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I have a project where I will be collaborating to build a fairly simple site with some database access. I will be doing the back-end work, and my colleague will be doing the web design. The problem is that my colleague has only worked with PHP developers and I have a lot more experience in Perl. The options would be to either learn PHP while doing the project or for my colleague to learn how to design around Perl. (I guess a third option would be to decline the project because this obstacle is just too insurmountable).

If the answer is to use Perl, the next question is which templating module would be easiest for my PHP-aware web designer colleague to adapt to. HTML::Mason? HTML::Template? Something else?

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I don't understand this question. Why would the back-end code have any effect on the front-end design? With modern ajax techniques and a bit a javascript knowledge neither of you will need to see what happens in the other one's code. You do the PHP magic and provide the proper content for the right ajax calls which populates the page. All your friend needs to know is the http endpoint that will provide the proper content. –  davidk01 May 2 '11 at 3:41
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If you design your application properly, with adequate separation of presentation and content, you can bring in your web designer, who can provide you with the needed CSS and graphics, and it shouldn't matter what language you develop the backend in.

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I totally agree. –  Matthew Read Dec 15 '10 at 5:36
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