I’m no fan of PHP, I believe it is a terrible language which produces insecure, ugly code almost all the time, yet I use it. It powers this blog, for example, and it will be powering the online store I am about to launch. Why do I use it when there are so much better languages and frameworks available?
Ian Bicking discusses this at length, focusing on the features he’d like to see in a serious competitor to PHP. He’s got some great points and a long laundry list of things he’d like to see, but his article doesn’t answer my basic question. Why do I use a language I personally think is extraordinarily poor?
Installation & Availability
That’s it, right there. Installation is king. Installing a PHP app is usually as simple as dropping the files in place and setting up the database. Bam, done. PHP is PHP, it usually “just works”. There is no careful setting up of fast CGI, or debating about Apache vs. Lighthttpd. There are no awkward CGI interfaces to tweak for your particular installation. Just drop and go. That is half the battle right there. And, I believe, it is a lot of the force that drives the second half of the winning equation, availability of “good enough” applications.
Availability. Name a better, more configurable, more active blogging framework than WordPress written in a good language (note, this does not include Perl). Ah, there are some, but they need work, they need to be finished, or “just need this part implemented”. I don’t have time or the interest. I run a couple businesses, and have a full time job. I have a lot of programming projects to do, and writing a new blogging engine isn’t one that interests or will pay me. So, WordPress/PHP wins.
Kinda sad, really, but it least it isn’t .net. PHP is bad & ugly, not evil.
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