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I don't really buy the "PHP is easier to deploy" argument anymore. I don't know what the situation is in the Python world, but Phusion Passenger (a.k.a. "mod_ruby") has been making Ruby deployment very easy for a few years now. The real issue is that many people who do PHP development either don't have the knowledge or the desire to configure a server, so they go with shared hosting options that already have PHP, Apache, and MySQL preconfigured. But if you gave a developer shell access to a new virtual or dedicated server, it'd take about the same amount of time to configure and deploy a PHP or Ruby app (I've made a living doing both). The aforementioned lack of knowledge is unfortunately pervasive in other areas of the PHP community. In my experience, the average PHP developer doesn't know much about UNIX/Linux, doesn't know much about databases, doesn't know much about separation of concerns, and either doesn't know or doesn't care much about best practices. All those things are okay if you're using PHP as a templating language, which was its original purpose. But I've maintained for a while now that if you're serious about the craft of software development--about achieving excellence in your work--PHP just might be a career hazard. I've moved on in my professional life, and I no longer even accept side projects doing PHP. For some people, life is too short to use inferior tools. For others, life is too short to worry about the tool. Both viewpoints are defensible, but I think we have to accept that the aspirations of these two groups are very different.
Toggle Commented Jun 29, 2012 on The PHP Singularity at Coding Horror
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Jun 29, 2012