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Apache Today: Web Automation: PHP vs. Perl vs. PHP

Jul 07, 2000, 13:38 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matthew Keller)

[ Thanks to Kevin Reichard for this link. ]

"I'm going to briefly tangent away from my usual HOWTO-style column, and get a bit teary-eyed and philosophical. There's been a lot of hype lately about PHP and Perl: one columnist claims that PHP is killing Perl, another one claims that PHP is overrated, and the newsgroups are filled with "PHP kicks Perl's [butt]" and "Perl dusts PHP" postings. Since both of these languages are so crucial to Web automation, I thought I'd take article and help cut through the zeal and look at these languages."

"Just for the record, I've used Perl for many years and PHP for a little over a full year. I've created large applications in Perl, and I've created mediumishly-large applications in PHP. I know Perl like the back of my hand, but I also know PHP pretty well. Nine times out of ten I'll make a web application in Perl instead of PHP, but that's my choice, and the reasons for that will unfold below."

"PHP and Perl are both interpreted languages, which means they aren't compiled like C or Java. Instead of being compiled, they are read by an interpreter, which instructs the computer to "Do the Right Thing" (patent pending). Both languages can be embedded in HTML documents, and both languages have Apache module-based interpreters available."

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