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ASP or PHP?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Okay so I have been doing alot more web work recently and I have a decent knowellge of HTML, CSS and Javascript. But now I need to be able to attach databases, e-commerce, user specific content and so on. What is going to be the best programming language to learn - ASP or PHP?

I create my site on a mac and only use a PC for testing.

Also can anyone recommend any decent training agents in the UK?

Thanks

Jon-e-orange

P.S my work website: www.palmiero-design.co.uk
post #2 of 23
Good question! I use both actually. Well at work (the DoD) we only use ASP but for all of my freelance gigs I use PHP.

I think they're both easy to learn and offer a lot of the same benefits. However, PHP is going to work on your Mac for free and it will be pretty easy to set up. You can also get the free database MySQL on your mac. PHP works really well with MySQL so you should have no problem there either.

For ASP you will need a Windows PC with IIS installed. There is a program you can get to run ASP on a Mac but you have to buy it and you don't get all the features anyway.

The biggest advantage with ASP is Microsoft's IDE - Visual InterDev. But thats expensive too. I haven't found a good IDE that I like for PHP so I just use VI (a text editor).

So in summary.....I think you can't go wrong with PHP.

Feel free to ask any questions about either language though. Besides myself I think there's a few other web-people on these forums.
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post #3 of 23
I would say PHP.

Especially since you use a Mac for development. As already mentioned, you can install both PHP and MySQL on your mac (www.php.net, www.mysql.com) for free.

I have had experience with just about all permutations of Apache, ASP, IIS, PHP and MySQL on all platforms, and have found Apache + PHP + MySQL on linux to be the best.

If you have a spare machine even an old pentium pro or something, I can recommend gentoo linux. (www.gentoo.org). In that last week I have installed this on 2 machines, with Apache2, PHP 4.3 and Oracle9i Clients and have run into 0 problems. There are no errors in the documentation, and even someone without prior linux experience should be up and running just by following the install guide.

As for dev environments, in work on the PC I now use a basic text editor with syntax highlighting (textpad 4), and in my mac at home I use hydra or dreamweaver (source code view 99% of the time).

HTH.
"Choice. The problem is choice."
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-- Neo
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post #4 of 23
Gargoyle, are you running gentoo on your imac as well as OSX?
post #5 of 23
nope... I thought about it but there's not really a need. I use gentoo for servers as its totally customised... normally no GUI, and all compiled ON the computer you are running it on - great speedup when you set your compile flags properly.

If you match your downloaded disk image to the chipset you are installing it on, you don't even need to do that, its done for you.
"Choice. The problem is choice."
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post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your responses guys.

You all seem to be a lot more behind PHP, I like the Idea of it being an open source language. ASP is something that a guy who we collaborate with is pushing (he works with ASP).

Right apologies for the daft questions coming!

1 - Is ASP really more powerful than PHP?

2 - With PHP can I make a searchable photo web gallery that our clients can download images from?

3 - Can I link PHP to our filemaker databases?

4 - Can I make a website that will recognise a user and give them relevant content?

5 - Can I do the following in PHP? Calendars? Forums? e- commerce?

I know these are daft questions but I need to know these things to be able to justify the cost of training to my boss.

Also does anyone know any decent training agents in the UK?

Cheers

Jon-e-orange
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by jon-e-orange
Thank you for your responses guys.

You all seem to be a lot more behind PHP, I like the Idea of it being an open source language. ASP is something that a guy who we collaborate with is pushing (he works with ASP).

Right apologies for the daft questions coming!

1 - Is ASP really more powerful than PHP?

not in any way i can think of

Quote:
2 - With PHP can I make a searchable photo web gallery that our clients can download images from?

yes, i did this pretty recently actually.

Quote:
3 - Can I link PHP to our filemaker databases?

i'm not sure, cuz i've never worked with filemaker before.

