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Socoder -> Web Development -> Why does everyone love PHP?

Posted : Sunday, 22 November 2009, 09:18
Phoenix
I'm looking at a couple of web hosts for a friend who's starting up a web site, and since I most likely will be assisting with the programming side quite a bit, I'd like a host which supports a decent web language. That is, anything but PHP. Unfortunately the whole world seems to have fallen madly in love with PHP. It is doubtlessly the most predominant server side language out there.

How did PHP become so popular? Is my hate unjustified?
Posted : Sunday, 22 November 2009, 09:26
Jayenkai
I always assumed php was just that much smaller, and quicker at getting things done.
God knows MS have buggered everything else up to a horrible bloaty rubbishy hell, I can't imagine how bad ASP is to do something simple.
That's assumed, though, I have no real info on this.

I was happy with perl!

-=-=-
''Load, Next List!''
Posted : Sunday, 22 November 2009, 10:31
Nolan
PHP is just so easy, and allows so much control over your site. I love Ruby on Rails too, but it made me realize why I loved the power of PHP. Granted, I hate the syntax ($ before variable names? wtf?), but it's still a neat language and pretty easy to learn.

Why don't you like PHP?

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nolandc.com
Posted : Sunday, 22 November 2009, 10:37
JL235
PHP is stable, fast and mature. It's also an essentially bare bones option. You write a script, it's run, end of. That gives the user complete control over how their site is built.

Bear in mind that PHP was the best choice for small websites long before Ruby and Groovy (and many others) came onto the scene, and enterprise alternatives (like Java EE) are just too big and complex for a little indie web hosting. What would you use instead of PHP?

But I also hate PHP.
Posted : Sunday, 22 November 2009, 11:15
Phoenix
I was thinking of ASP.NET in particular, but also of Ruby or Python. I can't imagine that those languages suffer from anything which would make them less stable or mature than PHP. I know there have been some performance concerns with Ruby on Twitter, but only a scintilla of sites reach the volume of traffic needed in order to make that a relevant question.

I don't like PHP because it's incredibly ugly, the object orientation feels out of place, the functions are oddly named, and it generally feels like a haphazardly glued-together mess. It is easy to learn though, I'll admit that.
Posted : Sunday, 22 November 2009, 11:17
Cower
I don't love PHP, I hate it. |edit| Basically, if it's a language that starts with a P, avoid it. |edit|
Posted : Sunday, 22 November 2009, 12:34
JL235
Ruby, and more specifically JRuby and Ruby on Rails, are far more stable now then a few years ago. But when I last used them I had lots of issues because of small minor changes and bugs between different versions. I personally found JRuby too unstable to use practically when it was at version 1 (I mean you could use it, it's just you'd often get lots of strange errors).

All of the Ruby technologies have only really stepped into the mainstream over the last 5 years. Before that it was just a niche.

PHP has the power to quickly build small sites long before the current alternatives. The idea that you also need to use a big framework to build your site also puts people off (because they need to learn a new framework). That's precisely why StudioFortress.com is written in PHP, because I couldn't be bothered to sit down and learn RoR.

PHP has what I need in order to build my site. End of.
Posted : Sunday, 22 November 2009, 12:37
Cower
PHP has the power to quickly build small sites long before the current alternatives.
Definitely true. You can roll something out in PHP faster than the alternatives, and it doesn't help that a lot of hosts haven't really adopted support for Ruby or Python properly (mine supports Ruby, but good luck actually getting that working).
Posted : Sunday, 22 November 2009, 18:33
Stealth
It's just a popular well developed language.

I think a better question is, what about it makes you not like it?

-=-=-
Quit posting and try Google.
Posted : Sunday, 22 November 2009, 19:53
JL235
Stealth I think a better question is, what about it makes you not like it?

He's already answered that...
Phoenix I don't like PHP because it's incredibly ugly, the object orientation feels out of place, the functions are oddly named, and it generally feels like a haphazardly glued-together mess. It is easy to learn though, I'll admit that.

Posted : Sunday, 18 April 2010, 21:04
mindstorm8191
I'll agree that functions have odd names in PHP. But what if you made a list of your own function names? Each function name of your own would only call the php-named function. It'd be like a mini wrapper. Write it as an include file and you're done.

I should probably do this with php's string functions. Some of them are awefully-named...

I can't argue with the object orientation, I haven't dealt with that much yet.

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Vesuvius web game
Posted : Monday, 19 April 2010, 04:51
CodersRule
The only thing I don't like about PHP is the object orientation, but once you get used to it, it's decent.