Best web application lang.

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Best web application language?

Perl
2
7%
Java
2
7%
Javascript
0
No votes
Ruby
2
7%
Python
5
18%
PHP
14
50%
Any .NET (ASP, VB, etc)
1
4%
AJAX
0
No votes
Other (Specify below)
2
7%
 
Total votes: 28

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Mach1ne
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Best web application lang.

Postby Mach1ne » Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:54 pm UTC

What do you think is the best web application language? I know languages can have different uses but lets think of best as being the one that you think is the most used, does the most, etc.

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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby stephentyrone » Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:58 pm UTC

Mach1ne wrote:lets think of best as being the one that you think is the most used


You have a very strange notion of the meaning of the word "best".
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby Mach1ne » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:18 pm UTC

How so?

I only think my notion of "best" may seem odd because determining the "best" here is impossible. So I must some how define "best" with restrictions or they all may be the "best" in some way or another. I supposed you could use "favorite" instead.

And please, if you vote don't hesitate to argue why you picked it.

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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby 0xBADFEED » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:44 pm UTC

Mach1ne wrote:How so?

Java is probably the most used language overall. Does that make it the best language overall?

"Most-used" is just a fact, a statistic. There is no disputing it. It is not "religious wars" territory.

Mach1ne wrote:because determining the "best" here is impossible

Welcome to Religious Wars.

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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby Area Man » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:50 pm UTC

Isn't javascript and ajax somewhat redundant? And everything else is server-side, which you'd normally use along with js/ajax.
Aw hell, I'll just go with php (despite never having used any except php, asp and java for the webs ...but in true religious fashon, ignorance is bliss).
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby 0xBADFEED » Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:27 pm UTC

Area Man wrote:Isn't javascript and ajax somewhat redundant?

Yeah, a lot of it doesn't make much sense.

It doesn't make any sense to pit a client-side language like Javascript against all those server-side languages. And AJAX is more a methodology than anything else, it pretty much implies a pairing of Javascript and one of the other server-side languages.

So yeah, poll fail.
Last edited by 0xBADFEED on Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:55 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby stephentyrone » Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:34 pm UTC

0xBADFEED wrote:"Most-used" is just a fact, a statistic. There is no disputing it. It is not "religious wars" territory.


What 0xBADFEED said.

Q: What's the best restaurant in the world, where 'best' is defined to mean 'most eaten-at'?
A: McDonalds (fact!)

Using "best" that way is neither interesting, nor subject to discussion, nor does it have anything to do with what the word actually means in the English language.
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby hotaru » Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:18 pm UTC

factor. no other server-side language even comes close to being as easy to use.

Code: Select all

factorial product enumFromTo 1
isPrime n 
factorial (1) `mod== 1

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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby OOPMan » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:31 am UTC

PHP, despite being horrible, is still a lot better than most of the other options. This is not to say that it is a good language. Rather, it's the quickest, simplest way to get a web application up and running in the stupid time constraints imposed by the web application business (Which seems to think that web applications are somehow inherently quicker and easier to produce than standard applications, which is not alway the case...)
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby qbg » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:35 am UTC

Anything you aren't using :D

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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby markfiend » Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:00 pm UTC

stephentyrone wrote:What's the best restaurant in the world

El Bulli :lol:

Ahem. I'm forced to* use an unholy mashup of php and javascript in my web apps. Don't know whether I'd say they're "the best" (almost certainly not) but it's what I use.

*I say "forced to" because we're running our web apps on a LAMP server, so have to use php, and if I want any browser-side scripting, JS is pretty much all there is
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby MHD » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:16 pm UTC

I say perl for its extensive regexp...
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby Comic JK » Sat May 02, 2009 6:40 am UTC

markfiend wrote:Ahem. I'm forced to* use an unholy mashup of php and javascript in my web apps. Don't know whether I'd say they're "the best" (almost certainly not) but it's what I use.

*I say "forced to" because we're running our web apps on a LAMP server, so have to use php, and if I want any browser-side scripting, JS is pretty much all there is

Agreed--I use the same pair, PHP and Javascript, for server-side and client-side, and my other web-design friends do the same. However, since I like strong typing, I much prefer Java to Javascript when possible.

Another problem with Javascript is that Internet Explorer doesn't technically support it. IE supports "JScript," the proprietary Microsoft scripting language which is almost identical to Javascript, but different (for instance, no const variables). Thanks, Microsoft.
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby markfiend » Sun May 03, 2009 1:20 pm UTC

Comic JK wrote:Another problem with Javascript is that Internet Explorer doesn't technically support it. IE supports "JScript," the proprietary Microsoft scripting language which is almost identical to Javascript, but different (for instance, no const variables). Thanks, Microsoft.

