Collecting my attempts to improve at tech, art, and life


A popular Programming Language to make fun of, and yet it persists.

It is easy to learn and easy to use. Of course, it is also easy to make a project that is so amazingly baroque that mere humans have no chance of ever editing it. This is a trait that PHP shares with one of its one-time biggest rivals, Perl. It was funny to listen to arguments between PHP and Perl folks about why their favorite is the best and the other is the worst. The other was always “unstructured and unsuitable for real projects”, while the favorite was “fast and expressive.”

These folks need to settle down, because they’re both right. Perl and PHP show an obvious influence from the world of shell scripting, where the goal is to get stuff done now. This means that you can put together a project with amazing speed, but it takes a lot of discipline to keep your code in a clean, maintainable state. You could say that about lots of languages, though. My advice is that you go with PHP if that’s your preference. Don’t let anybody bother you about your choice. It’s a regular part of my site-building toolkit, and I’m pretty much guilt-free about it.

Added to vault 2024-01-15. Updated on 2024-02-10