just been trolling the lists and see that a couple of new php5 functions that will probably be added to the core .. which reminded me of this thread , they are ...
php_check_syntax() & php_strip_whitespace()
which errr, well check the syntax of a file (presumably before include()'ing) & stripping whitespace (and comments) from a file , something (the latter) I have had to implement more than once in a real messy way , the former I never attempted but a damn fine idea I reckon.
again 2 functions that may never find thier way into PERL but for the overhead involved I think are priceless.
A language that exposes it's parser (tokeniser) and everything in teh runtime (reflection) is an excellent idea. It is one of the big advantages of having a scripting language that we pay such a high price for. All sorts of tools can be created within the language itself, a la Smalltalk.
Lots of good things are happening. Shame about namespaces though.
Many of the authors' points are valid though. Naming, spacing, etc do in fact make the uptake of PHP much harder. In the bit of Perl coding I've done it's often much easier to find a function and, really, you can almost take a guess-stab at it and hit the nail on the head 50% of the time.
I also hate the fact that in PHP there are often 3-4 ways to do the same thing, but one function is "best". That's a huge learning curve.
I can't say whether either is better since I'm not an expert at either, but certainly a redo of the naming conventions would help adoption of PHP.