“I’m a PHP programmer and I want to check out this Django thing. What should I do?” I’ve been seeing this kind of question pop up more and more, and I have a few answers. First-hand experience as well as many conversations with developers online have led me to the same conclusion: the curious person behind such a question should be encouraged and assisted. (I’ll call that person “Pat” for the rest of the post, for convenience and conscientious gender-neutrality.
I’m doing a small experiment in open source distribution. I have a site, toolbot.com, which formerly was a collection of miscellaneous PHP scripts that I had assembled over the years for specific tasks – package tracking, dummy text generation, link shortening, etc. Those tools are now offline. The original cause of their disappearance was a MySQL failure, but that really just provided an opportunity for me to make a break with that pile of old code.
A former colleague from my days in print design (and a wonderfully loyal reader of my blog to boot) writes to ask whether he should learn Python. He’s a smart guy with a deep background in typography, publishing, and the Mac. He is not a programmer by trade, but has taught himself enough PHP to build a custom CMS for his newspaper. He writes: I’ve invested so much time in PHP, and am quite proficient now (not bad for it being more of an avocation), but I respect your opinion and for a long time have wondered about switching.
$ sudo portupgrade php5 php5-curl php5-sqlite php5-bla bla bla... ---> Upgrading 'php5 bla bla bla...' ... [Updating the pkgdb bla bla... done] $ sudo apachectl graceful $ This was on a live server, with only the briefest of interruptions; no drama. Boring things should be boring. I love FreeBSD. Chip Kaye commented on Sat Jan 6 11:27:47 2007: Hi Paul, Was this FreeBSD/Darwin under OS X, or do you like to run a true/stock FreeBSD server?
I’ve yanked out my own crude anti-comment-spam tests and replaced them with a nice tidy call to the Akismet API. If this works out I’ll most certainly incorporate it into the Django version of the blog – there’s a nice Python interface as well. seanrox commented on Thu Aug 24 14:58:33 2006: Akismet is nice and works wonders on comment spam as you’ll see on your site.