In which Ruby kicks PHP’s ass

At work, we’re doing some coding to integrate our system with Ebay’s system, which is kind of big and complex. Here’s some PHP code to get a listed item, from eBay’s developer site:

$verb = 'GetItem';
//Regulates versioning of the XML interface for the API
$compatabilityLevel = 433;

//get an array of strings containing the required headers
$headers = buildEbayHeaders($devID, $appID, $certID, $compatabilityLevel, $siteID, $verb);

///Build the request Xml string
$requestXmlBody = '<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>';
$requestXmlBody .= '<GetItemRequest xmlns="urn:ebay:apis:eBLBaseComponents">';
$requestXmlBody .= "<RequesterCredentials><eBayAuthToken>$userToken</eBayAuthToken></RequesterCredentials>";
$requestXmlBody .= "<ItemID>$id</ItemID>";
$requestXmlBody .= '</GetItemRequest>';

$responseXml = sendHttpRequest($requestXmlBody, $serverUrl, $headers);
if(stristr($responseXml, 'HTTP 404') || $responseXml == '') {
    die('<P>Error sending request');
}

//Xml string is parsed and creates a DOM Document object
$responseDoc = domxml_open_mem($responseXml);

//get any error nodes
$errors = $responseDoc->get_elements_by_tagname('Errors');

//if there are rrror nodes
if(count($errors) > 0)

… and so on and so forth (it just gets more painful)…

Compare with Cody Fauser’s Ruby eBay API

ebay = Ebay::Api.new

begin
  response = ebay.get_item(:item_id => '110011765264')
rescue Ebay::RequestError => e
  e.errors.each do |error|
    puts error.long_message
  end
end

It’s not even a contest. Best of all, most of the code that turns the XML interface into Ruby code is auto-generated. Very nice work!