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working with the web

Phil Greenspun on Java

Java is the SUV of programming tools is the title of a great post by MIT’s Philip Greenspun. I love the analogy:

But the programmers and managers using Java will feel good about themselves because they are using a tool that, in theory, has a lot of power for handling problems of tremendous complexity. Just like the suburbanite who drives his SUV to the 7-11 on a paved road but feels good because in theory he could climb a 45-degree dirt slope.

He backs up all his statements… it’s an interesting read. The post was triggered by the experiences of a comp sci class at MIT. The students using PHP and ASP.Net apparently had a much easier time of it than the poor schmucks who chose JSP. But, I can’t help wondering how an equivalent project using ColdFusion would have fared. My experiences quoting PHP and ASP classic have been that PHP takes slightly longer than CF to code, and depending on the requirements ASP classic can take anywhere up to twice as long. Maintenance time has a similar saving. What kind of vehicle would that make CF?

On an almost related note, I remember being totally awed by Phil’s photo.net back when I was at uni, in 95 or 96. It was a travel blog before they were even invented. I had a look tonight and it’s now a busy-looking photo community site. Nice to see it’s still around and still moving forward.

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