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Bimm
Jan 31st, 2009, 12:07 AM
I'm currently planning my first web site build, i have a little html knowledge and plan to learn everything that I possibly can but my question is this ..

Im looking to create a database driven website and would like to know which would be the easiest language to learn to program it in. PHP with mysql or asp.net with a sql back end.

I have no prior knowledge of any of this and whichever i choose will be a huge learning curve, I'm just wondering which would be slightly easier to learn and what the advantages are of each. The database end of things will need to be able to hold or reference some kind of movie file (mpeg or flash movie etc.) other than this the database will hold simple text files.

Please could you give advise or point me in the right direction, i am ready to learn just uncertain which will be the easiest path for me.

Any advice will be much appreciated.

thanks.

B

gnomeontherun
Jan 31st, 2009, 12:45 AM
I say PHP because the support available is huge. Just look at the thread counts for the forums in PHP versus ASP, PHP dominates. Its a great language, not for everything, but I think its the place to start. It is where I started, and ASP is a little more of a niche thing. Most servers offer PHP, but not all offer ASP. Proprietary software...

oracleguy
Jan 31st, 2009, 01:02 AM
I say PHP because the support available is huge. Just look at the thread counts for the forums in PHP versus ASP, PHP dominates. Its a great language, not for everything, but I think its the place to start. It is where I started, and ASP is a little more of a niche thing. Most servers offer PHP, but not all offer ASP. Proprietary software...

While I agree with most of that, now days ASP classic is becoming a niche thing but I wouldn't agree that ASP.net is. The thing ASP.net has going for it is that in combination with some of the GUI tools, it is ridiculously easy to get a database driven website up and running. Now when you use all the drag and drop stuff for that in ASP.net it certainly doesn't make the best design but it does work and you can get something to going that you can play around with.

That being said, I wouldn't necessarily use ASP.net all the time. It depends on the project and what language is the best tool. My advice would be to try them both out and see which one you like. Being familiar with both certainly won't hurt you and it will let you find out which one you like better.

Before diving into server side stuff, I would recommend you strengthen your HTML and CSS skills, they are important regardless of what you pick on the server side.

Millenia
Jan 31st, 2009, 10:48 AM
PHP is best

Do you have any reasons for coming to that conclusion?

Bimm
Jan 31st, 2009, 11:26 AM
thanks for the advice, i'm really still none the wiser.
So far I'm looking at learning xhtml & css initially then begin learning php or asp.net along with a sql database.

At some point I will want to incorporate video into the website and am thinking that flash may be the way to go ? again this will be stored on the database.

As for asp.net I know of the visual web developer kit but havent really had a chance to play about with it.

Being a complete coding novice I'm looking for something thats relativly easy to pick up, thats not going to confuse the hell out of me.

gnomeontherun
Jan 31st, 2009, 11:43 AM
Honestly, in the end it doesn't matter. You just have to pick one and stick with it. Look at some tutorials for both languages, get a feel for which one you like better, and go with it. There are hundreds of reasons we could come up with why you should pick one or the other, but it just matters what you understand faster and like better.

I agree, solidifying your xhtml and css is a good idea, but I would do both at the same time with PHP or ASP. Again, you need a server (either one on your local computer or pay for hosting) that runs one or the other. Its not like HTML that can just show up on your computer, these languages need to have a server to process the script.

demtron
Jan 31st, 2009, 08:52 PM
I started off in ASP 11 years ago, then switched to ASP.Net seven years ago and worked on-and-off with PHP 3 years ago. I'm a MS fan, so I my opinion is probably slanted. I can tell you that, like oracleguy said, ASP.Net is a piece of cake to learn, especially if you choose VB.Net to code instead of C# as your first language.

In the end, I think the ease of learning has more to do with how the language aligns with your thinking patterns. I started in FoxPlus and dBase (good grief, that dates me) because they were easy for me to understand quickly and start producing good code. Maybe you need to spend a weekend or two immersing your self in each and trying to produce a simple project in each. Something simple like involving CRUD - (C)reate a record, (R)ead (and display a record), (U)pdate a record, and (D)elete a record. That may be enough of a challenge and provide you with enough information to identify which language(s) seem the most natural to you.

Good luck!

Bimm
Feb 1st, 2009, 10:32 AM
thanks guys.

just to let you know where im at so far, am going to try out both and see how i get on. Am currently setting up LAMP but have opted to run run it straight from a USB memory stick using fedora 10 so will try a few php tutorials.
Don't want to go to the trouble of setting up linux on a pc partition yet until i know whether its for me or not.

In the meantime I'm going to set up asp.net with sql on my laptop and follow some tutorials.

I'll try doing the same project on both and see which one is easiest.

freedom_razor
Feb 1st, 2009, 11:49 PM
You can run PHP on Windows machine if you wish, under IIS. Windows PHP installers can be downloaded from php.net

demtron
Feb 2nd, 2009, 12:01 AM
You can run PHP on Windows machine if you wish, under IIS. Windows PHP installers can be downloaded from php.net

Good suggestion!

Just don't try to run WordPress, a CMS or software like it in with PHP on IIS. I tried WordPress, failed, read a few forum discussions, failed some more, then ditched the idea altogether.

oracleguy
Feb 2nd, 2009, 02:27 AM
Just don't try to run WordPress, a CMS or software like it in with PHP on IIS. I tried WordPress, failed, read a few forum discussions, failed some more, then ditched the idea altogether.

Any reason why they don't work?

demtron
Feb 2nd, 2009, 02:51 AM
I should have stated that I tried it on shared hosting (GoDaddy). Here are posts I found that discuss some of my problems running Wordpress on shared hosting:

http://www.thisishowyoudoit.com/blog/10-reasons-why-not-to-host-your-wordpress-blog-on-a-windowsiis-platform/
http://www.rtrask.com/2008/02/07/running-wordpress-on-windows-server/

Maybe if you have full control of your own server and can noodle with config settings and such, it would work. I didn't go too far in my exploration due to a) lack of time and b) a general consensus in the WordPress crowd that cool plugins would probably be buggy on IIS.

oracleguy
Feb 2nd, 2009, 04:29 AM
It sounds like in that top ten list, most of the issues step from two things:

1) Wordpress designed their software to be critically dependent on functionality not always available (such as mod_rewrite) on other platforms which is alright as long as they officially say that Apache is their supported platform, which they do.
2) The hosting companies ignorance in how they configured their servers

However the bloggers claim


Mysql and Php are not designed for Windows/IIS and, thus, do not perform as well in that environment.


Is mostly propaganda created by anti-microsoft zealots, MySQL and PHP work perfectly fine on Windows and are actually extremely easy to get working with IIS. There is very little you actually have to do to IIS, the PHP installer can actually do it all for you if you let it.

I will admit the lack of chmod support is a valid complaint however if the hosting company properly configured their account, they shouldn't have any problems with their security permissions.

I should mention also my preferred web server environment is Linux with Apache but I've used IIS plenty of times as well. It might not be as flexible as Apache but it is still fairly robust. I think the issues people have with Windows hosting usually results from improper server configuration. Usually caused by the fact that since it is easier (and Windows) people don't use their brains when configuring it and mess it up.

bengomez
Feb 5th, 2009, 12:22 PM
I say PHP because the support available is huge. Just look at the thread counts for the forums in PHP versus ASP, PHP dominates. Its a great language, not for everything, but I think its the place to start. It is where I started, and ASP is a little more of a niche thing. Most servers offer PHP, but not all offer ASP. Proprietary software...

Yeah i agree with you guys... PHP, because most servers offer PHP but not all offers ASP...