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Scholars Day: April 11, 2012

PHP to ColdFusion: A Study in Practical Language Conversion

This project is centered on the research of the web programming languages PHP and Adobe ColdFusion, and the conversion of a web-based application from one to the other. In this case, the source website is a searchable, database-driven site coded in PHP with a MySQL-supported backend database. It has three major functionalities: accept proposals submitted online, usually Portable Document Format (PDF) files; facilitate online review of proposals; and archive proposals for future usage. For administrative reasons, this site was to be moved to a new environment. This new environment, apart from server incompatibility, supported neither PHP nor MySQL. Therefore, the constraints were to use Adobe ColdFusion (formerly Macromedia ColdFusion) instead of PHP, and an Oracle Database System instead of MySQL. These differences necessitated both a complete overhaul of the site, and intensive research into both programming languages. The task was successfully completed via a summer project spread over 10 weeks in summer 2011. At the beginning of the project, a thorough analysis of the source site was done for its linguistic constructs and functionalities. This analysis enabled identification of areas where direct conversion was possible and those that were not amenable for direct conversion. All pages were first directly converted and then further translated to ensure true functional equivalence. In the process we gained a significant amount of understanding of the design and implementation aspects of both languages (i.e. PHP and ColdFusion). In particular, linguistic idiosyncrasies apart, the role of paradigm shift and administrative security regimes are discussed.

Please note that presentation times are approximate. If you are interested in attending sessions with multiple presentations, please be in the room at the start of the session.
Presenter: Matthew Nadareski (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Computer Science
Location: Seymour Union Main Lounge
Time: 1:15 pm Session III