Web development complexity

I suppose I’ve never really done a full and proper, Web 2.0, development project. And now I’m looking at how it might be done I confess that I’m a little overwhelmed.

I was trying to explain to Sally how many different technologies are involved:

  • databases
  • server-side scripting
  • web servers
  • markup (HTML and CSS)
  • client-side scripting
  • and possibly some XML for good measure too
  • and it helps plug all the stuff above together if you know a web development framework

To this end I’m trying to simulaneously get to grips with the following tools/languages:

  • MySQL (Database)
  • PHP (Server-side scripting)
  • Apache (Web Server)
  • CSS
  • JavaScript (client-side scripting)
  • the Domain Object Model(s) needed to manipulate DHTML documents using JavaScript
  • XML
  • Symfony (a PHP-based web development framework)

I wonder if such a large collection of technologies has always been required to write a business application?  I remember, on my University work placement, using Oracle on a VAX/VMS System and using Oracle Forms.  And more recently I’ve been helping Sally with a MS Access database, which also has it’s own forms system.

I suppose at the very most you would previously have to have known the database, the forms program and possibly a scripting language (VB Script).

The problem with today’s systems is that things have gotten very flexible.  You can present data through the web in whatever formats and styles you like.  It can be branded and you can present very complex sets of data in a variety of meaningful ways – just check out Facebook and all the information on there…or read-again (if you dare) my rant about information overload on Amazon.

I suspect that if you want to present a simple database using a web-based form you can do this quite easily.

But, hey, why make things simple???

Back to my reference books…