This is an absolutely brilliant summary of the virtues of PHP.

The important point is that these virtues aren’t going away. By comparison this seems to miss the point. In 2020 we won’t be programming the web with an advanced Python framework (wonderful as python is). We’ll have something which does what PHP did for CGI or Processing does Java, ie. wrap a purpose built, sophisticated back-end (something like Google Application Engine) in a light, domain-specific language. That language won’t look like PHP. It would be nice if it looked like Python, but I suspect Javascript is a more likely model.

But it will retain the virtues of PHP : none of this fussy separation of presentation and logic; easy discoverability of where URLs go; fast iterative development; big built-in library etc.

(Hat-tip, BillSeitz for the links)

Here’s something else that looks pretty cool. BuckyBase is a data-wiki where pages are like free-form records (dictionaries of key / value pairs) that can also be can be shown grouped into tabular form.

It’s fairly simple at the moment (another just-launched GAE experiment), but I can’t help thinking that in my “enterprisey” day-job I work with nothing but data which is structured like this : records that are less than normalized, sometimes viewed as separate pages, sometimes squashed into grids. Give it the ability to add a few extra-constraints, some kind of blank form definitions; hook it up to Google Visualization and let it embed Gadgets; add some more sophisticated querying … and you’ve got the heart of a small-business data-base application : Filemaker-as-a-service.

And if Google can ensure that Application Engine really is fast, powerful and secure enough to host serious applications, then it looks very promising as the new standard substrate for a whole ecology of this kind of wiki-derived tool.