> but it surprises me that the ColdFusion web apps aren't.
> Call it a personal bias, and ignore it, I guess.

CF is like that torx screwdriver in the toolbox. It only works on a few
things, but boy, it does a good jopb on those. For our websites, we use
a combination of CF, Dreamweaver, and Photoshop, and these have worked
extremely well. I'm not a fan of proprietary software, but I'd put CF
up against PHP, ASP, and CGI-Perl/Python any day.

> I'd never go so far as to say that any of
> them are "the best".  Languages tend to have strengths and weaknesses,
> and which is best to use for a given project depends on the project and
> the people involved.

Right. We don't build big apps, but we have a need for something that
isn't too difficult for people to get up to speed on, that can be used
in different contexts, and that will be around for a while.

> I'm a little confused by the desire to make everything use one language.

Not 'everything' but 'everything we do.' Probably about ninety percent
of what we do involves writing some kind of data to a DB, then reading
the data and spitting it out in one for or another. Unfortunately, we
also deal with a number of different systems, AIX, Linux, even BSD,
although our unit is primarily a MS shop.

> It might make sense to standardize on a small number of languages,
> depending on your organization's needs (I've never done any information
> technology work in academia so I wouldn't really know its peculiar
> needs), I doubt there's a silver bullet language for you, no matter what
> Sun and MS might tell you about Java and .NET respectively.

Yeah, and we have a couple of folks excited about Monad (MSH). I don't
think our needs are any different from any other small shop. We have a
bunch of non-programmers hacking on code, using the language of their
choice, with the predictable results. Perl I think is the 'silver
bullet' that will kill all the vampires, but in our experience it's
proven more than we can handle given our turnover and different
abilities and interests.

We'll probably standardize on a 'big' language and a 'little' language.
Just before Christmas, I had to send a bulk email to students matching
certain criteria, and I wrote a little Perl script of less that 20
lines that ran the query, cleaned up the data, sent the email, and
generated reports on those getting the email and those not getting it
(6 out of some 200 names). I figure Java would have required a lot more
code, but I would hate to have to ever look at my Perl script again.
Which is why we are looking at trading some ease of development in
exchange for some persistence of the codebase.

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