Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dr. StrangeFramework or how I learned to stop worrying and love the layers

Part 1 – the setup
I haven’t had a heads down coding position in years, however I continue to develop small websites and ‘play’ with code on side projects and hobbies. A good part of the fun is pushing myself to learn new technologies and approaches, the days of happily coding in C, C++, VB or classic ASP are long gone.

I’ve worked on two open source project management tools (info can be found here: the first a branch from another open source group and the second an attempt to provide a better interface and a better code base. I learned a lot from both, but was left unsatisfied, mostly due to the design, but also the cumbersome underlying code, PHP can be pretty messy if you let it. One of the things bothering me the most is the coupling between the different layers (DB to PHP to HTML) and the need to refresh pages to display updated data (loading a heavy page of about 80k to add 100 additional characters seemed a bit to much).

There are MANY options to writing code for a web site, PHP being the most popular since its probably the easiest to learn and abuse…I often hear Python/Ruby coders trash PHP all together, the way I see it, any language can be distorted, some languages make it easier than others, but it’s the developer who makes the difference, I’m more than confident that a good programmer can make clean, effective and maintainable PHP applications – as clean as Python or Ruby can be….next step, the front end

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