I'm part of a two-person team that is building a web-based virtual tour application with specific extra functionality that doesn't exist in current applications. This is a summer school project.
The team lead wants this application to be as platform and dependency-agnostic as possible. To do this, we're using Google's Fusion Tables and StreetView APIs to display the images and serve as a database. This way, a client installing this application on their server doesn't have to worry about configuring and maintaining a local database and all that is necessary on their end is a Google Apps account and the images themselves.
My issue is how does the client make requests for images and data without a server-side language? Most, if not all of the data will be textual, and thus be able to render as JSON and parsed as such. However, that leaves the issue of the images themselves. They will be hosted on a to-be-determined location, and I need some way to access them.
Using Ajax, I can execute a PHP call to load an image easily, and I already know how to do this. Its been suggested that I use the Java client library to interface with GData services, but I think this is overcomplicating things.
My arguments for including PHP as an application requirement are
- PHP is synonymous with hosting. I've yet to run across a commercial host that doesn't offer PHP
- I already know how to implement the Ajax calls to the PHP function.
- As this application has a 6 week deadline, I'd like to stick with what I know rather than learning a whole new methodology
His arguments for looking somewhere else are
- No guarantee that PHP will be loaded on the server to be used. Our school's CMS is based in Java, and PHP is not installed
- Java is a standard inclusion in server and client configruations
- The application should be server and dependency agnostic in the sense that it can be uploaded to a folder and accessed without any configuration
Honestly, if I had the time, it would be an interesting side project to include this type of functionality, especially since I've never done it before and it sounds interesting. But I keep thinking about that 6 week deadline, and as I'm the one that will be doing the majority of the coding, I just don't think I can do it in time without PHP.