Warning: regular expressions can become addictive. And, for some of us batch manipulation of large text sets can provide a whole lot of satisfaction. Finally, I never would have put the strings "PHP" and "sexiness" in a sentence together (though I guess I just did).


On 3/25/10 4:46 PM, Ethan Gruber wrote:
If one's interests were digital library data curation and migration, the
most useful things to know would be XSLT, bash scripting, Perl, and
knowledge of regular expressions.  I've done a lot of migration with bash
scripting, regular expressions, and XSLT alone, without the need for Perl,
but Perl or SAX would be useful in migrating non-XML or invalid XML/SGML.  I
used simple, iterative scripts to migrate thousands of TEI files from TEI
Lite to a more consistent schema.  I've done similar things to go from a 500
page HTML thumbnail gallery of manuscripts into an EAD guide.   Roy is right
in stating there is more to programming than web pages.  A lot of dirty work
behind the scenes in libraries is done without the sexiness of PHP or Ruby
on Rails applications.


On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 4:36 PM, Genny Engel<gen...@sonoma.lib.ca.us>wrote:

Agreed -- I coded up many nice SQL injection vulnerabilities before I ever
learned PHP.  As for Perl, anyone remember the notorious formmail.cgi from
Matt's Script Archive?

For **web** programming specifically, it's critically important for newbies
to get a grounding in security issues, regardless of the language being
used.  Also, in usability issues, accessibility issues, etc. .... for
anything that's actually going to get used by the public.  But really, that
mainly applies if you're going to be developing a whole app complete with
web-accessible front end.

If your interests aren't particularly in web development, you have a whole
other set of potential issues to learn about, and I'm probably ignorant of
most of them.

My first language was C, which according to langpop.com [1] is still the
most popular language around!  If you don't want to get bogged down in the
web security issues, etc., then you might lean toward learning a
general-purpose language like C or Java, rather than one designed for a
specific purpose as PHP is for web development.

[1] http://www.langpop.com/

yitzchak.schaf...@gmx.com 03/25/10 07:56AM>>>
On 3/24/2010 17:43, Joe Hourcle wrote:
I know there's a lot of stuff written in it, but *please* don't
recommend PHP to beginners.

Yes, you can get a lot of stuff done with it, but I've had way too many
incidents where newbie coders didn't check their inputs, and we've had
to clean up after them.

Another way of looking at this: part of learning a language is learning
its vulnerabilities and how to deal with them.  And how to avoid
security holes in web code in general.

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