Ask the Expert

Who put the "P" in LAMP?

In the LAMP stack, I've heard that the "P" stands for both PHP and PERL. What's the difference between them, and when is either one used?

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PHP is a simpler language when it comes to delivering Web pages, and it's more closely integrated with HTML and Web servers than Perl is. Perl is probably the more powerful language, and more general purpose, but its roots are in batch-mode scripts, not in database-driven Websites. In the end though, use the one that you have the most expertise with, since they're both 3GL programming languages with many similar features. A proper understanding of the risks and benefits of mod_perl is essential if you choose Perl.

This was first published in April 2005

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