For the most part, these skills have suited us well. Web apps have typically been focused on the server side. The web pages we view have been static results of computation done on the server, parsed for presentation purposes on the client side. We might have some flashes of dynamic HTML (remember that?) here or there. But with few exceptions, all of the real work is done on the server.
In the past few years, this has started to change. Clients are becoming richer, more complex, and are responsible for more aspects of the app. Web apps are becoming more balanced, with more heavy lifting on the client side. The server side is increasingly becoming a service to be called upon when the client needs more data or wants to save something for access elsewhere. Fewer and fewer server-side apps will follow the model PHP has excelled at, where it generates all of the code that’s then parsed and presented by the client. footnote 1
Yeah, you know all that. Ajax, web APIs, Twitter, &c. It’s all very exciting, and you can just have your framework generate that junk for you. You’ll be awesome, right?
Mobile apps seem to be gaining dramatically in popularity as their devices gain market share. WRTs are available for many major mobile platforms, such as:
- iPhone — Titanium Mobile, PhoneGap
- Android — Titanium Mobile, PhoneGap)
- Palm webOS — Mojo
- Sony Ericsson — Sony Ericsson WebSDK (PhoneGap)
- Nokia — Nokia WRT
- Blackberry — PhoneGap
While that particular model is waning, PHP has proven itself to be an excellent choice for the service model, and it is unlikely to suddenly turn into COBOL. Return to footnote 1 source.↑