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PHP Programming Technology

PHP 5.0 Goes For Microsoft's ASP-dot-Net 478

Posted by Hemos
from the classical-battles dept.
Dozix007 writes "Uberhacker.Com reports : Zend Technologies quietly announced last week the final release of the open source PHP version 5. An interesting article reports the different strengths and weaknesses of ASP vs. PHP, and it becomes quite clear that with the release of PHP5, Zend has taken a shot at ASP's heart. The differences from PHP4 to 5 has created a clear advantage for the new preprocessor over Microsoft's proprietery ASP."
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PHP 5.0 Goes For Microsoft's ASP-dot-Net

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  • Interesting how the head-to-head with PHP 5.0 and ASP.NET is hosted on Oracle's site. I guess it's not like Microsoft and Oracle [mssqlcity.com] make competing products or anything [microsoft.com].

    We might as well Get the Facts on Windows and Linux [microsoft.com].
    • This says it all (Score:5, Insightful)

      by d_jedi (773213) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:49AM (#9737839)
      In this article I'll focus on PHP, the technology Oracle has chosen to incorporate into its products, and ASP.NET.

      Yup, I expected a completely unbiased article after reading this in the second paragraph..
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2004 @02:55PM (#9740091)
        This articles is all wrong. You cannot even compare PHP and ASP.NET. PHP is a simple document embedded code web framework. ASP.NET is a component oriented web framework. ASP.NET is light years ahead of PHP in technology.

        The article side steps the most powerful aspects of ASP.NET.

        1.) Component driven - All the power of OOP vs PHPs OOP which is just an after thought
        2.) Event driven - Everyone who has used VB/Delphi/C++ Builder knows what a time saver this paradigm is.
        3.) Browser abstraction
        4.) Unified coding model. No more fiddling with half the code in JavaScript and half on whatever you use on server side.
        5.) Complex, yet simple. ASP.NET does a LOT, yet is as easy as one can imagine. A RAD developer can pick the general application model up in a day. This is a sign of good engineering.

        I have respect for PHP. I dumped classic ASP immediately after I came across PHP. PHP has it's advatanges but it is a simple and primitive framework by current technology standards. There is Java Server Faces which is open and will do everything ASP.NET can soon. But from what I know about Java programmers, they tend to complicate things unnecessarily applying every engineering principle EVERYWHERE. I tried Mono. It worked perfectly fine for everything I tried but I still feel a bit of uneasiness with XSP. I must give mod_mono a whirl.
        • Re:This says it all (Score:5, Interesting)

          by EllisDees (268037) on Monday July 19, 2004 @05:22PM (#9741477)
          >4.) Unified coding model. No more fiddling with half the code in JavaScript and half on whatever you use on server side.

          I call complete Bullshit on that comment. I use ASP.net on a daily basis, and if you want to do anything - and I mean *anything* - outside of the little tool box Microsoft has given you, you will have to use javascript on the client side and various tricks on the server side.
  • by Bold Marauder (673130) <boldmarauder@NospaM.gmail.com> on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:46AM (#9737811) Homepage
    Price. Here, we must consider not simply the price tag of the initial investment, which, in the case of PHP, is obviously free, but also the implementation, maintenance, and debugging costs. In the case of PHP, you may invest in the Zend optimization engine. With ASP, however, you're investing from the very beginning,
    and you're spending for add-on technologies--libraries for doing graphics manipulations, for instance. But, in the long term, PHP isn't going to press you to upgrade and collect more licensing fees. Everyone who has dealt with complex licensing also knows that companies spend time and money just ensuring they are compliant. Furthermore, you have a difference in response when getting bugs fixed. This, of course, translates to time, which translates to cost for overall development.


    So...I have to pay for features that I can get from the competitor for free, I have to pay (my employees) to insure that I am paying what I need to (for a product wich offers comparable services as the competitor) and I get to continually be pressed to upgrade and give them more money in licensing fees.

    [sarcasm]Gee whiz, mister; where do I sign up?[/sarcasm]
    • by SpaceLifeForm (228190) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:59AM (#9737937)
      Yes, dealing with MS is a pain in the ASP.
    • by mingot (665080) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:04AM (#9737990)
      Hrm, last time I checked the entire System.Graphics namespace was part of the framework and not an add-on that costs money. It's quite capable. And MS sells no graphics library to suppliment it, so I am wondering how they press you to upgrade and collect license fees for something that doesn't exist.

      Last time I ALSO checked, though LEADTools (an image manipulation library) was really expensive. Of course it does a lot (LOT) more stuff than the built in libraries. Oh, and keep in mind that this is from a 3rd party vendor, not MS as the article would fud you into believing.

      I guess the fact that a very competent libary is included and that MS is letting 3rd party tool vendors make money is a bad thing today. Of course if this was an article about MS buying out an image manipulation library company and then giving it away for free would be bad because it stifles competetion and puts people out of work. Funny how putting people out of work is only bad when MS does it. If a bunch of college kids do it in the name of 'free software' it's just peachy.
      • by Bold Marauder (673130) <boldmarauder@NospaM.gmail.com> on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:13AM (#9738074) Homepage
        Funny how putting people out of work is only bad when MS does it. If a bunch of college kids do it in the name of 'free software' it's just peachy.

