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"Language Wars" only relevant to web development?

We were discussing the "Language Wars" article at work...  Was Joel speaking only to web development or development in general?  A co-worker thought that the article did not apply to desktop applications.


John Childress Send private email
Friday, September 01, 2006
No I don't think it applies (even in Joel's own mind) to desktop development.

How many desktop or shrinkware apps are written in PHP for example?
Sunil Tanna
Friday, September 01, 2006
If you draw from it the simple kernel of truth that certain platforms are more proven and safe, with less uncertainty and risk, and that you need to leverage the skills you already have, then I would say that it applies to all development.
Dennis Forbes Send private email
Friday, September 01, 2006
That's a good point Dennis.

Specifics, only relevant to web dev.

Generalties, generally relevant
Sunil Tanna
Friday, September 01, 2006
On a whole, it's definately relevant to any language war. Like pointed out earlier, you can't specifically do some things (Like realistically develop a PHP executable.)
Josh McFarlane Send private email
Friday, September 01, 2006

that was the direction I was leaning towards...  And yes, I should have been a little clearer in my question, I understand you can't develop desktop applications in PHP :-)


John Childress Send private email
Friday, September 01, 2006
The desktop language wars are less fiery only because that's not the platform that's hot right now.  When it was hotter, there were plenty of language wars.  Delphi, Visual Basic and C++ were only the major contenders.  There were plenty of also-rans in there as well, some of which I have helped to build very large systems with.
Clay Dowling Send private email
Friday, September 01, 2006
Language Wars pervade every aspect of sw development. I remember the discussions we used to have doing board level stuff as to whether to go to C or not.

Good clean fun for the whole family. In the Yeshiva world, we tug at our beards and payess and call it "pilpul" (:=)
Steve Hirsch Send private email
Friday, September 01, 2006
"you can't develop desktop applications in PHP"

Not true!  You can write GTK apps in PHP, and maybe there are other windowing toolkits available, too.

However, I think Joel was writing about how "safe" the choice of language is given the amount of people doing what you're trying to do in that language, tools available, etc.  If the point is that PHP is not "proven" as a desktop development language, then I completely agree, and there are probably better tools than PHP for desktop development.
Friday, September 01, 2006
joel, has alot invested in the MS world has he ever depended upon a non MS world programming language... how has C# or .NET made it from <5 years old to enterprise ready? is it like Vista? going to be when it's released? ready for the enterprise immediately? how long will it take and what could anybody every do to make a newly independent language like Ruby to satisfy him?...if find Ruby a pardigm shift worthy of note!
david rose Send private email
Friday, September 01, 2006

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