I am damn tired of Jeff Attwood’s latest take on PHP. It’s damn pissing off to see the kind of points he puts in his posts.
The Double-Clawed Hammer
He starts with comparing PHP to a double-clawed hammer.
Then moves on to slandering the language more and more.
Then he comes to a point and writes:
Is PHP so broken as to be unworkable? No. Clearly not. The great crime of PHP is its utter banality. Its continued popularity is living proof that quality is irrelevant; cheap and popular and everywhere always wins.
PHP lacks quality
Now, I do not understand the above at all. If quality is so irrelevant, why are people still putting their time into developing frameworks. So, that means that Dayle Rees has wasted his time in developing one of the best PHP frameworks called Laravel.
If Jeff (in some parallel universe that cannot exist) was the father of PHP. He would have stabbed himself as soon as RoR or Django would have started doing better.
Isn’t it hassle-free?
And yet, after so much of ranting he comes to a point where he actually writes:
This is not an abstract, academic concern to me. I’m starting a new open source web project with the goal of making the code as freely and easily runnable to the world as possible. Despite the serious problems with PHP, I was forced to consider it. If you want to produce free-as-in-whatever code that runs on virtually every server in the world with zero friction or configuration hassles, PHP is damn near your only option. If that doesn’t scare you, then check your pulse, because you might be dead.
He is ready to use the language to produce a free product. Now, I am getting confused again. He wants a language that doesn’t suck and still he comes to a stage where he goes back on his words with a reason that anyone would give. All of us were introduced to PHP at an early age and we stuck to it because it runs everywhere hassle-free.
Developing a better solution
And here comes the best part of his post. Now, he is giving suggestions if you want to write ‘Yet Another Epic Critique of PHP’.
Point #1: PHP might be horrible. But then he puts in sarcasm. I get it that I might not be smart enough to find the problems with the language but it’s alright. I am not made for that. I can use the language and play with it. That’s good enough.
Point #2: Building alternatives. That’s all I get from this point of his, but I don’t think it is a viable idea for someone who doesn’t have a sound understanding of the inner workings of a language.
Here comes the time for another beautiful point by Jeff:
We’ve got a long way to go. One of the explicit goals of my next project is to do whatever we can to buff up a … particular … open source language ecosystem such that it can truly compete with PHP in ease of installation and deployment.
Jeff puts me in a dilemma once again. How is something more easier than
apt-get install php5.
Some great responses
Some comments from Hacker News –
One of the best comments out on the discussion.
Another one that I love.
His post irritated the hell out of me. For 90% of it, he rips on PHP, then at the end he says, “how about bloggers stop ripping on PHP?” Hey guys, Jeff said his piece about PHP, everyone else shut up about it now.
And yet another we have hordes of comments that shows that people support PHP.
I simply disagree with the premise. PHP has a lot going for it. Did we read the same article? Jeff admits that PHP has a lot going for it and we should stop complaining about it. The biggest thing PHP has going for it is that it is supported everywhere.
I think you forgot an important feature of PHP: it just works. I can pretty much create and “deploy” a PHP web app within minutes of getting a run-of-the-mill hosting service
And here is the link to the most beautiful comment out there.
Here is an angry one that I like:
Sorry Jeff. The only thing broken with PHP is you (and other people like you). How much PHP do you use Jeff? Lets assume none. How is PHP hurting you? I mean seriously, how much contact do you even have with PHP? PHP is easy to learn, easy to make websites with. There are a tonne of paying jobs which require PHP. PHP runs a lot of websites. I am a PHP developer. I prefer Python but my PHP job pays me just fine. There are a lot of things about PHP that I don’t like but it gets the job done just fine. You can write reasonable code with PHP. You can write secure code with PHP. The main people who have problems with PHP are either ex-PHP developers who usually have gone on to Ruby and look back and fire a few shots at PHP. Or people like Jeff Atwood. Undeniably smart and talented programmers who for some reason are irked by the mere existence of PHP. Please get over yourself.
If you want to read some more responses, head to the discussion.