        When MS does it, the tools they use to put people out of work with are hidden behind a wall of EULAs, patents and lawyers. When "college kids" (or professionals working in their spare time, or professionals working for a company such as IBM) do it, they release the product out into the community, where other people who are working are free to pick up on the source and either charge to customise it, or charge for support it. Of course, if that 'free software' is under the GNU License, it's perfectly ok to sell it [gnu.org].

        So, to summarise; when MS puts people out of work with their products, only they benefit. When "free software" does it, the entire computing community benefits, as does the economy (eg, people working for Sun, IBM, Novell who work on OSS projects).
      • He is talking about ASP. Last time I checked ASP had no System.Graphics namespace. ASP.Net does, but not ASP. ASP pretty much sucks and requires you to write or buy code to supplement it. ASP.Net _finally_ has an acceptable framework, though it is still proprietary and will lock you into MS only solutions.
    • OK, I LIKE open source technology. I work in java everyday (not precisely open source, but we use many O.S. projects from Apache, et al). However, I would say this, in the midwest U.S., from a business perspective, if you have an opening for a PHP dude, you are going to get a trickling of resumes, but an ASP/ASP.net dude, you're gonna get a boatful. Now, seperating the wheat from the chaff is kinda tough. But, It's a consideration. Shallow labor pool == expensive labor pool.

      The company I used to work at ha
      • by robertjw (728654) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:19AM (#9738142) Homepage
        Shallow labor pool == expensive labor pool

        Sure, but I can pay more for a developer when I'm saving money in license fees.
      • by ron_ivi (607351) <sdotno&cheapcomplexdevices,com> on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:30AM (#9738249)
        if you have an opening for a PHP dude, you are going to get a trickling of resumes,

        Quantity of resumes shouldn't be your top concern.

        One manager I know looks for BOTH Python _AND_ C# skills of his developers because he says this pre-qualifies candidates for people with enough of an interest in computer science to understand recent technologies.

        but an ASP/ASP.net dude, you're gonna get a boatful.

        Just because I can find lots of people with McDonalds experience, doesn't mean my restaraunt should specialize in fries and burgers.

        • Knowing both Python and C# says nothing about computer science ability. Knowing Smalltalk, Haskell and Prolog says a whole lot more. Knowing Python and C# says that you are a programmer who is keeping up with things, nothing to do with computer science. (In the sense that an astronomer doesn't necessarily know much about crafting telescope lenses)

          I'm currently doing my masters in CS, and don't know Python or C#, however I like to think I have an interest in it :) I tend to use Perl and Java for outright pr
    • by robertjw (728654) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:10AM (#9738054) Homepage
      So...I have to pay for features that I can get from the competitor for free, I have to pay (my employees) to insure that I am paying what I need to (for a product wich offers comparable services as the competitor) and I get to continually be pressed to upgrade and give them more money in licensing fees.

      Exactly. This is my biggest complaint against proprietary/commercial software, and the largest benefit of Open Source. As a sys admin I spend more time trying to figure out how many licenses we have, what is a legal use of a license, when we should upgrade, why we should upgrade, etc... Maintenance of the licenses cost us more than the license purchase itself.

      On top of that, old versions are usually unavailable for purchase after the new version is released, so we can't just purchase one license of a perfectly useful product for a new employee, we have to upgrade 30 people.

      For me, PHP vs ASP would be an obvious decision just because of the licensing. With PHP don't have to maintain the licenses. When I need to add a new server I wouldn't have to pay for an upgrade on the 10 existing servers.
      • by Bedouin X (254404) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:21AM (#9738161) Homepage
        I understand licensing issues but they just aren't as big a deal in ASP.NET as these posts (and the article) are making it out. To use ASP.NET you need a license for the server and that's it. Most add-on components are the same. There is also so much ASP.NET sample code out there that there isn't a lot that you can't figure out for free using the same methods that you would use for PHP code.

        Licensing issues get a little more complex when dealing with database servers and the like, but using Oracle isn't going to change that and it's not like you can't use MySQL with ASP.NET.

        I'm all for the advantages of OSS and PHP does have advantages, but let's not cloud the issue unnecessarily.
        • understand licensing issues but they just aren't as big a deal in ASP.NET as these posts (and the article) are making it out.

          That's all a matter of perspective I suppose. So I only need one license per server for ASP.NET and one license per server for any add-on components I want to use. So in a year I want to add another server, I have to upgrade both to get the same version of ASP.NET. A few months after I want to upgrade a add-on component, I have to upgrade ASP.NET and any other add-on compnents
          • by mingot (665080) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:33AM (#9738289)
            That's all a matter of perspective I suppose. So I only need one license per server for ASP.NET and one license per server for any add-on components I want to use.

            No. You only need a license for the server itself. If you have a licensed installation of whatever running you can install ASP.NET. No need to purchase a license. Your developers can all install ASP.NET on their personal machines. No need to have anything but an OS to install it on.
            • by AstroDrabb (534369) * on Monday July 19, 2004 @12:34PM (#9738920)
              I don't think that is what he is trying to say. For example, say I have 5 Win 2000 servers running IIS/Asp.Net ver x.y.z. Down the road I need to add a new server and Win 2000 server is no longer available only Win 2003 server. Now I have 6 servers with one odd ball. I cannot take advantage of the new features on the newest IIS/Asp.net versions on the Win 2003 server without apps not working on the 5 Win 2000 servers. So I can either upgrade all 5 Win 2000 servers or not take advantage of the newer features on the Win 2003 server that I paid for. With OSS such as Apache, PHP and Tomcat, I don't need to pay to upgrade my server to get the latest features out of the _apps_ I want to run. I can grab the latest Apache, PHP or Tomcat and just install it. My server OS can last years longer then your average MS Winodws server by allowing me to upgrade the _applications_. MS ties or "integrates" their products in for a reason. They want that upgrade money. For example, you cannot get the "latest and greatest" IIS from MS for Win 2000 server, you need to upgrade your freaking OS just to get a new web server!. Talk about tie-in.
            • Licensing (Score:3, Insightful)

              by einhverfr (238914)
              You are only talking about the actual basic framework from MS. There is also the issue of any components which may need additional licenses-- third party controls, etc.

