PHP user's group, right?

> Your ways to deal with PHP's
> flaws might not work for everybody. A band-aid hack is still a
> band-aid hack.

I hope you don't mean to infer that all PHP developers are hacks. I  
will openly admit PHP has drawbacks and gotchas, but all-in-all it's  
a pleasure to work with. Is any language infallible?

I don't find myself resorting to hacks, no, if you're asking.

>> For me, it's a matter of familiarity and preference, and a
> So it's not just "a matter of deployment"?

Whoa okay, you got me there. Good point. Yes, there is another  
additional issue. I didn't realize how important it was to make clear  
that there might be an additional issue coming up later in my email.

Sorry. Point conceded.

>> realization that Rails (and Ruby) is still very new and is dealing
>> with some growing pains. Besides, if you pick a good PHP framework,
>> you get all the MVC goodness that comes from Rails methodology, and
> I'm no ruby person, but PHP has severe limitations that prevent some
> rails-like functionality to work similarly to Ruby. PHP, AFAIK, has no
> way to pass functions and classes as objects. All you can do is pass a
> string with the string of the function name. You can say that you have
> no use for that all you want, but it doesn't change the fact that it's
> you who's deliberately limiting yourself to the environment. Not the
> other way around.

I'd like to respond to this particular scenario, but let's say it's  
absolutely impossible to reproduce in PHP. I might have use for that,  
but does it keep me from reaching some over-arching goal in  
application development? Probably not. Would I use it if it was  
there? Sure: why not. But it's bells and whistles like this that  
people wave around as some sort of rallying cry that on the whole  
goes unanswered.

PHP is the workhorse of the web. Ruby has yet to prove itself.

Oh, and please don't bother reply if you aren't even going to make an  
effort to be respectful. Starting off with an antagonistic and  
insulting tone, challenging my intellectual honesty, putting words in  
my mouth, and trying to nail me on inconsequential argument points  
isn't a real great way to share and build ideas. I don't believe my  
original message was disrespectful and I ask you to do the same.

-- John

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