Re: which dynamic web language?

by "Andy Innes" <innax(at)>

 Date:  Sun, 24 Mar 2002 19:09:46 +0200
 To:  "Richard Hall" <rhall(at)>,
 References:  rhallhome
  todo: View Thread, Original
1)ASP (incl. .NET)
2/3)JSP or Coldfusion

ASP with IIS and Access/SQL and JSP with Oracle and maybe tomcat is what I
seem to come up against mostly in the South African context with smatterings
of PHP here and there.

My comment would be: Make sure they can practically apply their knowledge,
however they acquire it. We outsource to an ASP developer who has NO
qualifications, but five years' experience. He assesses every job quickly
and finds the quickest and most effective solution based on the client
needs. This was after having run aground under tight deadlines with two
other ASP graduates with little experience in the field.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Hall" <rhall(at)>
To: <hwg-techniques(at)>
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 4:54 PM
Subject: which dynamic web language?

> In your professional view, what would be best for me to learn so I can
> my students, who will very possibly end up as professional web
> designers/developers, in terms of dynamic generation of web sites from a
> database:
> 1) PHP
> 2) PERL
> 3) .ASP
> 4) .JSP
> 5) Cold Fusion (can't remember the name of the language)
> ... rank order would be nice, if you feel like it ...
> Other issues, which may help you answer this question are below.  However,
> you can answer just based on the above and I would still really appreciate
> it, in case you don't feel like reading the rest.  I tried to put them in
> order based on the most important issues.
> *******
> 1) Most important concern: What would be most practical for my students to
> learn if they were going to become professional web designers/developers.
> 2) What functions am I wanting most to perform? (Some of the most
> I can think of follow (but also keep in mind other things that you, as a
> professional web developer may have needed to perform regularly)).
> ...a... Simplify page maintenance for a client so, for example, we could
> up a system in which a client can simply update a database.
> ...b... Create forms in which a user can fill out information, which will
> updated in a database for the client's use.
> 3) What type of database will I be using
> ... The campus web server has oracle available, but we will also have
> separate server for the class where we can install other data bases such
> access or mySQL ... I'm not sure if it will be UNIX or NT, but I can
> probably argue for either ... your opinion on databases, keeping in my the
> prime objective above, would be of secondary interest ...
> 4) Other issues about the program selection that I can think of (other
> the primary goal above)
> ...a... It would be nice to teach a program that is free like .php or
> but it's also very important that it's something that the students would
> as professionals.
> ...b... The UMR web server has PERL already installed, but none of the
> others, so this somewhat of a factor, though, as I say above, I'm pretty
> sure we will get a web server for the class, so we will probably be able
> put whatever we want to put on it.
> ...c... (I hesitate to say this, but) ... Though the focus in the class in
> terms of development is on development of valid code and separation of
> content from style (using CSS and XHTML), I have been toying with
> dreamweaver ultradev, which really seems to do some things incredibly easy
> with .jsp, .asp, and .cfm (or whatever cold fusion's language is), so, if
> use one of these I can use ultadeve as a starting point or as a tool to
> increase efficiency ... please don't spend a lot of time in your responses
> on the evils of WYSIWYG ... if you think this is a really stupid criteria,
> you can just say this is a really stupid criterion, if you teach them to
> UltraDev to develop database driven sites they will become lazy and they
> will be doomed never to get a job anywhere and you should be fired as a
> teacher ... or something to that effect ...
> 4) Why doesn't the teacher (me) already know the answer to this question,
> and why don't I teach all of them?
> ... I recently transferred from Psychology to our new program in
> Science and Technology.  My research since I first fell in love with web
> the early nineties has been on web design and usability, and that was my
> focus when I managed to get the Psych dept to let me teach it once.  I
> html, and am presently taking CSS and XML in HWG classes, and I am
> very quickly, hoping to be able to mix practical development tools within
> practical information on design and usability testing.  I am willing to
> learn whatever I need to, and I have sort of a knack for it, mainly driven
> by my passion for the web, but I can only learn so much at a time and I
> a theory that if I learn this will make others easier.
> ... any help would be much appreciated (keep in mind this is an
> to encourage teachers of web design/development to teach things you wish
> would have been taught from the outset :)) ... thanks very much ...
> ***************************************************************
> Richard H. Hall, Ph.D., UMR, rhall(at)
> Associate Prof., Information Science and Technology
> Director, Media Design and Assessment Lab
> ***************************************************************

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