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Moving On From Website Development, Can Php Still Be Used?


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#1 Jason

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 11:44 AM

After many years of Website Development I've grown to, not like it as much as I used to. I love programming though. Client work, along with recent technological developments have made me realise that I just don't have the enthusiasm for it I once did. So rather than being a negative "old man" telling kids to get off my lawn, I'm moving on.

Primarily I'm a PHP web developer with a focus on Content Management Systems. It's been my focus since 2005. I know PHP can be used to develop more specific Web applications but of course that's still in the browser. I'd like to move away from the browser window if I can. Does anyone work with PHP for things other than Websites? or even Web applications?

If I can't salvage my PHP knowledge I'm happy to let go and learn a new language such as Java, I already know ActionScript but career prospects and work is low for that where I am, unless it's a flash banner.

Anyone else considered a life of programming outside of the website development world?
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#2 Larry

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:05 PM

Hey Jason,

Thanks for the question and sorry to hear about all those lousy kids on your lawn. My personal inclination is not to use PHP for much outside of the Web browser. PHP was created as a Web development language, and that's really where it excels. For anything else you might do, there is undoubtedly a language or technology that's better suited. Occasionally I might create a command-line script using PHP (like if it ties into functionality needed by a PHP-based Web page), but I think pretty quickly taking a language out of its original intention starts to become like using a screwdriver as a hammer.

One thing I would suggest is that with your knowledge of PHP and ActionScript, learning other languages will not be that hard. Learning languages is superficially about syntax, it's the proper programming theory and application that's important, and you already have a lot of that knowledge.

A recommendation would be to look into mobile app development. You could do it for yourself, or for clients, and make use of your PHP knowledge for apps that need server resources. Although it seems like everyone's getting into mobile app development, the market is huge and will only continue to grow. Or, as a variation, alternative app environments like TVs that now support apps.

Whatever you decide, I'm sure you'll do well with it and I wish you all the best of luck.
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#3 Jason

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 5:35 AM

I didn't think there would be many alternative uses for PHP outside of the browser, I've read about most of them (I think) and it always seems to require a lot more effort than could otherwise be used. I haven't kept up to date on recent PHP advancements so I was wondering if there was something else out there.

Thank you for the TV app suggestion Larry, I did not think about that at all. It appears Samsung and Adobe have been working together using Adobe AIR, still early days for all of that. A bit too early for me (Australia tends to be behind the curve a bit) but something to keep an eye on.

The same day I post this topic an advertisement goes up for a PHP Developer in the finance sector and they use Adobe Flex :ph34r:
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#4 Redscouse

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Posted 8 March 2012 - 7:03 PM

PHP-Gtk2 anyone??

Use your existing knowledge of PHP combined with GTK can create some pretty awesome stuff!
The apps i've built in the past have admittedly interacted with the web but I'm sure you can create some really funky stuff if you wanted too.

Just a thought..
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#5 Larry

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Posted 8 March 2012 - 9:57 PM

Thanks for the suggestion. Although I've written about PHP-GTK since 2001, I personally no longer feel like it's an appropriate tool to use. To me, PHP-GTK is definitely a case of using a screwdriver to hammer in a nail: possible, but far from optimal. Unless things have changed, you have to distribute PHP with the application, making a PHP-GTK application practically non-distributable. Plus, the generated graphical interface looks like Windows 95.

There are just so many better alternatives to PHP-GTK these days. My two cents...
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#6 Redscouse

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Posted 6 September 2012 - 9:45 AM

Hi Larry,

Having dipped my toe into the world of Python, I'd have to agree with your last comment regarding PHP-GTK2.
Don't get me wrong, i like it (because i'm ok with PHP) but i remember the problems i had when packaging and distributing the end product.
I think unless someone specifically asks me for software written in PHP-GTK2 I'm gonna put that one to bed and concentrate on Python.

Pete.

PS: have you written any books on Python? (or maybe recommend a good author?)
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#7 Larry

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Posted 7 September 2012 - 6:14 PM

I've heard very good things about Python, but don't know it myself and can't recommend any books on the subject. Sorry!
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