Mikkel Høgh

Coding the web since 1999

21 Jun 2006

TurboGears is brilliant

Some time ago, I wrote a small piece about TurboGears, with a link to a review I read on O’Reilly.

Since then I’ve studied and played with it a lot, and I can only say it’s changed my worldview quite a bit. As those who know me, know, I’ve tinkered with programming for the web since autumn 2002, where I started with some rather immature PHP-hacking. Since then, I’ve learned a lot. Studied “real” programming languages, like C, C++, C# etc., and I’ve gotten a lot better at PHP. However, at some point after converting to linux in 2004, I learned about Python and that’s changed my outlook on programming a lot.

I learned PHP the old fashioned way. Procedural programming, multiple files and inclusion of HTML-files by way of the ?p=foobar query string. I struggled a lot with the syntax - woe to the one that forgot a } somewhere, or misplaced a ' or perhaps a ;, but as I learned more, I heard whispers about something people called OOP, or “Object Oriented Programming”.

I downloaded some PHP, made with objects, whatever it was, and looked at it, and was horrified to see that the otherwise quite confusing syntax of PHP had been made even worse. It was about that point I gave up hope of ever understanding what OOP was all about. But then I learned Python :)

Python has a much more sane syntax, much cleaner to look at, making it easier to spot if you’ve made a mistake.

So, what am I getting at. Well, I just wanted to say that I’ve changed my opinion yet again. I hope to become a professional web-programmer with TurboGears. It is so much easier for me to think in Python than in PHP. Code just flies from your fingers. In TurboGears, I can create web-application in hours that would have taken me days or even months in PHP. Not because PHP is less powerful, but because Python us easier to read and write. At least it follows my pattern of thought better.

And so, I have ordered TurboGears Ultimate DVD a while ago, and I expect it to land in my mailbox soon. I look forward to it.