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It's official: Javascript sucks harder than PHP

By Harry Fuecks



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The surprise outcome of last nights webtuesdayJavascript sucks harder than PHP. I still can’t quite believe it.

Maarten took the PHP corner against me in the Javascript corner, both of us shamelessly advocating each language under various headings – 1 minute max per topic – no outright lies although often bordering on truthiness. Verdicts provided by the audience, based on who could shout loudest from a choice of “OK – 0 points”, “Annoys – 2 points”, “Sucks – 4 points”, “Sucks hard – 6 points” and “Blows – 8 points”, with help from the Suckometer (thanks to the Net-Policy team for QWizard).

Now this might not sound very scientific. For starters, how can you compare PHP (server-side) to Javascript (client-side) – apples to pears? But it’s not quite so black and white, as you’ll see from the slides – there is server-side Javascript just as there is client-side PHP. And if you ignore that distinction and focus more purely on their respective merits as programming languages, there’s plenty of room for comparison. Meanwhile you might argue that a secret ballot is essential for impartial rating but that misses the opportunity for one angry coder to remind everyone just how bad it all is.

And we had some very experienced hands in the audience (many knowing both languages intimately as well as Java, C, C++, Ruby, Perl etc.) but still stunned by the final verdict: that Javascript sucks harder – I thought I’d clinched it with CSS selectors for dependency injection but by using a negative rating system, hype and buzzwords were quickly slaughtered – it became a process of catharsis in which the “winner” was the one that came out hurting less – this is the new language advocacy! ;)

Many thanks to our hosts Amiado.

Harry Fuecks is the Engineering Project Lead at Tamedia and formerly the Head of Engineering at Squirro. He is a data-driven facilitator, leader, coach and specializes in line management, hiring software engineers, analytics, mobile, and marketing. Harry also enjoys writing and you can read his articles on SitePoint and Medium.