PHP is English

1 minute read

Recently many software gurus(e.g.: [Jeff Atwood]( & Fabien Potencier) whom I admired debates how good/bad PHP is. Some criticized, with strong technical reasons that PHP should be cast to hell and leave them rot like what we did to COBOL. I wholeheartedly agree with them. PHP is simply not suitable for large projects. My experience with plain PHP, Wordpress and Drupal makes me want to strangle myself over and over.

Juses facepalm My face when debugging others' PHP code. 

But then Fabien Potencier, the founder and creator of the Symfony framework, a framework which turns shit into flower, argued that PHP has came a long way. He pointed out that PHP is THE most prevalent language in interweb and THE easiest language to learn and get things done for non-coders. I again find myself in such dilemma - I agree to both sides of the argument.

My take is that PHP is becoming the “English” in web development space. PHP, just like English, has a lot of irregularities and exceptions, sometimes you cannot even express your ideas with it. But the ironic part is that most people who can program knows PHP. Businesses rely on PHP, and there are plenty of jobs that need PHP. PHP, no matter how unbearable in the technical sense, will be a tool to put food on the table for many. I would like to code in Python, or even Clojure. Guess what? I have yet to see any job in Hong Kong requires Clojure.

On a side note: When I was job hunting 9 months ago, I actively tried to avoid job which requires PHP. Life is a box of chocolate, right?

On a side note: I was originally planned to write a PHP-loving piece, such as good documentation from community and easy to learn and ability to write good code. Unfortunately type juggling and the scope stuff in PHP burnt me again for a few days. Another post maybe.