PHPinking and the Brain

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Via Sebastian, Kristian: Zend in the Clowns – a sceptical but ultimately positive look at PHP5 (while roaming over PHP4 and a whole lot more).

In asking “why?” when considering PHP5’s new, Java-like, capabilities the author comes to this “sinister Pinky-and-the-Brain” conclusion;

It probably isn’t putting it too strongly to state that PHP v5 represents a concerted attempt to break away from the role of ‘easy-server-side-scripter’, with competing in the role of an all-purpose, easy-to-program, generalized, cross-platform interpreted language being the ultimate aim. They’re not just borrowing syntax from Java; Long-term, they’re actually going after Java’s market niche, and Perl’s, and Python’s, and dotNET’s, and VB’s…

So what else would it take for PHP to grow wings and become a serious, general purpose language? Some things off the top of my head;

– Built in OPCODE caching (there has to be a better business model for Zend these days e.g. commercial extensions)

– Sterlings Abstract data types extension to mature

Threads by default

– A wrapper for wxWidgets

– Namespaces

– SAFE mode to become safe

– Better garbage collection? (have no evidence here but the anecdotal view is “long running” PHP scripts tend to hog memory – not a typically problem when using PHP with Apache)

– Something like Python’s psyco built in.

So far that’s not out of reach, given some serious manpower (i.e. cash) to get there.

Anything else?

Harry FuecksHarry Fuecks
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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.

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