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From "Hall, Philippe" <philippe.h...@augustachronicle.com>
Subject RE: Some philosophical questions
Date Tue, 26 Jul 2005 16:59:56 GMT
Ok, here's a story to inspire/depress us all -- 

I recently developed a really nice community website for my company
(using EmbPerl, of course, and Postgres).  The corporate office saw it
and wanted to take it, commercialize it, and distribute it to other
divisions for use in other markets.  The problem was they wanted to
rewrite it in PHP with MySql.

During the decision making phase, I was given an opportunity to convince
them to stay with the EmbPerl implementation, but I didn't have much to
argue.  I couldn't find any useful research comparing the two platforms,
PHP is much more widely used and supported at the hosting level, most
people haven't even heard of EmbPerl, and finally the corporate guys
"know PHP, not mod_perl". They also cited the ability to encrypt
(compile?) PHP pages so that they could sell the software to other
companies if they wish.  

As a result, they're now putting the finishing touches on the PHP
version.

Since I was the primary architect for the original project, I was asked
to join their development team for a while to help them get it going.  I
learned PHP and spent about a month coding with it.  I wasn't impressed
at all.  The OOP support was laughable, and I never did find out if it
is possible to pre-load modules/pages into memory a la a startup.pl
equivalent.  

At one point, I needed to use something called 'curl', which is
something like LWP.  The PHP install I had on my local machine didn't
include it, so I had to actually install a different PHP install to get
it working (which, I admit, was much more convenient than the other
option: to recompile PHP from source).  The version that came with the
production server did include 'curl', though.

In the end, though, it appears that the site is going to work just fine
under the new platform.  No telling how it will scale though.

I love EmbPerl -- I've been using it for 3 or 4 years now.  I'd love to
see it climb out of obscurity.


Philippe Hall


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