From: Kelly Cookson


Java is not too hard for COBOL programmers, either. But the question of
adding Java as a language in our COBOL/CL/SQL/PeopleCode/SQR shop is
not: "Are our programmers smart enough to learn Java?" The question is:
"Is it worth the investment of time and money to get all our programmers
over the learning curve just to have Java as another language in our

And why would PHP be any different? It's yet another language. PHP is
really not any easier than Java, it's just different, especially once you
start using OO features. Some people find PHP's OO syntax easier, some
don't, but they're of comparable difficulty BECAUSE THEY'RE OO. The hard
part for an RPG programmer to learn an OO language is the OO concepts, not
the programming syntax.

If, on the other hand, all you want to do is hack web pages, then CGI-RPG is
another alternative, as is EGL. Heck, with EGL, you just have to learn how
to drag and drop things on a page.

It's my understanding that Yahoo adopted PHP over Java because Java
requires threads and threads are not well supported in the BSD operating
system. Yahoo has been able to make PHP work for them in a complex Web
environment. Why wouldn't most businesses be able to do the same?

That last question is not rhetorical, by the way. I am still a newcomer
compared to many people in this conversation and would like to hear more
about why our shop should or should not invest in PHP.

This particular question is definitely edging into the WEB400 territory,
because the decision to choose PHP over Java has lots of complications, and
really should be discussed in the larger framework of what it is you want to

There's a huge difference between writing a personal web site and a ten
million user access portal, and neither of those is the same as a standard
business application.

And remember, Yahoo was not written in PHP. It was written in a somewhat
disjointed mishmash of languages including C, C++, Perl, even Lisp. They
needed to standardize, and if you're already using a whole bunch of
scripting languages, PHP isn't a bad choice for standardization.

But if you have the resources that Yahoo has, you can make just about
anything work <grin>.


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