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Wed Mar 18 03:15:45 PDT 2009

way of making a programmer's life hard. Yet another reason to use Perl,
Python or friends.

Java Servelets are Java applets that reside inside the server. Writing
them brings you the worst world of Java's verbosity and complexity, the
need to compile them, etc. Chen once thought about using them for the site instead of Zope, (using the Enhydra application server).
But then the re-implementation of the site was neglected by all

* Application Server and Content Management Systems:

Slash, Enhydra, Zope, PHP-BB, PostNuke, AxKit, OpenACS, and the least goes
on. Sometimes they can mean the difference between setting up a site in a
few weeks to setting it in a few hours. But obviously they don't answer
the needs of all sites.

I installed Slash once, and it took some time, but I encounted few
problems that I could not easily resolve. Did not try the other solutions,
but they are supposed to be some good.

We use Zope on, and ran into a problem because it's using its
own OO database instead of SQL, and so we have problems interacting with
it from the outside and to the outside. I do not mean to flame it, but
since none of us is a Zope expert (and it takes a long time to learn
Python and Zope to get to this level), we sometimes have to find
alternative ways. Recently I wrote a Perl-LWP script to change the
contents of the recent kernel box automatically through its web-interface,
because no-one had any idea how to make Zope do it, and we have an old
installation of it. But I digress.

The point is that you should consider how easy it would be to extract the
data from it, assuming you wish to upgrade it or switch to something else.

More information can be found in my Web Publishing Using LAMP lecture
summary: (the lecture itself was not written yet)


The obvious alternative to all of the above is raw HTML which is still
suitable for many needs. Using PHP to create a common look and feel and a
navigation bar, is something that can be done, but will be a waste of CPU
And may open up unnecessary security breaches.

There are several systems to generate HTML: WebMetaLanguage, XSLT,
MS FrontPage, FogCreek's CityDesk and others. Writing your own is also not
very difficult.

Again, sites such as Amazon, Slashdot, Freshmeat, etc. cannot afford to do
it. But for many sites it's a choice that should be considered before
starting to write server-side PHP or Perl code.


Each of the systems here has its advantages and disadvantages. PHP is
faster than Perl. Java Servelets may be faster than anything except C or
C++ CGI scripts or server extensions. But then again, they may be not.
Perl and friends are more powerful than anything else and are usually fast
enough for most needs. Usually getting better iron will cost you less on
the long run, than wasting your programmers' time on problematic

I prefer using Perl over anything else, because I like it very much, could
not find anything that match its power and flexibility, and there are tons
of things I can use in CPAN. If you like PHP/Python/Java/JSP or whatever,
be my guest. The most important thing is the content that is presented at
the browser (that should be standards compliant, attractive, usable, etc.)
and not really the technology that is used to generate it.


Gabor: hope it helps.


	Shlomi Fish

[1] - We are still unhappy with Zope, but we have delayed
switching the
configuration to something else, and have other problems with the server.

Shlomi Fish        shlomif at
Home Page:

My opinions may seem crazy, but they all make sense. Insane sense, but
sense nonetheless.

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