Quote:
4 - Can I make a website that will recognise a user and give them relevant content?

yes, if you'd like to see an example, try going to http://forums.appleinsider.com/ . These forums are in php, and you may notice that, on the forum's front page, some of the topics are colored different; vB remembers the last time u saw topics, and colors them for you

Quote:
5 - Can I do the following in PHP? Calendars? Forums? e- commerce?

yes, yes ,yes, yes.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Cheers Freak

Thanks for the imput. I guess I should have looked at the url in this post - Doh! You mention Vb Is that visual basic and what do I need to use to create/use it on the mac?

Jon-e-orange
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by jon-e-orange
Cheers Freak

Thanks for the imput. I guess I should have looked at the url in this post - Doh! You mention Vb Is that visual basic and what do I need to use to create/use it on the mac?

Jon-e-orange

He meant vB as in vBulletin, the software that runs this board.

As far as your "Is ASP more powerful than PHP" question...well...

If you want to create Office documents on the fly or interact with a windows system then yes. At work we create excel files dynamically. It is very easy with ASP. It is also really easy to interact with other parts of the Windows file system.

However.....if you're using PHP, especially on a Unix box, you can interact with that filesystem easily too.

I wouldn't recommend using PHP on a Microsoft Windows system. For that you should really use ASP. Microsoft products work better with each other.

PHP is best used with Apache on any flavor of Unix (including Linux and OS X)
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post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Cheers Willoughby,

Thanks for the info. so far I am leaning towards PHP.

What kind of output I can get from PHP? Can I get tabbed text? or something that can be brought into excel/word/filemaker?

Can I link to filemaker or (any other) databases so that any info entered on the website is entered automatically.

Will I have the same functionality with PHP on Windows and Mac?

sorry if some of these are dumb questions but if I don't ask I won't know.
post #11 of 23
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Willoughby
[B]Good question! I use both actually. Well at work (the DoD) we only use ASP but for all of my freelance gigs I use PHP.


The biggest advantage with ASP is Microsoft's IDE - Visual InterDev. But thats expensive too. I haven't found a good IDE that I like for PHP so I just use VI (a text editor).


Have you seen JEdit? I have been using this IDE for quite some time now, and the plug-ins are in abundance.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by jon-e-orange
Cheers Willoughby,

Thanks for the info. so far I am leaning towards PHP.

What kind of output I can get from PHP? Can I get tabbed text? or something that can be brought into excel/word/filemaker?

Can I link to filemaker or (any other) databases so that any info entered on the website is entered automatically.

Will I have the same functionality with PHP on Windows and Mac?

sorry if some of these are dumb questions but if I don't ask I won't know.

php generally is used to format web pages, so its output, directly, doesn't go into word, filemaker, excel or any kind of program besides a web browser. (Same goes for ASP) But, it can connect with databases (i'm not familiar with filemaker, and i haven't tried using excel with php, so i'm not sure about those. it does work with sql, like mysql, and big dbs like oracle, and many more; more info avail at www.php.net). you can read, write or do whatever kind of stuff with dbs. the way you feed back to a db is often done (for me atleast), is you create a html form (in your php page), that has boxes or menus for all the db's table's fields, validating perhaps against values select'd from the db, then, on post-back, you do an insert or update on the db within php code (or asp code), inserting the form's values into the proper places of the insert/update/etc statement. and, as far as windows and mac uses, i'm about 99% certain that pages you make can work on both sides. the only exception being if ur pages (most likely in non-php sections) use activex controls or other windows-only "functionality", in which case it wouldn't work on a mac or other non-windows computer; thats not likely to be php-related functionality though. asp does have some (perhaps many) "features" that interact more directly with office and some windows-only type interactivity. for example, i'm pretty sure that there isn't an easy way to get input or output directly from an excel file in php, but i fairly certain it can be done in asp.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by jon-e-orange

What kind of output I can get from PHP? Can I get tabbed text? or something that can be brought into excel/word/filemaker?[/i]

PHP is made to make displaying data that is contained within a SQL database (also for inputing/changing that same data). ASP is much the same.
If you would like, you can write php code to output data in tabbed text. But, if you are taking data entered via a web form and you are trying to input that data into a SQL database, then you have no need for tabbed text; PHP will input data very nicely.