              Now, this whole discussion misses a couple of extremely important points. These include:

              1) An extremely vibrant open source community surrounding PHP. This has cost and licensing advantages in some areas, but cost and licensing disadvantages in other areas (for example, ensuring license compliance when distributing commercial software).
  • by Cavio (217880) <cavio@hotmail.com> on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:47AM (#9737813) Homepage
    As a former PHP hacker now forced by the corporate world to program in ASP.NET, the article is forgetting the number one advantage ASP has over PHP. A killer IDE.

    I really dislike ASP and Visual Studio, but PHBs tend to like pointly clicky interfaces. It makes them feel like if they have to fire the whole development staff, they can take over coding; after all, it is just a GUI.

    Visual Studio is Microsoft's real killer app. That is what Monkey Boy was dancing around screaming developers about. Most developers are mediocre, and if you give them a handholding tool that keeps them from doing anything too stupid (or too great), they will love you for giving them some job security.

    Alright PHP guys, can you give us that? Can you save us from having to think for ourselves? I may have filled my last remaining unallocated brain cells reading the man page for gcc.
    • by jcrash (516507) * on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:53AM (#9737867)
      Yes, this is where Microsoft scores time and time again.

      I code ASP (always) and ASP.NET (sometimes) in textpad - but the PHB's love the VS interface and the weaker developers have no idea how to code without it.

      Similarly, SQL Server has grown to where it is not because it performs better, but because developers and DBA's have a built-in interface in Enterprise Manager and i-SQL (now query analyzer). Oracle never understood the need to release a complete product. Managing an Oracle database - shoot even coding in one - is like night and day compared to SQL Server.

      • by Vaginal Discharge (706367) on Monday July 19, 2004 @12:54PM (#9739075)

        I agree that VS.NET is a great killer app. But I don't buy that it's only for PHB or weaker developers. The one thing great about it is increased productivity, where it takes care most of the mundane details where you can just focus on the problem itself. No matter how great a programmer you are, if you don't use an IDE to increase productivity, then you're just plain missing the point.

        I don't for a moment believe that writing all your code using 'cat' means that you're better than everyone else.

    • I'd say Zend Studio fits that position pretty well. Yes, you have to pay for it ($250), but you have to pay for Visual Studio as well.
    • by angst7 (62954) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:53AM (#9737875) Homepage
      I've been using Zend Studio [zend.com] for about a year and a half now, and it's a great IDE for doing PHP stuff. It has code completetion, a nice debugger, good integrated documentation, and a host of other nice features. I run it on both my Windows and Linux boxen, and I absolutely love it.
    • by bloggins02 (468782) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:55AM (#9737898)
      I agree with you that Visual Studio is a killer app, but you seem to think that it somehow "keeps you from doing anything too stupid (or great)." The last time I check, Visual Studio doesn't "keep you" from doing anything.

      Especially in VS.NET, almost everything is in a human readable (editable!) source file or XML document, they warn you not to change stuff, but that's just a CYA for tech support. People can, and do, change VS generated code all the time, and since they've made it pretty easy to do, it works almost all of the time.

      The open source world needs to realize that MS has them absolutely beat in the form of developer tools. Just because I know how to code in x86 assembly and twiddle bits to make arcance hardware work (been there, done that), doesn't mean I don't REALLY enjoy intellisense and auto-generated XML documentation.

      "Real" programmers like good developer tools, too. That's one reason why I like Mono. I get to code in VS/SharpDevelop and copy the dlls over to Linux to run it. I will continue to do so until someone makes an IDE on Linux that compares to Visual Studio (and no, Eclipse is not that IDE, especially for non-Java projects). Who knows, maybe I'll even develop it, if I can find the time that is :)
      • I will continue to do so until someone makes an IDE on Linux that compares to Visual Studio (and no, Eclipse is not that IDE, especially for non-Java projects). Who knows, maybe I'll even develop it, if I can find the time that is :)

        Like MonoDevelop [monodevelop.com]? It is based off SharpDevelop.
      • My company shells out for VS.NET and SQL Server. I initially tried to sway them away from this, mostly because I know that I can handle the administration of Linux based stuff, but my boss had other ideas, and we have an MCSE network admin now.

        Anyway, I have to say that VS.NET is fantastic. Not only is the integrated debugging a godsend, SQL Server integrates well into VS.NET. I can debug stored procedures from within VS.NET, something that I haven't experienced anywhere else. I can also directly edit

    • If you want to build an IDE for PHP, you could do worse than build something on top of Eclipse [eclipse.org]. It's not just a Java tool, it's been done for Python [ibm.com], and the plugin architecture is pretty sweet.