Yeah, tell me about it.
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby stolid » Thu May 07, 2009 7:05 pm UTC

I'm for PHP. It's widely available, has a huge library, and it's pretty flexible (not forced to go only functional or OOP).
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby ash.gti » Fri May 08, 2009 4:18 pm UTC

My biggest grievances with php are:

  • no built in standardized testing suite. This is easy to do and should be a standard part of the php language.
  • a polluted global namespace. php is finally getting namespaces and its long overdue. no, i don't normally run into name conflicts with parts of the standard library but it still is very unorganized due primarily to the lack of namespaces
  • its a rather verbose language
  • reflection isn't as powerful as it could be and should be. Runkit needs to be part of the language by default and it needs to be extended to handle the php 5.3 closures, allowing you to append one to a class, and redefine built in functions when nessicary.

As a result of some of the constraints of php, i greatly prefer python/ruby/perl to php but php is um... more common so i just accept the fact that i have to deal with it.
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby markfiend » Sat May 09, 2009 6:35 am UTC

I tell you what, I wish the php developers could pick a naming convention for their functions and stick to it.

Like all the array functions are array_slice, array_chunk etc etc
But most of (but not all) the string functions are strlen, strpos, strtolower, etc
(but then there's str_replace, str_split, etc)

Look guys, use underscores consistently in your function names... please?
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby Emu* » Sat May 09, 2009 11:48 am UTC

I'd guess that some of the inconsistencies are from functions which operate like (and therefore have the same names as) functions in C or C++.
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby Link » Sat May 09, 2009 7:09 pm UTC

Python. It has consistency, legibility and speed, and is very flexible. Perl is good but not quite legible. Java is slow and restrictive in its paradigms. JS isn't server-side and is therefore nearly useless. I don't know enough about Ruby to comment on it. PHP is slow and inconsistent in its naming scheme. .NET is the spawn of Satan and must be DRIVEN BACK INTO THE PITS WHENCE IT CAME. AJAX isn't a language.

All in all I say Python has the best mix of speed, ease, consistency, legibility, flexibility, and power.

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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby 0xBADFEED » Sun May 10, 2009 12:04 am UTC

The only problem I have with Python is that it seems like you really have to use a full framework like Django for it to be comptetitive. PHP seems like it's a lot easier to get going with something smaller.

But I've done very little web programming at all. The small amount of PHP work I did in college left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. As a language PHP offends my delicate sensibilities. I have played with Django though and it seems quite nice and Python as a language is head and shoulders above PHP. It would be nice to see Python gain more share as a web language.

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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby Rysto » Sun May 10, 2009 2:27 am UTC

Java is slow compared to Python? You got a cite for that?

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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby 0xBADFEED » Sun May 10, 2009 2:45 am UTC

Link wrote:JS isn't server-side and is therefore nearly useless.

ummmm..... except for you know..... anything on the client's side.

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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby markfiend » Sun May 10, 2009 7:58 am UTC

This thread seems to be rapidly turning into "pity us poor webmonkeys" but still...

I've been trying to persuade my boss to let me try out Python / Django on a production server, but it ain't happening. The php/javascript square peg is going into every round hole for the foreseeable future. :roll:

Edit: that's not 100% fair actually. Say instead "into every hole, no matter what shape".
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby ash.gti » Sun May 10, 2009 5:16 pm UTC

Java isn't slow. Not compared to python. It is rather large though and has a slight startup speed cost but that shouldn't ever be an issue on a production server. Just look at Glassfish, that is a blazing fast server. There is also the fact that you don't have to do java in java... There is jyhton, jruby, groovy, and more that let you write java code in another language. Setting up a Java web app though is a heck of a lot more work than php though, or even a ruby or python project (thanks to mod_passenger). I think a lot of people misunderstand java as a web language, but its still widely used and is still a very viable option. Not my preference though, but I wouldn't say its obsolete or bad at this point in time. *Edit* I have seen some rather interesting numbers on this. If you use merb with jruby and set it up for as much optimization as you can and run it through Glassfish with cacheing on, its actually capable of server even flat files faster than Apache can. Which, IMO, is pretty impressive.

There is server side JS, you can write both the front and backend of your application in Javascript. Here's a whole list of projects that let you use JS on the server side http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Server-side_JavaScript some are frameworks and some are just wrappers to spidermonkey or v8 or rhino that add on DB access stuff.

Python has more than 1 web framework, like pylons, or cherrypy and others (those are the only ones that i remember right now).

I am glad at my office we have um... been able to persuade our boss to let us use Ruby/Rails/mod_passenger on a few websites.
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby OOPMan » Mon May 11, 2009 7:04 am UTC

ash.gti wrote:
  • reflection isn't as powerful as it could be and should be. Runkit needs to be part of the language by default and it needs to be extended to handle the php 5.3 closures, allowing you to append one to a class, and redefine built in functions when nessicary.


Runkit seems to be kind of discontinued though. Last time I check it hadn't been updated in a while and tended to be unstable anyway...

Link wrote:JS isn't server-side and is therefore nearly useless. PHP is slow and inconsistent in its naming scheme.


