PHP: Free Software on Free Tools

By Deane Barker on May 17, 2004

Open Source: Open Source Scripting Made Easy: This is an article about PHP scripting tools that makes an important point:

Commercial scripting languages have drawn success from powerful and widely used development tools: ASP has Visual Studio, ColdFusion has Macromedia’s Dreamweaver, and JSP has a variety of tools from commercial sources such as Borland and open source projects such as Eclipse and NetBeans. PHP’s enormous success, however, is not tied to specific tools.

Some friends of mine have been working with Microsoft’s .Net platform. They tell me it’s amazing (“fan-friggin’-tastic,” one of them called it). This is great, but I guess I don’t like anything where the barrier to entry is so high — first you have to have a Windows server, then you have to have the Windows dev environment.

I code PHP in EditPlus, which cost me all of $30, and that was an optional purchase because there are so many other free alternatives. Maybe I’m just a snob. Via PHP|Architect.



  1. I have two words for you, but those words also happen to be hyperlinks: Mono


    I thought C# was just a java ripoff at first glance, but it’s more of a blend between Java syntax and ECMAScript functionality (like function pointers). I’ve been impressed so far, but I’m only now getting into the web stuff. You can run ASP.Net on Linux, thanks to Mono and an apache plugin, and the GNOME crew is starting to use it pretty heavily, so that’s open enough for me I guess. (There’s actually quite a bit of controversy in the GNOME community right now about embracing a technology from the ‘Evil Empire’. Despite the fact that there are apparently no legal issues, a lot of people are just against it politically. I’m in favor of it personally. Open Source Desktops need good managed code tools.).

  2. “There’s actually quite a bit of controversy in the GNOME community right now about embracing a technology from the ‘Evil Empire'”

    Good and free? I’m all for it. I’m not against Microsoft — I just like free stuff.

  3. Well, that’s the crux of it really. Some open source folks have started to get less about good, free software, and more about being against Microsoft. Since MS submitted C# to become an ECMA standard, the language itself is open. The religious fervor over its use stems from the fact that MS came up with that standard, I think.

    Personally, if I can learn something that lets me write programs on both Linux and Windows that run using native widgets (ie not Swing), I see that as a Very Good Thing, for both platforms.

  4. It is a good point. Swing isn’t as cracked up as everyone use to think it was. It is pretty slow but getting faster with JDK 1.5. Personally I am looking into the Mono/.Net environment because it is looking promising. The idea of writing code for more then just MS platforms is a good thing especially in the desktop realm which is what I think the .Net strong suit really is.

    Plus the Mono runtime works on a Mac as well. I think SWT though will be a strong competitor in the desktop apps, since it has the IBM push.

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