[This is really OT for a MySQL list - sorry folks.]
Forgive me if I'm telling you what you already know, but IMO the most importing thing to
do when getting into web development is to learn how to build web sites securely. This
might be a good starting point:
Also I would recommend finding reading an overview of how web pages are requested via
HTTP, so you have a clear idea of server-side versus client-side and understand the
relationship between server-side code, HTML output and what is actually displayed in the
browser window. Again I apologise if this obvious to you, but often people have
difficulty programming and especially debugging web apps because they are not sure about
There are probably at least a dozen fairly popular programming / scripting languages for
building web sites, and dozens of others besides. Please don't ask which is best,
otherwise this will probably end up being The Longest, Most Bitter Thread In History!
Most people do not have extensive experience with multiple langauges and there's a lot of
personal preference involved. If someone says that language X is best then what they
really mean is that, of the languages they have used, they think X best suits the needs
of their work and their personal preference.
I'm afraid I don't really agree with the advice below about PHP's speed, because speed is
affected by many variables other than just language choice (hardware, configuration,
coding, database calls etc). Would a PHP solution be faster than a mod_perl solution? I
don't know, but I doubt any difference would be worth worrying about. IMO the first
consideration should be about what makes you most productive as a developer.
(BTW, Ajax is a development technique, not a language. You still need a middleware
language to do the server-side programming. To start trying to build sites using Ajax
would be jumping in at the deep end, I think.)
Personally I use something called Lasso (one of the 'dozens of others besides'). I've
played with PHP a bit and with Perl a bit more, but have no intention of switching. Perl
is cool and powerful, but I think if I was new to web development I would find PHP easier
to learn. I think I would find Lasso easier still - I find its 'natural language' function
names easier to remember. YMMV. Lasso is a commercial product, but with the latest version
there is a free developer version. The biggest disadvantage IMO is that Lasso hosting is
not that easy to find.
Hmm - didn't intend to write such an essay on this! Hope it is of some use.
> Ok, so you don't want info on databases, but on which language to use to build
> a web site? You must sit down and determine what the site will be used for and what
> features you *must have* in your website. Find a website out there that has the features
> and style you're looking for. For example, do you want to build something like a Yahoo
> (page mode), or a store front like an Amazon (web application)? Once you know what type of
> web site you want to build, you can better determine what tools to use. For web
> applications (Amazon) take a look at Ajax applications. For plain page driven web sites
> look at PHP.
> Perl is more of a do everything type of language that can be used for writing
> applications as well as web pages, whereas PHP is more stripped down for speed and is
> intended for building web pages. You will get faster performance from PHP and is quite
> popular for building web sites.