hows and whys for PHP

Ever since I picked up PHP as my next server scripting language, I did not look back to ASP or ASP.NET. PHP has so many built in functions such as file uploads, sending email that we can readily use unlike ASP, where we would have to purchase and install 3rd party DLLs.

I can’t say much about ASP.NET cos I’ve only experienced it for 3-4 months during my Final Year Project at Nanyang Polytechnic. But I believe it is as good as PHP and could be better because the ASP.NET page is “compiled”. PHP may have this same feature by purchasing Zend’s products or some free alternatives I’ve seen.

Why I’m so concerned about already-built-in functionalities is because of webhosting providers. The company I work pays a certain webhost company to host our projects. The first project for me when I first joined the company was done in ASP. It was hell because I needed file uploads and the script I was using heavily burdens the CPU on the webserver. Uploading a small file would take ages and I do not have access to install 3rd party DLLs to handle file uploads. The webhost only provided mySQL as the database server. No SQLServer. Getting ASP to run with mySQL was another big problem. [:(]

Then for my next 2 projects, I decided to give PHP a try. I had confidence in my learning skills because of my past experiences in ASP and some other scripting/programming languages. I believed I had a good grasp of the essence of programming (and I still do now! hee).

It didn’t take me long to get used to the new syntax and coding style. In fact, it was quite easy. Pretty soon, I could code without the need to refer to examples in ebooks I have downloaded. I loved the file uploads capability built into PHP. We could even specify a maximum filesize limit so the user doesn’t have to upload the whole file only to realize it’s too big and then he has to go through the long process of uploading again. PHP has support for mySQL so I didn’t need to install any plugins like I did for ASP on my development machine in order to connect to a mySQL database. [:D]

I learned to use the PHP manual online which turned out to be the greatest help. I also got some simple questions answered on IRC at freenode’s #php and #mysql (in case the links don’t work for you, the IRC server is Questions like “How do I do this?” would be asked at a forum called NerdBrains where friendly knowledgeable people would provide helpful hints to the best solution.

I wouldn’t mind .NET only if instructed by my boss. I would never go back to ColdFusion or ASP. I am currently satisfied and happily living in the world of PHP. [XD]

Note: I do realize that my blog and quotes website are in ASP. They were both created before I learned PHP. I just needed to find time to convert them both to PHP but I’m quite reluctant to do so because I wish to use Access database to store my data. [:)]

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