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Martijn Boland Blog

ASP.NET MVC bridging the gap with PHP development?

/ 2 min read

Grand_Canyon6 For a long time, there has been a distinct separation between ASP.NET and PHP developers. The platforms have been so fundamentally different and also have the surrounding cultures. Generally speaking, ASP.NET developers consider the PHP guys script kiddies with no real understanding of ‘real’ software development and the PHP guys saw ASP.NET developers as some M$ infected bunch of people that have no clue of web standards, clean HTML or how to build a proper web app at all.

But times have changed. Both platforms are moving. PHP now has a whole bunch of application frameworks (Zend, CakePHP etc.) that encourage good application design and also since PHP 5, the programming language has improved a lot. On the other hand, with the release of ASP.NET MVC, it has become much more easy to render clean HTML and we can finally leverage all the cool client-side toolkits that are out there without having to work around the quirks of Web Forms

So, with this movement, we see that both platforms grow towards each other. More and more developers come to have a look over the fence to see what’s happening at the neighbours place.bridge-gap

Two concrete examples:

  • I’m consulting a little at a PHP shop that is moving towards .NET. They found Visual Studio and C# very cool, but the Web Forms issues regarding clean HTML etc. made it an absolute no-go. ASP.NET MVC is what made them switch.
  • Just watched the ASP.NET MVC Mix 09 presentation of Rob Conery (Microsoft) and he showed lots of things that were clearly inspired by how PHP apps like WordPress work.

I like this movement! As a .NET developer, I find it very refreshing and inspiring to mix and mingle with ‘the other side’. There is a lot we can learn from each other to make better web applications.