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ArikB says

Okay I am need of assistance. I have 0 coding knowledge, with the exception of HTML /CSS which I do not consider to be actual programming.

Now I have gathered two opinions so far:

1) Random computer science major on IRC : “PHP is a language, whereas Django is a framework, so with that PHP is more flexible. Besides, Django has hyperthreading issues. However, if you really want to learn how to program, go for Python and then switch to C.”

And a friend of mine – Jelle van den Hooff (who’s 11th on that list placing him at the top in Western Europe) who has experience with…:takes a deep breath:.

C, C#, Ruby, RoR, Python, Django (?), A bunch of web langs including JS and such, PERL, Java, AJAX
And the list goes on and on and on…

He told me to go for Python.

Now the thing is, both these guys are application developers. I am not that interested in developing desktop apps. I am interested in developing web based applications. I have a few concepts that are quite complex in nature and since there are very little developers who are ready to team up, I figured I’d have to at least create a sort of presentable core myself. Now I am basically giving myself 5 years to learn a language up to a decent level.

So with regards to complex web apps, what would be best to START with? PHP or Python/Django?

Note: I have the book “Core Python Programming” and I did make a little beginning with the language.

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purethemes says

I would recommend Django or Ruby on Rails.

I’m currently making small web application (project managment), for my master thesis in RoR, and for me, it’s quite easy. And you have to know that I’ve never wrote anything bigger than simple cms-like-script (add record to one table, and than display it). So my coding skill where below zero ;) but I’ve managed to make quite nice application ( at least I think so :D). RoR has great community, it’s not so popular, so they try to make it as easy as it could be to learn, and you’ll get answer for the simplest problems on rubyonrails forum.

On the other side, my friend, who is amazing programmer, currently in his work is using (and still learning) Django, and he says it’s better, syntax iseasier than in rails. If I knew earlier he’s going to work with Django, I would probably choose Django also. But, 3-4 months of learnig RoR, gave me enough knowledge to make my own apps. They aren’t really comples, but more complicated than add record and display it. I’m not sure I’ll continue to do it, because I can’t see myself as a backend developer, but still, it’s good to have that knowledge of mysterious programing ;)

Wish you luck with your webapp developer adventure ;)

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CreatingDrew says

If you want the rest of your week to be spent productivley, do not read this free book: http://diveintopython.org/

Basically, I picked it up one night quite a while back hoping to mess around with python and now I am always writing little python scripts or books :P

I’d start with php and then go to python if I were you, as php is a simpler scripting language than python.

For web apps, both do the job extremely well. I prefer to use a well done php framework like Kohana or CI, but if you don’t go php, Django or RoR both do the job well also. Really, it comes down to which you prefer and comes easiest to you. Perhaps play around with both for a bit, surely you will favor one eventually :)

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osigrandi says

Well, if you want to use Django, you need to learn Python first.

Django is just a web framework, you probably need well-rounded programming knowledge. Start with Python first, transitioning to Django will be much easier.

The unfortunate truth if that if you plan to do work for clients or eventually get a regular job somewhere working as a web developer, you will still need to know php. It’s the current standard (as in the most popular) and comes installed by default on (virtually?) all web hosts.

Given the fact that most customers will have shared hosting, thus not have the ability to install Python/Django, you’re pretty much stuck with php.

I would not choose Ruby/RoR due to performance issues.

Plus, Python has recently began being officially supported by Google, they’re doing major improvements to optimize the language.

Check project Unladen Swallow:

http://code.google.com/p/unladen-swallow/wiki/ProjectPlan

I picked Python/Django out of several choices to code my BSc thesis project in…I picked what was going to make my life the easiest :).

Disclaimer: I’m far from being an expert, but I’ve dabbled in C, C++, Haskell, Java, M-code, Processing, R language, Lisp, Prolog, Ruby and PHP .

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Ezza says

Ruby! I used to be a PHP developer too, FWIW .

I would not choose Ruby/RoR due to performance issues.

See I would not choose PHP for the same reason. My performance suffers as a result of the language I’m coding in :-).

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osigrandi says

Honestly, I think pretty much anything is better for a programmer’s sanity than php, but what can you do when there’s only a shared hosting environment available, php-only?

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CreatingDrew says
Honestly, I think pretty much anything is better for a programmer’s sanity than php, but what can you do when there’s only a shared hosting environment available, php-only?
There is nothing inherently wrong with php, only the people who produce sloppy php code. The same is true for any scripting or programming language, they all have their positives and negatives.

php is available on so many servers because it does it’s job extremely well. It was specifically built to be an embedded scripting language, pretty much for the web.

Anyway, I just don’t want to see this thread turn into a holy war over which language is better and start bashing others. The languages only do so much, then it’s up to the programmer and their skill level.

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osigrandi says

Nobody said php is inherently wrong…it’s just that there are much better alternatives out there ;)

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CreatingDrew says
Nobody said php is inherently wrong…it’s just that there are much better alternatives out there ;)
...depending on the job at hand.
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purethemes says

I would not choose Ruby/RoR due to performance issues.

AFAIK all envato marketplaces are in Ruby on Rails, and there’s no performance issues ;)

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