Quote:
Can I link to filemaker or (any other) databases so that any info entered on the website is entered automatically.

I doubt asp or php will work with filemaker. I believe that you will need a SQL database.

Quote:
Will I have the same functionality with PHP on Windows and Mac?

Yes. But, you will have to deal with using widoze (lots of crashes etc...)

Quote:
sorry if some of these are dumb questions but if I don't ask I won't know.

fine. please keep asking. the only dumb question is the one that goes unasked.





PHP and Macs: to my knowledge, php will only work on a Mac running 10.X.

Databases: Filemaker (much like Access) is just a poor database for the web. You are very limited in the number of connections and once you have a few people hitting the database, your connection (well really, your database) slows to a crawl.

I would suggest mySQL or postgress sql. Both are free, both are easy to use (if you know a little SQL) and you can move your information from filemaker into mysql/postgress fairly easially. Check versiontracker, I belive that there is an app. just for moving data from filemaker to mysql.

I (unfortunatly, because I have developed a hate for filemaker) have some experience with converting filemaker data into mysql data. Feel free to PM or email me if you want.
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post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by thuh Freak
php generally is used to format web pages, so its output, directly, doesn't go into word, filemaker, excel or any kind of program besides a web browser. (Same goes for ASP)

You can use ASP to generate an excel spreadsheet or microsoft word document. Actually, any Office document. When the user calls up the ASP page in their browser, the document is returned instead of HTML.

If they are on a Mac, they will get a save dialog box to save the file. If they are on the PC and Office is installed, the file will open in Office.

Believe me, we use ASP to do a lot more than just format web pages at work. We create complete database driven applications. The only difference is that there is no installer and all of the "software" runs through a web browser.
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post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info folks.

I am going to go with PHP!

The main reason is that development on the mac with be easier, also I like the idea that it is a open source language.

Jon-e-orange
post #16 of 23
C'mon, PHP of course. It's not a good choice. Is THE choice.
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post #17 of 23
Google is an amazing thing.

FX.PHP: a PHP class for connecting to FileMaker databases.

And hey -- it's free.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Cheers arlo!

My boss is sorting out a course and info would be great thanks.
post #19 of 23
If you know javascript then use java.

Dobby.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by dobby
If you know javascript then use java.

Dobby.

JavaScript and Java have nothing to do with each other.
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post #21 of 23
Hasn't anyone heard of WebObjects?
post #22 of 23
WebObjects is expensive, poorly documented, and still has some other issues that we've brought up on these boards in the past. Furthermore, I can't deploy WebObjects on a linux box and expect that to be supported by Apple. That I just can't deal with.

My company spent a few months evaluating development environments for deploying our Content Management System, and we eventually settled on JSP. It simply made the most sense. To deploy in WebObjects, it would cost our clients $700 plus the cost of the CMS. On top of that, they couldn't deploy on linux. WebObjects is really cool, and I want to like it, but it has issues that keep it from, quite honestly, being practical to me.

In regards to ASP vs. PHP... I think for you, PHP is going to be a better bet. Especially if you're not going to use a Windows box for your development. If you're only going to develop on a Mac, you can't take advantage of the wonderful dev tools for ASP. We actually just deployed an ASP site for a client. We were looking at PHP and ASP, and ultimately, the client chose an NT based web host that was all set up for us to use ASP and an Access database. This actually made development incredibly easy, and took a lot less time than PHP would have.

So my advice, learn PHP over ASP. We've written in pretty much everything, which is great, because it means we have the luxury of choosing the right dev environment for custom jobs on a client by client basis. But if it came down to ASP or PHP, and I could only be proficient in one... PHP.
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks Lo-cash

I bought a PHP/Mysql book last night, and we are looking into a training course.

At the moment I am doing all the web development for our company and we are being asked to do more and more, so We want (and need) something that we can get a quick return on the time and effort of learning. Initially it will be we do all things our way and maybe down the line I will learn ASP as well.

But all I want to do now is get my head around PHP and Mysql.

J-E-O
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