Coding from scratch vs. implementing third-party applications

A question from comp.lang.php:

php has several open-source system and some are free like oscommerce,etc. what is most advisable if you have a new project should you go for open source or create the project from scratch?

First of all, there are three options, not two:

  1. Code from scratch
  2. Code from scratch using a third-party foundation library or framework
  3. Implement (and possibly extend) an open-source application

In my opinion, you should choose option 3 when the open-source application closely matches the needs of the project and there are time and/or budget constraints. For example, if you want to put together a community site and you have a week to do it, you should consider Drupal. (Not to mention situations where you need to deploy a blog in two hours; try beating WordPress under those circumstances…)

The choice between 1 and 2 is largely personal; use of third-party tools can increase your productivity only if you understand them well. On the other hand, some third-party tools can increase programmer’s productivity by using techniques hindering the application’s performance, so, again, you need to understand the way those tools work…

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