RE: which dynamic web language?

by "Andre L Crane" <andre(at)>

 Date:  Sun, 24 Mar 2002 21:02:10 -0500
 To:  "'Richard Hall'" <rhall(at)>,
 In-Reply-To:  rhallhome
  todo: View Thread, Original
Personally, I would go with either or jsp.

Of the two the jsp is more portable and as a side benefit they will learn
java as well which is a great language.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-hwg-techniques(at)
[mailto:owner-hwg-techniques(at)]On Behalf Of Richard Hall
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 9:55 AM
To: hwg-techniques(at)
Subject: which dynamic web language?

In your professional view, what would be best for me to learn so I can teach
my students, who will very possibly end up as professional web
designers/developers, in terms of dynamic generation of web sites from a

1) PHP
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 important
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 set
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 be
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 as
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 than
the primary goal above)

...a... It would be nice to teach a program that is free like .php or .jsp,
but it's also very important that it's something that the students would use
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 to
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 I
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 use
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 Information
Science and Technology.  My research since I first fell in love with web in
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 know
html, and am presently taking CSS and XML in HWG classes, and I am learning
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 have
a theory that if I learn this will make others easier.

... any help would be much appreciated (keep in mind this is an opportunity
to encourage teachers of web design/development to teach things you wish you
would have been taught from the outset :)) ... thanks very much ... Richard

Richard H. Hall, Ph.D., UMR, rhall(at)
Associate Prof., Information Science and Technology
Director, Media Design and Assessment Lab

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