Programming & coding

A Brief Comparison of Server-side Scripting Langauges

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    shinjon
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    PHP
    Website: https://www.php.net
    Cost: Free (Open Source)
    License: PHP License
    Syntax: C-like, similar to Perl
    API: PHP Manual

    PHP is one of the most widely-used scripting languages because a) it is free, and b) it is easy to learn. PHP has extensive API documentation and built-in functionality for many common tasks.

    A simple Hello World script in PHP might look like this:
    Code: [ Select ] [ Line Numbers Off ]

    <html>
    <head>
    <title>PHP Hello World Demo</title>
    </head>
    <body>

    <?php
    $greeting = “Hello World!”;
    echo $greeting;
    ?>

    </body>
    </html>

    Most Linux-based hosting packages provide PHP support as a basic part of any plan. To set up PHP on your own computer for development purposes, you can either install PHP itself, available here, or use an all-in-one package that sets up a complete Apache, PHP, and MySQL environment, such as WAMP.

    To begin learning PHP, check out the following:
    PHP Resources for Tutorials, Books, Script Archives, etc.
    PHP Tutorials

    ASP.NET
    Website: https://www.asp.net
    Cost: Free
    License: Microsoft
    Syntax: Varies
    API: MSDN

    ASP.NET is also relatively easy to learn and costs nothing to run on a server.

    A simple Hello World script in ASP.NET might look like this:
    Code: [ Select ] [ Line Numbers Off ]

    <html>
    <head>
    <title>ASP.NET Hello World Demo</title>
    </head>
    <body>

    <% Response.Write(“Hello World!”) %>

    </body>
    </html>

    ASP.NET is used widely on Windows-based hosting packages. ASP.NET uses (and thus requires) the .NET framework. To set up ASP.NET on your own computer for development purposes, you can install the .NET framework and ASP.NET, available here.

    To begin learning ASP.NET, check out the following:
    ASP.NET Tutorials
    ASP.NET: Getting Started
    QuickStart Tutorial
    ASP.NET tutorial at W3Schools

    ColdFusion
    Website: https://www.adobe.com/products/coldfusion/
    Cost: $1,299 USD (developer’s edition is free)
    License: Adobe
    Syntax: XML-based
    API: CFML Reference

    ColdFusion is used in many enterprise-level web applications. It integrates tightly with other Adobe technologies and platforms such as Flex and AIR. To install and run ColdFusion on your own server, you’ll need to purchase a ColdFusion license from Adobe. A good number of hosting providers, however, provide ColdFusion support, often for only a few dollars extra on any hosting plan. Some even offer it free of charge.

    Although a full-fledged ColdFusion license can be pricey, you’ll likely only need the Developer Edition, which is free and allows you to develop ColdFusion applications locally.

    A simple Hello World script in ColdFusion might look like this:
    Code: [ Select ] [ Line Numbers Off ]

    <html>
    <head>
    <title>ColdFusion Hello World Demo</title>
    </head>
    <body>

    <cfset var greeting = “Hello World”>
    <cfoutput>#greeting#</cfoutput>

    </body>
    </html>

    To set up Coldfusion on your own computer for development purposes, you can install the ColdFusion Developer Edition, available here. (Adobe account required, free to signup)

    To begin learning ColdFusion, check out the following:
    ColdFusion Developer Center
    ColdFusion Tutorial and Article Index

    Python
    Website: https://www.python.org
    Cost: Free (Open Source)
    License: Python License
    Syntax: C-like
    API: Python Language Reference

    Python is a general purpose scripting language often used to develop web applications. Python is arguably a more powerful object-oriented language than PHP, but the two languages are very similar, and learning one making learning the other easy.

    A simple Hello World script in Python might look like this:
    Code: [ Select ] [ Line Numbers Off ]

    greeting = “Hello World!”
    print greeting

    Note that on shared hosting, Python scripts are usually run as CGI programs. To set up Python on your own computer for development purposes, you can install the Python libraries, available here.

    To begin learning Python, check out the following:
    Python Documentation
    Python Tutorial
    A Beginner’s Python Tutorial
    Dive Into Python

    Ruby
    Website: https://www.ruby-lang.org/
    Cost: Free (Open Source)
    License: Ruby License
    Syntax: Unique
    API: Ruby Core Reference

    Ruby is a newer scripting language that aims to focus on simplicity and rapid development. Ruby is often seen paired with the Rails framework, an MVC framework built on Ruby for rapid application development.

    A simple Hello World script in Ruby might look like this:
    Code: [ Select ] [ Line Numbers Off ]

    <html>
    <head>
    <title>Ruby Hello World Demo</title>
    </head>
    <body>

    <%
    greeting = “Hello World!”
    puts greeting
    %>

    </body>
    </html>

    Ruby is not always available on hosting packages, so be sure to check with your hosting provider and ask for Ruby support if necessary. To set up Ruby on your own computer for development purposes, you can install the Ruby libraries, available here.

    To begin learning Ruby, check out the following:
    Ruby Documentation
    Basic Ruby Tutorial

    There are many other scripting languages that can be used to create dynamic websites. I’ve only listed some of the most common ones here. In addition to the languages themselves, many people often use a framework to aid in the development process. Popular MVC frameworks include Rails (for Ruby) and Cake (for PHP).

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