Obviously you haven't heard of Aptana Jaxer, APC (The Advanced PHP Cache) or XCache (Another PHP Cache). Long story short, JS is rapidly becoming a viable Server-Side option and PHP is in no way slow.

ash.gti wrote:Java isn't slow. Not compared to python. It is rather large though and has a slight startup speed cost but that shouldn't ever be an issue on a production server. Just look at Glassfish, that is a blazing fast server. There is also the fact that you don't have to do java in java... There is jyhton, jruby, groovy, and more that let you write java code in another language. Setting up a Java web app though is a heck of a lot more work than php though, or even a ruby or python project (thanks to mod_passenger). I think a lot of people misunderstand java as a web language, but its still widely used and is still a very viable option. Not my preference though, but I wouldn't say its obsolete or bad at this point in time. *Edit* I have seen some rather interesting numbers on this. If you use merb with jruby and set it up for as much optimization as you can and run it through Glassfish with cacheing on, its actually capable of server even flat files faster than Apache can. Which, IMO, is pretty impressive.


I'm going to have to disgree with you here. Now, I'll grant that my Java web-dev experience may have differed compared to yours. I worked maintenance on a large pure Java web application that ran on Apache Tomcat 5.5 (It couldn't be deployed on Glassfish, I tried...). Said project used a bunch of technologies, the Stripes web framework, Spring for injection, Hibernate JPA for database stuff and a whole bunch of other stuff. In my experience, Java is incredibly slow for web applications. Now, I'm willing to grant that this may have just been a poorly written application. However, about a year later I was doing testing of Liferay (A java portal application server) running on both Tomcat and Glassfish and it was every inch as slow. So my personal experience in this area tends towards the Java is slow side of things because in my experience it really was noticeably slower.
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby Rysto » Mon May 11, 2009 1:23 pm UTC

There is no way -- none -- that a language that gets compiled to machine code is slower than languages that are interpreted.

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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby ash.gti » Mon May 11, 2009 4:04 pm UTC

I haven't actually used Java for Java server stuff, just used things like Glassfish with jruby on a production server. I have no experience at all with java server applets and anything like that, I just use their server containers to squeeze as much out of a ruby server as I can get.

My experience is um... not the 'normal' for java web development I guess.
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby OOPMan » Tue May 12, 2009 6:29 am UTC

Rysto wrote:There is no way -- none -- that a language that gets compiled to machine code is slower than languages that are interpreted.


Java gets compiled to Java bytecode, not machine code. And there is a way: It is the Way of Inefficiency and Overcomplication

ash.gti wrote:I haven't actually used Java for Java server stuff, just used things like Glassfish with jruby on a production server. I have no experience at all with java server applets and anything like that, I just use their server containers to squeeze as much out of a ruby server as I can get.

My experience is um... not the 'normal' for java web development I guess.


I'm willing to bet that a JRuby webapp running on Glassfish is actually faster than a pure Java web app running on Glassfish...
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby Emu* » Tue May 12, 2009 8:21 am UTC

Except noone uses either on any websites busy enough to matter in the grand scheme of things, eh?
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby OOPMan » Tue May 12, 2009 9:39 am UTC

Emu* wrote:Except noone uses either on any websites busy enough to matter in the grand scheme of things, eh?


Pretty much true :-)
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby netcrusher88 » Tue May 12, 2009 12:08 pm UTC

OOPMan wrote:
Rysto wrote:There is no way -- none -- that a language that gets compiled to machine code is slower than languages that are interpreted.


Java gets compiled to Java bytecode, not machine code. And there is a way: It is the Way of Inefficiency and Overcomplication

Python also compiles itself to bytecode, which is where the .pyc files you see lying around come from. Java does JIT compilation to machine code, a trick CPython has not (I think) implemented yet, but even then local Python apps have always seemed significantly more snappy and less resource-hungry than Java apps.
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby Moo » Tue May 12, 2009 12:19 pm UTC

The poll wrote:Any .NET (ASP, VB, etc)
Unless I'm mistaken, it's ASP.NET, and you can write the codebehind files in either c# or vb. ASP.NET and VB.NET are not equivalent examples of web application languages.
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Re: Best web application lang.

Postby OOPMan » Tue May 12, 2009 2:22 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:
OOPMan wrote:
Rysto wrote:There is no way -- none -- that a language that gets compiled to machine code is slower than languages that are interpreted.


Java gets compiled to Java bytecode, not machine code. And there is a way: It is the Way of Inefficiency and Overcomplication

Python also compiles itself to bytecode, which is where the .pyc files you see lying around come from. Java does JIT compilation to machine code, a trick CPython has not (I think) implemented yet, but even then local Python apps have always seemed significantly more snappy and less resource-hungry than Java apps.


Yeah, that would probably be because they are less resource-hungry and more snappy than java apps. Java web application development is all about "enterprise" development. What this boils down is lots and lots of stuff layered on top of even more stuff to provide an almost impenetrable stack of stuff between you, the developer, and the browser on the other end of things :-)
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