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  1.    #1  
    I'm loving this new forum, and it definitely increases my interest in learning PHP. On my website (http://www.broncosfreak.com), I've just been using server side includes (.shtml files) to keep the header and footer up-to-date. Can anyone comment on what the benefits of PHP are over me just using server-side includes?
  2. #2  
    Originally posted by euangel
    I'm loving this new forum, and it definitely increases my interest in learning PHP. On my website (http://www.broncosfreak.com), I've just been using server side includes (.shtml files) to keep the header and footer up-to-date. Can anyone comment on what the benefits of PHP are over me just using server-side includes?
    Server side includes give you the ability to combine multiple documents together (generally used for headers/footers like you mentioned).. PHP (similar to coldfusion, asp, etc..) gives you a scripting interface. This allows you to access databases, dynamically generate pages, etc. For example, you could have all of your articles stored in a database and create a PHP script that would maintain the links to the articles (off the main page) and then generate the pages by combining the database information and an html template.

    Personally I use ASP (which is similar to PHP) to create sites. On information driven sites, it makes sense to place all of that information in a database. In the database, I can place a variety of additional information about the page, ie, when I want the page to be displayed on the site, where the page should be displayed, how long it should be displayed, and when the data would no longer be useful and should be deleted. Given this layout, the ASP scripts can not only dynamically generate the pages (so I don't have to create each and every page) but it can also maintain the data (every day I can have a script view the data and delete unnecessary data, prune inactive user accounts, do server maintaince, etc..) which frees up mytime to focus on content and presentation.

    I hope this is the reply your looking for, if you want to know more, just let me know..
  3.    #3  
    Thanks for your reply. That pretty much backs up the understanding I already had. Which is more common, ASP or PHP? I know that ASP can only be run on NT servers, correct? Are there any other main differences between the two?
  4. #4  
    Originally posted by euangel
    Thanks for your reply. That pretty much backs up the understanding I already had. Which is more common, ASP or PHP? I know that ASP can only be run on NT servers, correct? Are there any other main differences between the two?
    They are both very similar in their abilities. While ASP has originated and has a lot of benefits of being run on NT/2000 (ie, better integration with databases, COM components, etc..) it has been ported to a variety of other platforms. PHP on the other hand has been focused more toward UNIX and has a port to the NT platform (though from my understanding, the NT port is slow).

    PHP is based on its own language (similar to C and Java) whereas ASP can be programmed in a variety of languages (I personally prefer Visual Basic). As far as being most common, my guess is they are about the same..

    One thing that I feel is important to mention is Microsoft's upcoming ASP+ .. while it shares the same name, the archtecture is quite a bit different. They claim to have simplified deployment and development while increasing performance (ASP+ pages are compiled). Another thing that is interesting is the ASP+ platform supports the full runtime of VB7 & C# (Microsofts new internet based compiler) so as a developer, you have more flexibility. While this appears to be a benefit for the NT/2000 developer, I am unsure of how this will affect the ports to other platforms.

    In anycase, if your wanting to do some basic dynamically generated pages (ie, database + html template = webpage) or even something more complex like this discussion forum, either ASP or PHP should work great.

    Joe

  5.    #5  
    Thanks Joe!

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