Andreessen on Java and PHP

Via ZDNet News, Marc Andreessen of former Netscape endorse PHP over Java for website development, because it is open source, having easier environment, widely used and have big companies behind it.

Interesting description about Java:

Java is much more programmer-friendly than C or C++, or was for a few years there until they made just as complicated. It's become arguably even harder to learn than C++...

How true! Java, the language itself, is simple and easy to understand -- at least the first few incarnation of it. However, over the years when the standard JDK gets bigger and bigger to download, the built-in libraries gets incredibly huge, and just the sheer complexity to set up a J2EE server. It has turned itself into a beast now, and no one now can claim that he knows the "Java API". Which one? You ask.

Or maybe it is just me who cannot get my head wrapped around Java. Used to make my living in Java 5 years ago, but am too scared to touch it now.

PHP is certainly easier to use, and much faster to develop a site with. The language itself left a lot to be desired, and even with PHP 5.1, it still feels like some ex-Perl scripts hacked together templating HTML files. I guess the evil of "backward compatibility" has somehow hindered how the language can evolve. But that's not the point -- it is simple. It gets the job done.

People might think that scripting language without n-tier application server architecture is not scalable (can we say IBM? thou some might beg to differ). Even Andreessen himself would have his Java application server clusters behind the PHP web server layer.

But that's not the point. Why would "scalability" be important anyway? At least not in this Bubble 2.0 Web 2.0 world. You just need to have some nifty idea, quickly build the app, make sure it is buzzword compliant, be the first on the market and hope the VC will knock on your door.

Still implementing your J2EE solution? You might finish when Burst 2.0 arrives. Give PHP, Python or the Rails a try instead.