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PHP anytime soon?

Ugh. I can't believe I'm writing this, but I think it is time to install PHP on PythonAnywhere. Reasons: 1. phpmyadmin and phppgadmin 2. Wordpress (yep, and I'm the guy that did the write up on PA about installing Mezzanine). 3. Some other good stuff that comes written in PHP.

I really hate PHP almost as much as Java because I have been forced to maintain systems written in these languages. While they both started with good intentions, they have been so misused over the years that much of the code out there is really hard to maintain. As Aldous Huxley said, "Hell isn't merely paved with good intentions, it is walled and roofed with them." Replace Hell with PHP or Java if you have done maintenance programming for a living.

Now that I have purged my spleen, I must admit that Wordpress is easily much better for blogging than anything else around.

When can we expect to see PHP become available? I know you guys are really busy.

P.S. I won't ask for Java ;-)

Ironically, I think Java would be easier to install than PHP :-(

Anyway, point taken about Wordpress. I use it myself for a couple of personal blogs, and while I was planning to move them to Mezzanine on PA it really is a lot of work, especially for anything with a significant amount of existing content. MediaWiki is another one that springs to mind -- I don't know whether MoinMoin is better, largely because MediaWiki dominates the wiki space so thoroughly that the only MoinMoin wiki I've ever used is the one on python.org.

I guess for us it's more a set of strategic and design questions than technical ones -- would adding support for PHP divert our effort from making PythonAnywhere as good as it can be for Python? Would it bring in a sudden influx of PHP users with questions and requirements we don't understand? And how would PHP stuff integrate with Python web apps?

We're really unclear ourselves about the answers to those, and any ideas would be very much appreciated!

I found this article a little while ago and I think it sums up my attitudes to PHP fairly well: PHP: a fractal of bad design.

Still, opinions of the language don't it's certainly true that there are some reasonable applications out there written in PHP and, provided the php.ini file is correctly set up, the security and performance concerns can at least be moderated.

I don't think PHP support is a problem as long as you lock it down sufficiently. You'll break some of the less-well-written apps by doing that, but that's probably actually a good thing...

The other option would be not to expose PHP at all but just add some hosting of specific PHP apps, I guess, though that's going away from general hosting and more towards specific services (and might carry a higher support cost). Just an idea to consider, though.

Another option comes to mind. You seem to be on a path toward Ruby on Rails. There are a couple of reasonably good blog apps in the Rails world.

Note: Mezzanine is not cutting it at this time. I'm looking for options that really work. Anybody have suggestions? dc

Well, we did buy the rubyanywhere.com domain a while back... so it's definitely something we're considering.

How would you use Wordpress if we did support it? Would it be integrating with a Python web app in some way?

I would not use PHP for developing an app under any condition, as I stated in my first post. I have an app under development that uses Django. This is my chosen direction. I have also developed a similar app using Ruby on Rails, but that app has not been deployed.

My plan is to have a site that allows me to extol the virtues of my app. I am trying to do this with a blog and explanations of the service I provide. I would probably show a link that would point to my Django app(s).

I like Wordpress because it is very powerful, popular, and well supported. Also, Wordpress has really good visibility on the web.

If I could find a Python or Ruby based application in the class of Wordpress, I would use it. I am going out on a limb a bit when thinking about Ruby apps similar to Wordpress, I am not sure if they measure up to Wordpress.

dc

Don't worry, I wouldn't insult anyone who uses PythonAnywhere by suggesting that they'd use PHP willingly ;-)

So, if I understand correctly, you want a single domain with a Wordpress blog living under a certain subdirectory, and a Django app under others. Perhaps the Wordpress blog would be the root of the site, and the Django bit just in a subdirectory. Is that right?

The reason I ask is because we'd thinking that possibly instead of offering support for arbitrary PHP apps, we could host Wordpress and perhaps MediaWiki, and then provide some way to say "this part of my web app should be hosted from there". Another possibility is that we could just set up our own nginx servers so that you could create a Wordpress site somewhere that specialised in Wordpress (wordpress.com, perhaps) but then our server would transparently map certain URLs on your site to there.

What do you think -- could that work?

If you're looking at PHP wikis, Dokuwiki is worth a look. I find the syntax more sane than MediaWiki's and it's great for documentation or reference sites.

I think that would work great!!! The wiki would be fantastic as well.

I have done further research on blog software and it seems that Ruby/Rails blog software suffers from the same issue as Python. IMHO None of them are really well supported at this time by a solid user community and there are no add-ons either commercial or open-source.

I know that Wordpress is used every day by a lot of folks and is supported by a very strong community with a lot of commercial and open-source goodies. I don't know why this isn't true for Python or Rails, and I am talking about blog software where that is the primary mission of the software. Some software, such as Mezzanine are CMS' first with blog capability tacked on.

As I said before, I need a blog, with plenty of self-advertising plus freebie add-ons to draw folks to my site. After that, the readers and be attracted to my applications.

Thanks for getting back to me on this. That is the reason I like Pythonanywhere. You guys are first rate.
dc

Thanks!

OK, so it sounds like we should take a look at how easy it would be to provide routing of URLs to other sites; that looks like it could be the best bang for the buck. We'll take a look next week and see how doable it is.

So using nginx as a reverse proxy to another site? I would be quite surprised if that wasn't relatively straightforward in nginx, so I guess the fiddliness would be the configuration UI and making sure it couldn't be abused.

Well, and finding the time, of course, but I think that's taken as read... (^_^)

Thanks, Giles!!

UP! What's happened to PHP? Have a nice day! Mchurch

You have a nice day too! It's not been a priority I'm afraid. Still, have added a +1 from you :)

:) keep waiting for it!

Keen for this to happen, +1 from me too please!

I'll add a +1 for php, too.

(I feel dirty saying that)

sad emoji. OK, noted!

any updates on this?

Sorry for the slow response, your post got picked up by a spam filter. No, we have no plans to support PHP right now, though of course if a very large number of people ask for it we may change that. I've added another upvote.