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    Discussion on best technologies for Web Development?


    Hi all

    I hope this is the right section to post this question, I couldn't see a better suited one.

    I am looking at creating a website that an user can login to, upload pics, do searches etc - something similar to facebook but for golf. I would like you experts to advise me on the best technologies to learn and develop the website with.

    About eight years ago I held positions developing VB6 and ASP.NET/C# but came out of that area so I've lost that knowledge (use it or lose it). Times move on quickly with technologies so I need directing on what to use. One point I would like to make is that in the past I bought books on individual subjects (i.e. one book for HTML, one for JavaScript etc..) and then I tried to knit the technologies together but this time I would like a good book recommened that will teach me all the technologies and how that fit in together, a book I can work through chapter by chapter.

    So my advice needed/questions answered are:
    1) I anticipate using Open Source technologies so I don't need any licenses for producing, or letting the world use, my website, for this reason I'm dismissing .NET or JAVA technologies (plus the hosting charges are cheaper for Open Source) -- would you guys agree this is best?

    2) I'm learning towards LAMP - is this still the best approach for developing a website? Would any of you advise going for WAMP (again the Windows hosting costs) as I'm wondering if there are main benefits for wamp?

    3) With LAMP what:
    a) versions of 'L' Linux should I use?
    b) verisions of 'A' Apache should I use?
    c) should I use MySQL or PostgreSQL (I'm looking for a robust free to use Database with architecture close to SQL Server)?
    d) should I use Perl, Python or PHP - I'm looking to use a language that is the future (i.e. maybe PHP was best five years ago but now, say, Perl has been bought by a big company it is the future - this is just a for instance)?
    e) for the 'P' is there a language that is more robust, maybe more OO than others for correctness?

    Of course I will need XHTML, CSS and Javascript but those technologies are the same and still the ones to use as they were five years ago.

    I just need some guidance on whats the best (future proof) technologies to use as if I'm going to learn something then I may as well learn something that is regarded highly and that will be around for years.

    Thank you in advance.
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    1) I anticipate using Open Source technologies so I don't need any licenses for producing, or letting the world use, my website, for this reason I'm dismissing .NET or JAVA technologies (plus the hosting charges are cheaper for Open Source) -- would you guys agree this is best?
    Java is open source and doesn't require a license. Licensing costs for something like .NET are probably not very significant in the grand scheme of things anyway, so I would not use that as a reason to rule it out.

    2) I'm learning towards LAMP - is this still the best approach for developing a website? Would any of you advise going for WAMP (again the Windows hosting costs) as I'm wondering if there are main benefits for wamp?
    I would not advise using WAMP, primarily because the AMP part of it has strong roots in Linux and is easier to install and configure under Linux. If you use Windows as a server OS, you may as well go with IIS, MSSQL and ASP.NET instead of AMP.

    a) versions of 'L' Linux should I use?
    Hopefully the one you or your sysadmin knows best. CentOS and Ubuntu are both popular, depending on whether you prefer Redhat or Debian derived distros.

    b) verisions of 'A' Apache should I use?
    The most recent version. There is no reason to use anything else.

    c) should I use MySQL or PostgreSQL (I'm looking for a robust free to use Database with architecture close to SQL Server)?
    I haven't done much with PostgreSQL and I haven't done anything with MSSQL, but my guess is that PostgreSQL is more like MSSQL than MySQL is like MSSQL.

    d) should I use Perl, Python or PHP - I'm looking to use a language that is the future (i.e. maybe PHP was best five years ago but now, say, Perl has been bought by a big company it is the future - this is just a for instance)?
    As far as its use in building website backends, Perl is rapidly declining. PHP is currently the most popular and will likely remain so for at least another 5 - 10 years. However, I do not see PHP sticking around in the same way that C++ has. Something is going to replace it eventually, but nobody can give you anything other than a wild *** guess on what that will actually be.

    In my opinion, JavaScript will replace PHP as the primary server side language in another one or two decades. Frameworks like Node.js are already gaining a lot of ground, but none are mature or stable enough that I would consider using them in any real projects yet. I do expect that to change though, and once it does I would expect to see a fairly rapid switch from PHP to JavaScript on the server side.

    There's a chance that Python could replace PHP; it does seem to be gaining some momentum as well. However, I think JavaScript will grow faster and choke out any hope that Python has of becoming the premier web language.

    Ruby is another contender to replace PHP, but I don't see that happening (ever). Everyone I have ever talked to who has built a website in Ruby thought it would be really cool at first but was pretty disillusioned with it by the time they finished. Admittedly I haven't talked to a lot of people who have built websites in Ruby though (2 or 3).
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    E-Oreo,
    Thank you for your time replying, the info is much appreciated.
    I think what I'm looking for in reply is guidance on the technologies that will be okay to do and ones that I should steer clear of - your answers have helped me.
    I mentioned LAMP as there seems to be alot of books that knit those technologies together. I will need help re-learning it all again so I think I will buy a LAMP book and go from there - yes that will mean LINUX (not Windows), APACHE, MySQL (not PostgreSQL) and PHP. You haven't suggested anything to tell me not to use those technologies. My only fear was to invest all that time and effort only to find what I've used wasn't the best choice/decision.
    Thanks.

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