I’m really tired of language snobs ignoring PHP’s existence or insulting it for invalid reasons.
Invalid reasons to hate a programming language:
- You’re unfamiliar with it.
- You don’t like the language’s vendors.
- Idiots often use it to write bad code.
- It doesn’t fully resemble your favorite language.
- You don’t like its syntax.
PHP’s not a perfect language, of course. Nothing is. But it’s a great language to use for web applications, as long as you use an appropriate framework and good coding practices. Any language without either of those is bad.
In fact, I really can’t think of any “bad” languages that anyone has ever heard of. There are plenty that I don’t think are worth using myself (C++, Java, Ruby, anything.NET, Perl, Python), but that’s just because I can already do what I need to do using other languages (PHP, C, Obj-C).
I’d never consider using .NET, but that’s because I don’t program software for Windows desktops or servers. I program web apps, and the only reason to use .NET for web apps is if you already know it, don’t have time to learn anything else, or need to run in a Microsoft server environment.
And Windows programmers, like Jeff Atwood, have very little reason to use PHP. It’s a shame that he can’t recognize the difference between “I don’t have a use for this” and “This language sucks because I’m unfamiliar with it.”
And then, of course, he admits that his opinions don’t matter because PHP is the most commonly used server-side language on the internet:
The TIOBE community index I linked above? It’s written in PHP. Wikipedia, which is likely to be on the first page of anything you search for these days? Written in PHP. Digg, the social bookmarking service so wildly popular that a front page link can crush the beefiest of webservers? Written in PHP. WordPress, arguably the most popular blogging solution available at the moment? Written in PHP. YouTube, the most widely known video sharing site on the internet? Written in PHP. Facebook, the current billion-dollar zombie-poking social networking darling of venture capitalists everywhere? Written in PHP.
That’s not a coincidence.
I stopped reading Coding Horror a few months back because Jeff’s views were too short-sighted, wrong, and stuck in the Microsoft bubble — and he didn’t realize that, speaking authoritatively (and incorrectly) on topics he doesn’t know anything about. Fatally, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.