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All that said, I love the hammer, and I badly want one to hang on my desk...
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2012 on The PHP Singularity at Coding Horror
His analogy is amusing, but I think a more apt analogy would be that PHP is a hammer and phillips screwdriver when most web developers have become accustomed to nailguns and square drive drills. After all, an experienced carpenter can use a normal hammer just fine, but it will take him a bit longer, while a novice is likely going to hit his finger a few times and make a few holes before he gets it right. I almost have to wonder if the person who wrote the original entry was just recently introduced to PHP. Aside from a few bugs introduced in 5.4 nothing in there is news. None of it was news 4 or even 8 years ago. We get it. Just as it's easy now to talk about how awful and inconsistent IE6 is, it's easy to trash talk PHP, because it's barely changed in 10 years. It's much harder to remember how much more horrible everything else was at the time it rose to prominence. Remember what else was out there in 2004? ASP had all the quirks of PHP, with a worse language, and a server stack that makes PHP look like a model of security. Java Servlets were slow, and had to be recompiled for every change, which was even slower. Ruby on Rails didn't even exist yet. ASP.NET was around but it was years away from a serious web development platform. The fact that it is taking this long to depose PHP when it stagnated so many years ago is an impressive testament to how far behind any of the alternatives were. PHP was also the fastest option around for quite some time. (Or at least, the fastest in widespread use.) It wasn't until relatively recently that some of the other platforms were able to catch up to it performance wise even without cached compilation. If you have a caching layer like EAccelerator in place I don't think there's still anything that can touch it. (Could be wrong here - it's been a while since I've done close tests. These days I avoid PHP whenever possible.) To me, the linked blog's arguments for having app servers separate from web servers seems to boil down to "My web servers can handle a couple thousand requests per second, but my web app framework can only handle a couple dozen." To me this is more a criticism of the other web development platforms out there, and another example of why PHP is still around. Obviously most people don't need that level of performance, but for those who do, it certainly makes a big difference.
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2012 on The PHP Singularity at Coding Horror
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Jul 11, 2012