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PHP sucks, really

Contents

  1. Introduction

  2. Criteria for choosing a language

Languages dissected

  1. I'm sorry, but PHP sucks

  2. ...I'm working on posts about Java and Python, they'll turn up at this spot eventually :-)

Languages dissected elsewhere

  1. Damien Katz: What sucks about Erlang

Introduction

What is this?

In 2006, I published an article "I'm sorry, PHP sucks" that cataloged a lot of problems with the programming language PHP. Most important to me was the goal to inform every developer reading it of what she was getting into. The point was not to bash people using PHP, because often external circumstances dictate the technology a project is using, but to make sure that no one uses PHP while being blind to its negative sides.

You could easily write an article like this about every technology ever invented and in fact a lot of the alternatives around when I first wrote this article have had their own problematic moments (like RoR's performance problems), but the problem with PHP is that it's being marketed for projects that are way out of its league, while being advanced by people who continue to make the worst decisions possible for implementing every feature they want to add to the language.

Since I wrote the original article a lot has changed. Not really with PHP, unfortunately, but with the problems surrounding it, because a lot more of them have come to light. I started rewriting the original article, but I realized that I really want to expand the scope of this site. So what I'm trying to do here is:

  1. Give a clear overview of the problems with different programming languages. Not perceived problems, like "it makes you write spaghetti code", those too, but mostly real, objective, problems with a language or its implementation.

  2. Where possible, I want to point you to alternatives or helpful resources to make working with [your programming language] less painful

  3. I want to give you a clear overview of when I think it's okay to use PHP and when it's not, because I still feel that PHP has a lot more problems than any other programming language, besides BrainFuck.

So what was first an article, has now a devoted section of my site :-). I hope you find it more helpful than the original article that, because of many updates, contained a lot of footnotes and mental leaps.