Plat_Forms 2007: The Web Development Platform Comparison — Evaluation and Results
Lutz Prechelt – 2007
"Plat_Forms" is a competition in which top-class teams of three professional programmers competed to implement the same requirements for a web-based system within 30 hours, each team using a different technology platform (Java EE, PHP, or Perl). Plat_Forms intends to provide new insights into the real (rather than purported) pros, cons, and emergent properties of each platform. This report describes the evaluation of the solutions delivered by the participants and of the development process and presents the evaluation methodology as well as the results in great detail. It analyzes many aspects of each solution, both external (usability, functionality, reliability, robustness, etc.) and internal (size, structure, flexibility, modifiability, etc.). The many results we obtained cover a wide spectrum: First, there are results that many people would have called "obvious" or "well known", say, that Perl solutions tend to be more compact than Java solutions. Second, there are results that contradict conventional wisdom, say, that our PHP solutions appear in some (but not all) respects to be actually at least as secure as the others. Finally, one result makes a statement we have not seen discussed previously: The amount of variation between the teams tends to be smaller for PHP than for the other platforms in a whole variety of different respects.