here is a very useful chart to use when deciding which language to use for web applications.
|Feature||.Net||Java||Cold Fusion MX||PHP|
|Compiled Code – Increases website speed (precompiled is the fastest)||Yes – both precompiled and dynamically compiled when a page is requested||Yes – both precompiled and dynamically compiled when a page is requested||Yes – dynamically compiled when a page is requested||No – a 3rd party accelerator can be used to increase performance but it is not installed on most shared hosting servers.|
|Scripted Language – results in poor website performance||No||No||Somewhat||Yes – a 3rd party accelerator can be used to increase performance but it is not installed on most shared hosting servers.|
|Object Oriented – Increases the ability for code reuse and provides enhanced features as well as reduced development time; since code is more reusable, results in fewer bugs that can be discovered by any client and fixed for everyone; encourages developers to write more maintainable code.||Yes||Yes||Somewhat||No|
|Supported Development Languages – easier to find developers||C++, C#, Visual Basic.NET, Jscript.NET, Python, Perl, Java (J#), COBOL, Eiffel, Delphi – 25 languages supported currently||Java||CFML and CFScript||PHP|
|Browser Specific HTML Rendering – different HTML is automatically sent to IE than to Netscape, reducing incompatibility issues||Yes||No||No||No|