Continuing to hem and haw about my programming language

You know, once I had embraced the chaos that is PHP, I was quite productive for a while. I wrote a bunch of code, some of which I still use every day: This blog, for example, as well as my news reader both are using my own custom code. I got comfortable doing everything from websites to CLI scripts in it, but have never really felt particularly happy doing it. So... I want to start using Python instead. Yes, I've said this many times before and yes it's relatively insane to switch languages for little more than aesthetic reasons or from a general fear of disapproval from real programmers, but it's just sort of stuck in my head. Besides, Python will work on my web server, it's optimal for little command line scripts, it's good for long running processes, and it'll be great to use to script my Ubuntu desktop - so there's lots of real reasons to move on as well.

Actually, it's mostly about the web - or at least that's the most important to me. Even just a year or so ago, I was pretty dubious about using Python to serve web pages, but Google's decision to use Python in AppEngine really convinced me that it was ready for primetime. Well that and all those Django and's sites out there of scalably serving web pages for the past couple years. The problem is, Python is still sort of a pain in the ass to set up in Apache. Or at least it's not as easy as PHP, that's for sure.

This is important, as I also have sort of a thing about running my own code on my server - god knows why as I don't consider myself any sort of brilliant coder, I just like the sensation of knowing what's going on in detail on my site. Which means in order to switch to Python I have get everything set up correctly on the server and rewrite this blog and my feed reader to take over. Yes, I could just leave them in PHP... but that wouldn't be "clean" now would it? That's okay though, these projects will give me practice in some practical every-day web tasks (pages/forms/security/feeds, etc.), which will be good.

Okay, no problem, these are relatively simple projects that have been done a million times before so there's plenty of examples out there to get me started... But I feel like I'm just Yak Shaving every time I start down that road trying to get Apache serving pages correctly or choosing the right library or other problems. Then I think, "You know Russ, if you're mostly concerned about web stuff, you really can't go wrong with PHP as it's easy to use, super scalable, and you ALREADY FUCKING KNOW HOW IT ALL WORKS." Then I put everything down and skip a day or two to think about stuff and start in again.

This post is sort of an attempt to break the mental log jam... Not sure if it'll work, but it feels nice to just write out the problem long hand so I can see how nuts I'm being. This really should *not* be that hard... or at least it shouldn't be if I had my head on straight.


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