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ASP to PHP Compiler?

From the weblog:

Fog Creek Summer Intern James Levin is writing an ASP to PHP compiler:

Is this going to be based on asp2php (

Else, what would it be used for? Is FogBUGZ going to have a PHP version?

Shlomi Fish
Saturday, August 2, 2003

If it was for converting FogBUGZ (which I presume, since their other product is not ASP-based), then you have to remember that the scope of the converter project is much smaller. It doesn't have to convert every ASP page in the world successfully, just all the FogCreek pages.

Given that constraint, then I'd say unless asp2php is more or less done and full featured, it might make sense to roll it in-house.

Brad Wilson (
Saturday, August 2, 2003

Joel only hires people who get things done and done smartly, so the intern must be good.

But if that conversion is a key move, he probabily won't let a summer Intern do it. Maybe Joel's product is not going to support other OSes in the near future. Maybe he just has some ideas in his mind he wants to try out. That's why he lets the guy to write a compiler instead of using a third-party product.

Joel talked about Wordstar and Netscape. He knows what kinda mistakes can kill a start-up business in no time.

Saturday, August 2, 2003

If you only have to do it once on one app, and you can then manually fix up to get round the limitations/bugs in the converter ... it's a lot easier than doing a general converter?

S. Tanna
Saturday, August 2, 2003

Maybe it's cover fire.

Saturday, August 2, 2003

He's a summer intern. Maybe he's doing it for extra credit at school and it has nothing to do with Fog Creek.
Sunday, August 3, 2003

Does Joel strike you as the type of person who'd have someone around, doing something of no value for the company? :)

Brad Wilson (
Sunday, August 3, 2003

Well if it really works and is general, I'd be interesting in buying a copy

S. Tanna
Sunday, August 3, 2003

If the intern is good, and pulls of the PHP compiler then not only is FogBugz running on other platforms but Fogcreek also has another star programmer.

If he fails, then there you know not to call him when he graduates.

Small investment, big payoff.  Makes sense to me.

On the other hand, if this guy is really good and is forced to correct spelling mistakes on VB controls all summer then he won't answer your calls come graduation time.

This is the mistake so many companys make with their interns.

Ged Byrne
Tuesday, August 5, 2003

ASP2PHP is a hard thing to do conceptually and never works perfectly.

The author of the original program put it best.  He said something like "If you know up front you need it in PHP then learning PHP is far better than writing in ASP and then converting.  I agree.  I used it once for a small site and it was certainly helpful but I still had to go through everything manually and tweak a bit.

I'm not sure if this is harder or just as hard to do as language translation.  It's probably about the same difficulty if you want to do it in an efficient way.  Obviously, however, language translation has been looked at in much greater depth than this has.

Adam Smith
Friday, August 8, 2003

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