    • by phazethru (785978) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:05AM (#9737992)
      Beyond the IDE is also the documentation. I've been a PHP programmer for a while now becuase it was free and easy enough to use. But when first starting out, I was floored by how good the manual on the PHP site is. User comments, example code, etc. And it's not only that these existed, but that it was all in one place and easy to find.

      I have written personal sites, shopping carts, and some basic management software, and I have never needed to go beyond that manual for help.

      I'm willing to learn ASP in my free time (can never hurt to have things on the resume) but is there a comparable site? Or will I have to go back to swimming through the various how-to's on computer sites?

      • MSDN. Well, if you don't have access the CD/DVD that comes out twice a year then there's always Microsoft's website.

        For community support, the Usenet is very good. Microsoft have a lot of groups on their servers (msnews.microsoft.com, or something like that), or you can use groups.google.com (microsoft.public.x.x.x), but that's a vastly inferior interface.
      • as far as ASP.Net is concerned, I'd recommend www.asp.net [asp.net] as a starter site, along with w3schools' asp.net section [w3schools.com] for a reference/overview.

        I'll add another namedrop for MSDN though, and point you to the .net Class Library reference [microsoft.com]

      • My one complaint about all the documentation, is that so many things have changed across so many versions of PHP, that often the User Comments on things no longer apply.

        My biggest complaint about PHP is that there's no coherent structure for function names, or order of function arguments.

        some functions are named like
        verb_noun(input1, input2, input3, outputvar)

        some return their output, some modify the variable sent to it..

        others are named like
        noun_verb(outputvar, input1, input2, input3)

        seems like i always have to look up the arguments to virtually every function after i go a few weeks without coding anything
    • Judging by ActiveState's Visual Perl [activestate.com] (and the related products for Python and XSLT), Visual Studio.NET allows you to plug in support for new languages.

      It might be worth investigating how hard it would be to adapt the ASP.NET stuff into a PHP IDE which works identically to ASP.NET's, or if necessary re-implement parts of it so that PHP has a comparable Visual Studio interface.

      I don't use Visual Studio or ASP.NET, so I've no idea what the IDE is like, but I assume it can't be that special since, after all,

    • by Phiu-x (513322) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:17AM (#9738114)
      Need to find a good PHP Editor ?


      All of them (commercial,free,OSS) reviewed and classified: http://www.php-editors.com/ [php-editors.com]

      My personnal (and free) favorite : PHP EDIT: http://www.waterproof.fr/ [waterproof.fr]

      Need a PHP Debugger? DBG can do remote debugging and it can be integrated with the PHP Edit IDE, which is very nice : http://dd.cron.ru/dbg/ [dd.cron.ru]

      Now, who need Visual Studio? Almost every (php) editors now has code insight, integrated help, code completion, skins and whatnot. Hell, I sometimes go back to Notepad for quick fixes because its faster to fire up. But if you said PHP need an IDE, I think that you have not looked around very much.

      Now people start your eng-uh editors and go code some PHP!
    • I have a theory: Once at least 10% of the people touting the ASP.NET GUI actually use it, the reviews won't be so good. The GUI looks good, demos well, but in actual use it is very inefficient. I thought that the idea of GUI design of HTML pages and separate code-behind files was the most revolutionary thing I ever saw in web development. Until I used it.

      I believe that the VB-style property page GUI is a fad for quick & dirty development, but it won't extend well into larger systems. For example, t
      • For example, try changing 1 property on 10 text boxes. You must click each text box, then click on the property page, scroll down to the proper value, click on it, highlight the existing contents, then change it. It's terribly inefficient.

        Actually, if you are changing a property that is common to all selected controls, such as the BackColor, you can select multiple controls, and the Properties window will display just those properties that are common to the selected controls. At least you can do this in V

  • Taking the world (Score:4, Informative)

    by Karamchand (607798) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:50AM (#9737842)
    Also read this interesting article [kuro5hin.org] about PHP trying to take over the world. While a bit long it's really interesting and spawn quite insightful discussions.
  • Update? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Chuck Bucket (142633) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:50AM (#9737849) Homepage Journal
    This makes complete sense, looking at how PHP has taken so much of the bloat out of server side scripts compared to ASPs megahousal approach. Add in the fact that PHP is free/open and continuously developed, it could be a no brainer; if the market(ing?) allows for it!

    How does one update from PHP4.x to PHP5.0? I'm running Drupal/Squirrelmail and the like at home, and want to see the diffs between the two, as well as understanding how to update them.

    PCB$#
  • Another article (Score:5, Informative)

    by jacoplane (78110) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:50AM (#9737850) Homepage Journal
    There was an article detailing the zend release [kuro5hin.org] on kuro5hin a few days ago. Quite a good read...
  • Sorry no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:50AM (#9737851)
    I use php all the time, but php is more like the old asp than .Net. .Net is much richer in exeception handing and allows me to use any language I want. Php is great but not a stab at the heart of .Net. They have nothing like VStudio.
  • everyone wants a piece of Microsoft? Seems like anyone who's somebody wants to grab a piece of Microsoft's monopoly even if it means giving it away to people for free.
  • From the article:

    But, as Tom Kyte points out in his latest book, Effective Oracle by Design (Oracle Press), database dependence should be your real goal because you maximize your investment in that technology. If you make generic access to Oracle, whether through ODBC or Perl's DBI library, you'll miss out on features other databases don't have. What's more, optimizing queries is different in each database.

