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python vs php

“I have used Python since 1997, even before I knew PHP. I smile when Ian says that PHP 5 is barely catching up with the 1995 version of Python. That’s irrelevant because what made PHP successful is not what PHP is lacking but the features that PHP has that are superior to Python. Also people continue to confuse simplicity with deficiency.” (via John Lim)

Interesting post from John. I have to agree that it does seem a bit clunky to get started using Python on the web. I was investigating it when I was first considering what language to do HelpSpot in and I didn’t get very far. I do love the syntax of Python, but I think they just have to make getting started a bit easier for the “HTML hackers” out there. That is if they do indeed want to compete with PHP.

Myself, I think they are better off not going that route and instead remain a strong general programming language. In terms of the web I’d like to see it positioned a bit more like Perl currently is. Often PHP programs fall back on Perl scripts for general processing routines on the server. This seems like a place Python could come in. Also I see alot more integration over the coming few years between the desktop and web. Specifically, I’m thinking of instances where a single application will ship with both a web component and a desktop component that work together seamlessly (see FogBugz 4’s new screen shot tool). Python’s cross-platform capabilities is an advantage for this use as well.