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Java.net runs on PHP, and other surprises of our technology research
Posted by Matthias Gelbmann on 11 May 2011 in News, Java, PHP
Our website technology analyzer discovers the technologies used by a website. One of the things I look up occasionally are the technologies used by the technology providers themselves on their sites. Often, one can see them using pre-released versions of their tools or special builts. This is what I would normally expect. Sometimes, however, there are real surprises.
This is a little compilation of some of the more unexpected results.
Besides these cases of plain non-dogfooding, we have also discovered a milder variant of refusing your own product, namely by using an out-dated version.
I would like to say that these discoveries don't tell us anything about the quality of the products and services mentioned here. I'm sure they all have perfectly valid reasons for their technology decisions. They are all professionals in the field, after all.
Nevertheless, I feel it is also about sending wrong signals to users. People say that a company's website is the most important sales representative. Now imagine a BMW sales rep driving to a meeting in a Lexus. It doesn't really matter anymore what he says in the meeting, his potential clients already have come to a conclusion.
Anonymous user on 12 May 2011
"The tailor's wife is the worst clad"
Tim on 12 May 2011
I'd like to make a comment about the use of WordPress on the WordPress.org site. What kind of analysis do you actually do to determine that? Some parts of their sites may not be, like the Codex which is running MediaWiki, however their showcases section is being run off of a WP install. Their main page is actually pointing to jQuery installed in a wp-includes subdirectory. I think just because they don't have a generator tag listing WP that doesn't mean anything. A common security practice is to not even include a generator tag for security reasons.
Reply by author Matthias Gelbmann on 13 May 2011
Thank you, Tim, for sharing your observations. We look for a number of clues for determining the technologies of a site. The generator meta tag is one of them, but not the only one. The existence of a subdirectory, from which an unrelated file is included is normally not sufficient. As you certainly know, a normal WordPress installation does look different, using things such as plugins and themes. However, their showcase page indeed looks like WordPress. We missed that one, because we don't crawl all the pages of a site.
Cay Horstmann on 13 May 2011
It is indeed embarrassing that java.net runs on PHP. It would be one thing if it ran well, but sadly it has all sorts of problems. Apparently they could not find a Java CMS that beats a really poor PHP solution.
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