    I've heard this same song from a few developers who work at Oracle shops - and I could not disagree more! Database independence in your code should absolutely be a goal! We can encapsulate our database-specific features into stored procedures or functions without having to pollute our application code with them.

    • It all really depends on your application. Database independence should only be a goal if you may want to deploy on another database. If, however, you are constructing an applications that will only be used internally and your corp has already made a huge investment in one database or another then you should use the db to it's fullest capability.
    • I've heard this same song from a few developers who work at Oracle shops - and I could not disagree more! Database independence in your code should absolutely be a goal!

      This assumes that you are writing applications independent of the brand of database (or any other associated application), it's all part and parcel with blindly buying into OOP 100%. But, what if you are not writing for any other database, and your app will never be used with any other database? Than, there is not need for an abstraction l

  • by cablepokerface (718716) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:59AM (#9737938)
    ... I had to conclude the writer barely knows what he is talking about. I am not flaming him, but someone who mentions only the ODBC drivers for ASP.NET and has never even heard about a Managed Provider, additionally puts this in a summary table:
    Speed:
    PHP4: strong PHP5: strong ASP.NET: weak
    Efficiency:
    PHP4: strong PHP5: strong ASP.NET: weak
    has some serious reading to do ...
    • by stratjakt (596332) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:08AM (#9738026) Journal
      Well, seeing as how this "interesting article", as the submitter calls it, is hosted on Oracle's site, you'd think the cynics here at slashdot would instantly recognize it as the typical marketing horseshit you'd find on any corporate page.

      Yeah, according to Oracle, Oracle+PHP5 (and oracle specific application development) is the bomb-diggity, ASP.Net and SQL Server are teh suck. I'm sure MSFT would tell you the opposite.

      This "article" has as much credibility as the MS-published Windows v. Linux TCO studies.

      But - of course - marketing horseshit is Gospel here at slashdot, just so long as it says MS sucks.
    • Meinel (Score:3, Informative)

      by Scoria (264473)
      This Web site is actually managed by the infamous Carolyn Meinel [attrition.org], whose tendency to sensationalize is well documented. YMMV.
    • by Burb (620144)
      No one should be using ODBC to access Oracle with .NET. There's a "managed code" provider now, and there's an OleDb wrapper too. And, if memory serves, a choice between Microsoft's provider and Oracle's. I've not had an issues with the MS one, but your mileage may vary.
  • by dalleboy (539331) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:01AM (#9737954) Homepage
    The article states that Visual Basic .NET is Microsoft's default .NET programming language. I've always thought it was C#, because VB.NET lacks some of the features in C#.
  • by Mr.Fork (633378)
    I'll stick to my vanilla ASP coffee thanks. It's the old betamax/vhs story. Yes, PHP is better. Yes, it's free and easy to code. But most businesses tend to stick with micro$oft not because they want to, but because .net is designed to work with mssql and ie a lot better. . I want my betamax back... :)
  • by Ollierose (202763) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:02AM (#9737965)
    I liked the way the article talked about ODBC being a downside, then showed sample code which used ADO.Net with the native OracleClient instead.

    Apart from that, the main differences between ASP.Net and PHP5 appear to be platform related, rather than anything to do with the respective languages (or processors, if you prefer).

    Don't forget some of us actually like a little bondage from the toolkit, so we can maintain the code afterwards. Its nice to have all the page manipulation code in page_load() where you can happily mangle everything using syntax similar to the XML DOM, rather than having chunks of code all over the place to insert the various dynamic elements.
  • Performance Claims (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DJ-Dodger (169589) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:03AM (#9737976) Homepage
    Why do people think they can write these sort of articles and make performance claims in them without any sort of supporting evidence? Some quick numbers? A link to a study? Anything?
    • by Chester K (145560)
      and make performance claims in them without any sort of supporting evidence?

      I thought it was particularly laughable that they just do some handwaving and declare ASP.NET slower than PHP because "there is a lot more code to run through to execute the same ASP page than ... an equivalent PHP page".

      It's total bullshit.

      ASP.NET JITs to native code. The extra baggage of the extent of the ASP.NET Framework has zero performance penalty after the initial compilation stage. PHP is interpreted, every request unle
      • by nahdude812 (88157)
        Or you use the freely available Turck MM Cache [sourceforge.net] which has similar or better performance compared to the commercial Zend engine, and provides memory resident caching besides just storing post-compile scripts.
  • PHP vs. ASP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iamdrscience (541136) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (ppirtmleahcim)> on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:04AM (#9737978) Homepage
    For me, the choice is clear. You can compare the relatively minor pros and cons of PHP and ASP for days, but really they're both very similarly capable and you'd do about as well with one as with the other. The big difference I see is that PHP is cross platform and ASP is not. To me, that makes PHP the "winner", hands down. It makes it so that you can change platforms with your application later on and if you're writing code for other people to run then it means more people will have the opportunity to use it (whether this is an open source project or a commercial project you're doing).

    ASP runs on Windows and really only runs well with IIS. PHP runs on pretty much any platform you would ever want to run it on (and plenty of platforms you wouldn't) and works just as well with any webserver I've ever considered using.

