Why PHP Is More Popular and More Hated Than Ever
Once again I find myself swimming against the current of pop-culture to deliver a reality check most of you reading this are not going to want to hear: PHP, the bastard-child of programming languages, is more popular than ever!
Why? Why isn’t PHP dead already? There are so many “better” programming languages out there, right?
Well, no, there aren’t. Otherwise, they would have taken the lead and destroyed what PHP does eons ago. We need to reexamine our definition of what it means to be a “better” language.
If you’re scratching your head wondering why PHP isn’t dead or even dying, it’s likely because you probably don’t understand a few things about programming, programmers, markets, and democracy. Things that actually have nothing to do with code, functions, or syntax.
It’s Vogue to Bash PHP
To make a name for yourself it in today’s programming circus of engineering cliques, you have to bash whatever language that is competing with whatever you have been taught to like. This isn’t about functionality, it’s about culture. Actually, it’s something more akin to religion.
Programmers are an opinionated lot. We’re arrogant. Get over it. We are. And we love to bash whatever languages we don’t like and don’t use. You can find engineers saying things like, “Java sucks. C# sucks. Go sucks.” It really doesn’t matter what the language is. They all get critiqued by everyone.
But it seems there’s an even deeper kind of disdain, even an unspoken rivalry bubbling up these days between PHP and Python; almost as if there’s some conspiracy within academia who would love to assassinate PHP and replace it with Python.
Even now you can find Wikipedia articles where the LAMP stack now magically includes Python. HUH? It wasn’t that way 20 years ago when I was using LAMP. PHP was the “P” in the LAMP acronym. It wasn’t Python or even Perl. I’m not saying things and definitions cannot change. Maybe I’m being a conspiracy theorist? Non-inclusive? Or is the Python crowd “culturally appropriating” our acronym?
For most of us, we learn Python in college along with a few other niche languages we’ll likely never use in the real…