" /> BP's Weblog: May 2001 Archives

« April 2001 | Main | June 2001 »

May 11, 2001

Hooo ahhh!

Isn't life great?

Or, well, if not life in general (don't get me wrong, I think it's pretty great, but that's not my topic here), finishing up with parts of life. In my case, I've justed finished up with 5 years of college. Over 1/5th of my life, right here at Washington University in St. Louis

So, what have I learned? Lots of stuff. But, that's what you're supposed to learn from coursework. There have been plenty of other lessons, that are, perhaps, better learned by the college student weaning him or herself slowly off of the dependence on "home", and slowly into an "adult" lifestyle.

Some notable parallel lessons from school:

  • Always keep track of friends. Thank goodness for e-mail!
  • If you're not careful, you'll find out you learn more by the process than the particulars.
  • Always do your work. No matter how much you want to just let your grade recover. You learn more by trying and failing, than not trying at all.
  • Deadlines can always be bent. But, remember that, according to Physics, you're either weakening the internal structure, or you're transferring potential energy to another part of the system. This applies to the learning process, too.

Anyway, I turned in my last assignment for this part (will there be others? Who can say?) of my Washington University career Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, around midnight. If none of my profs make a last minute decision to fail me, I'm done with my MS. I'd finished my BS requirements a year ago. In a week, I do some marching, and come away with some hard-earned (and quite expensive!) degrees. A mere 3 weeks after that I start my new job, and new life.

Not that this is such a sad time. I'll miss the midwest, and many of my friends here. But, I miss my friends from high school too - and I still see them. Life goes on, though, and now it's time for my life to go on.

May 10, 2001

ASP, Perl, or PHP?

These days, there seems to be a lot of infighting in the web site development community. The young geeks scream PHP, the old geeks like Perl, and the people who get sleep at night love ASP. While there is no need for an agreement, because these are all server side, it does show a deeper part of our geek community. Note:Warning. Inflamatory development religion-speak inside. You've been warned.

Now first I would like to start off, by admitting something that may cause many of you to stop reading and start flaming me like I was the anti-Christ. I use ASP. Yes, the Microsoft solution! I know that Bill Gates is the root of all evil (that has more than one meaning), but ASP is a solid product. Wow, I think i just heard you all shrug. Here's why I chose ASP... Being a young geek, I am still in school... that means limited time. I love learning a new language, but those of you who know 4+ languages have to admit that you do start to get confused on the syntax. ASP runs on the basic ideas of VBScript and therefore Visual Basics.

For my PHP homies out there... I fully respect PHP. But to me its like Java. Java is a wondeful language... wonderfully complex. You can do amazing things with it, but even the guy who wrote the language needs a reference book next to him. I think that what you guys do is great and keep on doing it. PHP can do some wonderful things. But personally, I don't have the time to go and learn such a confusing language.

And for the Perl people out there: Shouldn't you take your medicine? You might break your hip if you run to fast. Wow, I just really pissed off a bunch of great people didn't I. Naw, I didn't mean all of that! Anyhow, Perl has some great scripts floating around. But it is becoming a legacy language of sorts. It was difficult and hard to use, but for a long time it was the only option. Those of you who still use perl most likely are doing it for kicks or are simply editing pre-written scripts.

All in all, I know this article makes me look like a really bad geek. Maybe I don't deserve the title geek at all. But you have just witnessed the view of a web designer. Microsoft's product is easy and workable. When I have deadlines for my non-technical clients, they want results. And most web developers use ASP these days because it allows us to do that.

But I know from this article that many of you (if anyone reads this at all) are really angry right now. That is a problem. Why do we all feel the need to get all up in arms about different languages and systems. I mean, some of you full time Linux users out there almost won't talk to a Windows user. We really need to pull together as a community. Stop bashing people because they aren't as smart as you. Yes, I am not as good at scripting languages as those of you who use PHP or Perl, BUT I have deadlines. Now, does this mean that I am any less geeky. Heck no, I still spent 20 hours with my head in code trying to build scripts for a SQL database front end... but I chose that instead of 40 hours (it took longer because I had to figure it all out on my own).

As that immortal saying goes: "Why can't we all just get along?"

PS: Microsoft, you can just send that check to my home. Make sure to put the comment on the check as: "selling your soul"... thanks, i'll be excpecting that check in the next few days.