    So while there may be small areas where ASP excels or where PHP is deficient, I think that those points are largely insignificant when you realize the platform limitations of ASP. Oddly enough though, I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone cite this as an advantage of PHP, whereas I come across an article comparing esoteric differences every few weeks.
    • Re:PHP vs. ASP (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ollierose (202763)
      Where would you put Mono or Rotor (the BSD one?) in your global pool of cross-platform solutions? Theoretically (because I've not found anyone willing to actually try it, the solutions offered are all on IIS 6) you could offer a large hosting system run on apache + mono + mySQL in the same way you would now offer apache + php + mySQL solutions.

      Granted, its not the officially supported path, but MS wouldn't support anything other than IIS anyway.
    • Re:PHP vs. ASP.NET (Score:3, Interesting)

      by NulDevice (186369)
      Really an apples/oranges kind of comparison.

      NObody's going to argue the cross-platformability of php. Not even MS.

      And despite Mono and so forth, ASP.NET and the rest of the .NET development platform is created by Microsoft for Microsoft so developers can write Microsoft apps for Microsoft servers. .NET encompasses windows apps too, not just web apps. The codebase between the two is almost identical - okay, a winForm is stateful and a WebForm is stateless and the UI widgets are different, but the rest of
  • FUD? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Banshee99 (416307) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:04AM (#9737985)
    Looks like this article is full of it. Slow .NET code? ASP.NET can be compiled into DLLs, and at my old job we upgraded many of our ASP and PHP projects to .NET with a large speed increase. Only works on IIS? Try out the mono project.

    Also seems like everyone is complaining about ASP. ASP and ASP.NET are two completely different beasts. ASP was buggy and a pain in the rear to work with. ASP.NET, however, was amazingly simple to use with an amazing debugger (VS.NET). Please keep on the subject and leave out ASP.
    • Way too much FUD (Score:5, Informative)

      by spideyct (250045) on Monday July 19, 2004 @12:19PM (#9738783)
      Inaccuracies:
      • ASP.NET does all DB interaction through ODBC (it can, but it also has native drivers)
      • ASP.NET is slower/less efficient (pointless statement without evidence)
      • ASP.NET is more expensive than PHP (they are both freely downloads)
      • ASP.NET platform is more expensive (kinda. both work on Windows - PHP also works on more expensive Unices (so can we say PHP's platform is more expensive?) - PHP works on Linux, ASP.NET can kinda work on Linux if you count Mono)
      • ASP.NET is less secure because it requires IIS. Absolutely false! ASP.NET has no dependence on IIS. It just happens to be the default web server on Windows. You are free to write your own web server to host ASP.NET [microsoft.com]. An example to get you started [asp.net].
      • VB.NET is the "default" .NET language? That statement doesn't make any sense.

      The author completely ignored one of ASP.NET's greatest advantages - it is an abstraction from writing HTML (which I guess they think makes it inefficient, just like C is less efficient than machine language). When I write:
      TextBox t = new TextBox();
      t.Text = "Hello World";
      I do not know, nor care, what actual markup will be returned to the client. Before you start worrying that you need absolute control - consider the problem of delivering to multiple browsers/devices. ASP.NET will render different markup, depending on the browsers capabilities. When browsing from a PDA or phone, it will render appropriate markup. Does PHP do that?

  • by Desult (592617) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:04AM (#9737986) Homepage
    I do C# development, for ASP.NET, where I work. I do php development (hacking phpbb), for my personal website.

    For large scale projects (e.g. a messageboard), I would greatly prefer to use C# over ASP.NET... I strongly dislike IIS, and I suppose that's a stumbling block, but on the other hand, C# is a strongly typed, compilable language. I'm not clear on how all the benefits of scripting (faster output from looser coding) apply to large scale projects, or projects where things like OOP and Exception handling are useful.

    OOP and Exceptions rely on, you know, strong, well concieved design. If you're going to take the time to design your large project, why the hell would you throw away the benefits of strong types and compile time debugging (incredibly useful in a large and/or shared project), not to mention things like unit testing and automatic documentation (things C# has).

    The code example in the article makes little sense to me. For one, they use VB... which looks ugly no matter how you slice it. C# would have been more directly comparable, and it should be available in MSDN... but regardless, the code looks almost identical. Is the point that there really is little difference, or that PHP is better? In both languages, it seems you could abstract away the Oracleness of the behavior (negative on both fronts), and you'd be at square one regardless.

    Eh, I don't see any real useful comparison in this article. Yes, it sucks that ASP.NET only works with IIS. I'll be happy to run mono when the opportunity presents itself. But this article was pretty useless.
    • Huh? C# *is* ASP.NET (Score:3, Informative)

      by rd_syringe (793064)
      ASP.NET is any .NET language, or VB.NET or C#. If you'd like, you can even use C/C++.

      ASP.NET doesn't just run on IIS either. Apache runs it along with Mono.
  • Visual Studio .Net (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SpiffyMarc (590301) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:05AM (#9737999)
    I'm sorry, but ASP brings Visual Studio .Net with it to the party, and, well, it always manages to get in my pants.

    Until any of these other solutions can offer me an IDE as advanced as Visual Studio .Net, instead of being one version behind attempting to copy it and feeling "not quite right" in their attempts, I'll stick with my .Net-based solutions.
  • ASP.NET inaccuracies (Score:5, Informative)

    by Burb (620144) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:05AM (#9738001)
    A few comments from an ASP.NET user:

    The article implies that CLR code is interpreted. All .NET runs compiled code, either JIT or AOT compiled. And there's an unsubstantiated remark about efficiency and "Long code paths". That looks like FUD to me, and without something substantial it seems suspicious.

