Tuesday, 9 October 2012

LAMP, is it really that great?

"The truth sat there on the screen, burning a hole into me."

Couple of days ago me and my amigos were celebrating the success of our finished project when one of the guys was telling me that most of the engineers in his company were moving away from the open source platform. The main reasons were the fear of unprecedented bugs, code not being tested properly, and of-course accountability. Well it's not like we have a help-desk number to call if something goes wrong on you Fedora....

These days most of the folks do not actually appreciate the use of good old open-source software, like the LAMP for instance. Well you'll be surprised when you get to know that loads of them have not even heard about LAMP. LAMP stands for Linux OS, Apache Web Server, MySQL and PHP.

It's the development platform that determines the efficiency of the application, the wrong choice of the a platform means the client will not get what they asked for...and that usually does not go well at all. Especially since Cloud computing has come into the market everyone is running behind the cloud, its not like I have anything against cloud computing, but sometimes I feel most of the programmers have lost the flair for sitting down for hours and getting an application running, I remember the times when I used to sit for hours during my time in school trying to start and get the J2EE 1.3 running and the joy when you see the application working, you'd say to yourself "Now I know why Archimedes forgot his clothes"

It’s interesting to note that they were developed individually and at no point during the development of the software did the developers think about creating them for combined use. (Weird huh???) But later it was found that combined together, they offer an unbeatable stack of solutions driven technologies that support application servers.

So what does the components of the LAMP actually do, lets find out...

Linux – This is an open source operating system and ensures that the other components of LAMP run efficiently.  One of its biggest features is that it offers cross-platform compatibility.
Apache – This is a web server and helps your web application reach the user. The stability of the application is in large part a result of the Apache servers. It can be called the server of choice for most web developers.
MySQL - It is a highly capable system that is usually used for running enterprise level sites with varying degrees of database complexities.
PHP - Well PHP is the glue that holds together all the other components of the LAMP system. It’s a language that helps write all the dynamic content that can access the entire data stored in the MySQL database.

To be fair, the operating system is not as important as the server, database and language options, because AMP is also an effective combination on other platforms, including Windows. It is, however, more common to use an entirely open source solution, and the support that comes with Linux distributions for easily installable versions is an obvious bonus.

Did You Know that...

Wikipedia uses PHP, MySQL, and Apache HTTPD to provide an online encyclopedia with thousands of entries in multiple languages. All of this is served by Linux servers running the WikiMedia application.

And trust me folks once you have got the flavor of open source software, you'll never revert back. If you are a programmer or a guy who loves to explore all kinds of things and want to know How stuff actually works open source is the road ahead for you. So go ahead, break out from the Mac or the Windows bubble. Explore the world of open-source software, back in the day there were people who were actually willing to risk it all. When we were growing up we never even used to have backups for the code we wrote, and only actual testing (Alpha Testing as it is known) we used to do was ask the junior chaps to take the software for a spin ;) 

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