31 August 2008

PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, Perl, Python, and Tcl Today: The State of the Scripting Universe

Lynn Greiner discusses the use of scripting languages in mainstream applications development PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, Perl, Python, and Tcl Today: The State of the Scripting Universe - CIO.com - Business Technology Leadership. She refers back to an article she wrote in March 2005 on the same topic, and notes the much deeper penetration of scripting as a valid development tool today in 2008.

In the TSSG we have been firmly behind scripting languages as a vital part of any developers toolbox for many years. You may know that I published some books on Perl back in 1996 (e.g. Perl 5 Quick Reference (QUE)), and our team of developers and researchers have expertise in all of these languages, particularly JavaScript (ECMAScript), Ruby, Perl, Python and PHP. In particular one of our spin-out companies, FeedHenry, is based on creating a publicly hosted widget framework that promotes ease of creating of new services using lightweight scripting approaches.

Perhaps the best cited article on the advantages of scripting is John K. Ousterhout's "Scripting: Higher Level Programming for the 21st Century", published in IEEE Computer in March 1998. John, the author of the popular scripting language Tcl (pronounced "tickle"), pretty much lays out the case for scripting languages. The major developments since then have been the creation of new scripting languages with special usefulness for certain domains, and a maturity in the tools that help developers use scripting languages, and test and debug their scripts/programs.

A recent Forrester report "The Forrester Wave: Dynamic Programming Languages, Q3 2007" underlines the case for dynamic languages, focusing on Python, PHP and Perl.

The popular acronym for open source development platform LAMP comprises four elements:

The O'Reilly ONLamp.com site has a great range of materials on the various elements of this platform, and O'Reilly publish the leading books on each topic (e.g. Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen, and Jon Orwant's book Programming Perl (3rd Edition July 2000), known as the Camel Book because of its cover).

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19 August 2008

Interactive NSF History of the Internet

This has some interesting videos and some well structured content: nsf.gov - NSF and the Birth of the Internet - Special Report

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