PHP Has Grown Up, You Should Too
Over the weekend I went to a talk on Scala. The speaker said variety of harsh, inflammatory, and mostly wrong things about PHP and the PHP community.
One such example:
The PHP community doesn't care about things like lambdas, they just care about getting a site up as fast as possible.
This is just rubbish. PHP got the lambda treatment in 2009, while Java received it only months ago. The speaker is a Java developer who walked away from PHP over five years ago. He had not seen it grow up. He doesn't know the current state of things, he is misrepresenting PHP.
Later on, he asked what technology the audience used. I loudly proclaimed PHP, despite the speakers previous grumblings. An audience member in front of me turned around and scoffed, or at least so I thought. I felt at least a little like a martyr at this point and decided to take action. Justice was in order.
To the heavily bearded dude who turned around and scoffed when I mentioned PHP, die in a fire. #minnebar— Jesse Donat (@donatj) April 12, 2014
After the talk, the "bearded dude" approached me. He had seen the tweet thanks to the hash tag. He apologized and said it was not a scoff, but rather an expression of excitement that someone would bring it up after the speakers treatment of the language. He works in the language some too and was glad to see someone stand up for it. I shook his hand and apologized for the tweet.
Later on he left the following reply:
@donatj not a scoff. admiration.— Jeff Mattfield (@jeffmattfield) April 12, 2014
I had misjudged him, as the speaker had misjudged PHP. Alas the hypocrisy; I was no better than the speaker.
The whole experience got me thinking about why there is still so much FUD and ill will around PHP. After all, we've had many modern niceties for a good while now. The language has matured significantly in the last decade. It has become a modern language that's scalable, fast, and enjoyable, all while still easy to deploy.
Moreover, it has one of the best package managers I've ever used - Composer, and a vibrant and helpful community. Seriously, why all the hate?
The moral to this story is think before you act. Make sure you have the whole picture. I didn't, the speaker didn't. This has been my 2¢ for the day.