PHP: No clear design? Takes too much inspiration from other languages?

Continuing the discussion from PHP: a fractal of not so bad design:

Two more statements from Eevee:

There’s no clear design philosophy. Early PHP was inspired by Perl; the huge stdlib with “out” params is from C; the OO parts are designed like C++ and Java.

PHP takes vast amounts of inspiration from other languages, yet still manages to be incomprehensible to anyone who knows those languages. (int) looks like C, but int doesn’t exist. Namespaces use . The new array syntax results in [key => value], unique among every language with hash literals.

Is it really a problem that PHP takes ideas and concepts from other languages? How about the specifics mentioned? Is really there no design philosophy?

PHP incomprehensible to experience developers? Really?


I think PHP has a very clear design philosophy. “Just get it to work!” How it works might not be spectacular or perfect or totally elegant, but…heck. It works! If it doesn’t work completely, it gets fixed.

I personally learned that it is better to do something imperfectly than wait for perfection. I fight with that all the time for sure. But, it is true. It isn’t the perfection that people fall in love with. It’s the fact the thing works!

Ok. So what? PHP takes ideas and concepts from other languages. This reminds me of another great quote suggested by Steve Jobs that Picasso said:

Good artists copy; Great artists steal.

Who cares if Picasso said it or not. The point is, a great artist will take the concepts and ideas from other artists and make something better with them. They implement them in ways, which enhance their own work. And, 80+% of the Internet running on PHP, and this number not wavering at all, shows PHP is something greater than its singular “stolen” parts.


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Listen to what Mark says in 2005.

Starting off to make something cool, not trying to make a company.

Just get it to work! :smile:


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