  • Evidence? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by metasyntactic (322999) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:07AM (#9738019)
    I found the article quite interesting, but lacking in supporting evidence for many claims. Specifically, he states that on both speed and efficiency (not quite sure the difference, but I'm guessing that he's referring to memory usage for the latter) ASP.NET is weak. I'd be interested to see comparisons showing the difference between equivalent sites written with PHP5 and ASP.NET to see the difference.

    Also, he mentions (a few times) about IIS insecurities (at posts a link to bugtraq), however I'm unable to check since the site seems to be crawling. How does PHP5+Apache's security record compare to ASP.NET+IIS6?

    -- Cyrus (http://blogs.msdn.com/cyrusn [msdn.com])
  • PHP drawback? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The_Real_Nire (786847) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:08AM (#9738028)
    Another weakness is that PHP's function names are case insensitive. Some programmers might find this feature annoying, though this isn't a serious drawback.

    How is this a drawback at all?
    In my opinion, it prevents programmers from perhaps accidentally naming their own functions the same as a built-in, which is a good thing since there are so many, its useful to know as many as possible. However "annoying" this maybe to some people, its actually a good idea.
  • by pc-0x90 (547757) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:10AM (#9738048)
    I do a substantial amount of ASP.Net coding and they seemed to just give a weak gloss over the actual technology they were comparing here. First, IIS & Win32 are *not* the only places where you can run ASP.Net. The mono project is getting better and better fairly quickly. This is mentioned briefly in their "security" section.. which is also a load of crap. Price: PHP has a habit of becoming very perl-esque over time because of the language. Maybe 5 changes this, but I doubt it's enforced. So an IDE that's going to clean your code vs. cost in man-hours spent debugging some "super efficient php code" (read: "looks like perl") bleh.. I'll take the IDE The database code samples *Don't do the same thing* .. but they DO show the people who wrote the article don't know ASP.Net, because they're using the old and insecure form of database connections as opposed to parameterized queries. Nice to know that both sides of the fence are as equally capable of FUD.
  • by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2NO@SPAMearthshod.co.uk> on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:11AM (#9738058)
    ..... so we have no ASPs, but plenty of Pythons!
  • PHP 5.0 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Orion Blastar (457579) <[orionblastar] [at] [gmail.com]> on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:14AM (#9738091) Homepage Journal
    it would be great if they integrated with the Mono project and allowed the use of ASP.NET type tags to actually run almost the same code as ASP.NET?

    Imagine PHP based C#, VB.NET, etc.
  • Incomplete review. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by miguel (7116) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:17AM (#9738118) Homepage

    The review states that ASP.NET only works on
    Windows, which is incorrect. Mono brings ASP.NET
    to Linux, MacOS, BSD, HP-UX, Solaris and many more.

    Mono's ASP.NET can be hosted in Apache (through the
    mod_mono module) or as a standalone server (xsp).

    The platform price is also wrong (by extension),
    Mono's ASP.NET runs on pretty much anything.

    The source code to Mono's ASP.NET is also available.

    And I have to say, am puzzled by the "Speed"
    column. If ASP.NET has something going for it
    in terms of dynamic pages is speed: they have
    all kinds of tricks:

    * page generation code is running at native speed.

    * caching is provided at the control level,
    page level, database connection level.

    And of course, there is no evidence to back any
    of the performance claims.

    I love PHP as much as the next guy, but that review
    was done by someone that did not understand ASP.NET.

    The code they posted to compare PHP vs ASP.NET
    talking to Oracle is uneven, as the rest of the
    article: in one case it shows data being rendered
    from the database, and even has a connection string.

    The other example only shows a class that wraps
    reading and writing, but does no actual job.

    A bit deceiving.
  • by Afty0r (263037) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:17AM (#9738119) Homepage
    The author is miles off when he talks about the speed and efficiency of asp.net - he simply says "because there is more code and it's OO, it will take longer to run, and that slows web pages down".

    Well I would agree that on first execution of a page (the first time a page is loaded after a reboot or restart, or the document is changed) asp.net is slower than ASP or PHP - however on every SINGLE subsequent page execution asp.net is considerably faster in my experience. Programming intranets and deploying/testing them has proved it to me - when the latency across the network is tiny the difference is notable on all non-trivial pages to the HUMAN eye, and the test suite backs this up.

    Of course, code execution speed depends to a large extent on the coder and his techniques, but a good coder will be able to achieve much more rapidly responding web applications with ASP.NET than he would with Classic ASP or PHP 3 or 4. I can't talk about PHP5 because I moved exclusively to ASP.NET some time ago due it's superb libraries, saleability (clients like to hear MS and buzzwords) and the fact it's truly OO - just a personal preference.
  • by joeykiller (119489) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:32AM (#9738279) Journal
    It may be right that PHP5 is targetting ASP.Net, but I can't say I think PHP5 and ASP.Net will appeal to the same audiences.

    PHP shines because it's not so much a language, as it is a front end for different C libraries. This is PHP's strength, but it's also it's main weakness. It lacks a coherent object model, or even a coherent naming system for the different libraries it integrates. As such it is a mess, and difficult to learn -- though it's more feature packed than you can dream of in ASP.Net.

    Both .Net and Java are better in this way, things look and feel like ASP.Net/Java from library to library. Even Perl are better in this respect. (PHP is becoming a little bit better, with the new DB classes in Pear, but the core is still very function oriented).

    So even though I'm "born and raised" (as a web developer) in the Unix/Linux/OSS world, I can't bring myself to quite like PHP. It's a mess (but a lot of people doesn't seem to mind, so I guess the problem lies with me, not PHP).
  • by MattW (97290) <matt@ender.com> on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:42AM (#9738419) Homepage
    For me, one of the best things about working in PHP is the online documentation. We've got:

    (1) Thorough, beautifully organized, accurate documentation with minimal but effective examples.

    (2) Fast searching. php.net/[searchterm] - it doesn't get much easier to look up a function, short of having the docs built into the IDE (Zend)

    (3) User comments. I've contributed a few comments myself when I've run into sticky issues and then realized what was going on. And more than a few times, I've found little code snippets attached to the relevent functions that are good ways to use them. PHP and ASP, in my mind, are both tools for RAPID development and deployment. PHP is good at rapid; very good. The docs are a major reason. They make familiarizing with something like a new extension library very easy.
  • by ShatteredDream (636520) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:44AM (#9738428) Homepage

    I have been playing around with this module a bit [blindmindseye.com] and have found it to be damn good at what it does. It really makes it easy for people to take advantage of XML for simpler operations which takes away an advantage of ASP.NET.

    For many operations, SAX and DOM are simply too convoluted or complex. As long as you have an idea of what the document structure will be like in advance, you can quickly handle documents.

    Here is an example from my site of what it looks like

    <?php
    $xml = simplexml_load_file("test.xml"); //where test.xml contains the XML from up above
    print $xml->statement[0];
    print "<br/>";
    print $xml->statement[1];
    ?>
  • Total hearsay FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by abelikoff (412709) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:45AM (#9738439) Homepage
    I've been doing ASP.NET development for relatively little time, compared to about 3 years of PHP programming (nothing of production quality though) but I have to say - this article is total BS.

    It is actually quite sad to see such superficial attempts to justify an open-source product merely on the "merits" of not being produced by Microsoft. I mean, using criteria like "strong", "weak", "$$" is not what I would consider professional. I good way to compare products actually would be to get the experts to implement a relatively real-life project (like the famous Pet Store) in both languages and then compare the development time, speed, code metrics, scalability, and potential for extensions. That would be a true comparison, not the "metrics" used in the article.

    Now back to personal preferences. Being a UNIX programmer with about 16 years of experience, I can assure you ASP.NET blows any other Web framework out of the water. Yes, it is that good. You get a very nice and consistent object model with full .NET power behind it. JSP and servlets shouldn't bother either as all HTML is generated transparently - in many cases you don't have to write a single line in HTML! As a result, you write less code, it is easier to maintain, with fewer opportunities for bugs or security holes. All are considered best practices in my book. I'd love to see PHP mature to the ASP.NET level but it is simply not there yet and even the attempts of PHP 5 to tackle these problems is a step in right direction, there is still a very long way to go.

  • by the quick brown fox (681969) on Monday July 19, 2004 @12:13PM (#9738725)
    It sounds like the author is comparing PHP to old-style ASP. ASP (non-.NET) was a web scriping language like PHP, JSP, CF, etc., where basically all you did was intermingle code blocks with HTML.

    ASP.NET (and the Java equivalent, JavaServer Faces) have a much different, (arguably) more sophisticated approach to web development. There is actually a pretty good story for UI/logic separation [4guysfromrolla.com], eventing [microsoft.com], and maintaining state [dotnetjohn.com]. You can have your HTML tags constituted into a mutable object graph before rendering (example [csharpfriends.com]).

    The end result is a development style that lets one write web apps the same way one writes desktop GUI apps, and as a bonus you get far more compile time guarantees than before (even vis-a-vis compiled scripting languages like JSP). Whereas in most scripting languages, getting a dynamic <select> to default to the proper selection and remember its selection across page redraws takes an annoying kludge of code, it's trivial in ASP.NET.

    You don't have to like the direction MS has taken with ASP.NET, but the fact that the author didn't even mention the fundamentally different programming model it offers vs. PHP says to me that he didn't bother doing much research into it.

  • by Erik Hollensbe (808) on Monday July 19, 2004 @12:18PM (#9738764) Homepage
    Price. Here, we must consider not simply the price tag of the initial investment, which, in the case of PHP, is obviously free, but also the implementation, maintenance, and debugging costs. In the case of PHP, you may invest in the Zend optimization engine. With ASP, however, you're investing from the very beginning, and you're spending for add-on technologies--libraries for doing graphics manipulations, for instance. But, in the long term, PHP isn't going to press you to upgrade and collect more licensing fees. Everyone who has dealt with complex licensing also knows that companies spend time and money just ensuring they are compliant. Furthermore, you have a difference in response when getting bugs fixed. This, of course, translates to time, which translates to cost for overall development.

    Yep, anyone who's had to deal with oracle's licensing knows this one very well. :)

    I work at a primarily Oracle/mod_perl shop, and one of the biggest hurdles we've had as a team is making sure we don't step on oracle's toes.
  • Oh please... (Score:3, Informative)

    by john_smith_45678 (607592) on Monday July 19, 2004 @03:31PM (#9740347) Journal
    PHP5 is a clear shot at ASP? Maybe ASP 3.x, NOT ASP.Net. PHP's library pales in comparison to .Net. I'd rather use Mono.

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