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Conflict PHP

Why is PHP become more like Java, when the PHP developer community seems to want anything but that to happen? What is Zend thinking?

  1. Conflict PHP
  2. What the developers like about PHP
  3. Does this make good business sense?
  4. What would Linus do?
  5. Amplify simplicity
By: Ian Felton
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February 15, 2005

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This article is the opinion of Ian Felton, who writes on a contract basis for the Developer Shed Network. This article also contains controversial thoughts and beliefs. If you are not prepared or willing to deal with thought provoking concepts, turn away now before its too late!

PHP5 has been unleashed to the developer community, boasting of an improved object model on the path of becoming "fully integrated with Java."

This comes with the recent partnering of PHPís driving company, Zend, with Sun to create proprietary PHP software to work with Sunís Web server. The re-writing of the object model is great, especially for Zendís business plan and possibly for many Java developers. However, what does it all mean for the PHP community at large and their development needs?

Data from a Zend survey completed in June 2003 (when PHP5 was still in major development) showed that the characteristics of the PHP community didnít necessarily match up with what was developed in PHP5. For example, with the ability to list three primary programming languages, only 18% of respondents named Java. It was named a primary programming language, on average, 18 times out of 300 possible chances. These results were from a pool of over 10,000 respondents. If such a small number of PHP users were involved with Java, what was the motivation to mimic Javaís object model and move toward making PHP coupled to Java?

In the Zend survey, 93% of respondents listed PHP as a primary language and 69% listed HTML. Both of these technologies were listed at least two to three times more often than any other technology. This makes sense because the very purpose of PHP is hypertext preprocessing, so of course the primary technologies used by PHP developers would be PHP, HTML, and JavaScript, technologies that are literally hypertext or deal directly with processing hypertext. With so few people involved with PHP having any involvement with Java, why has PHP adopted a replica of Javaís object model with the enthusiastic declaration that "full integration with Java will be closer than ever before"? Some people will say that the direction of PHP needs to incorporate a full-fledged object model in order to be a real language. However, is this anything more than a software mid-life crisis?

>>> More PHP Articles          >>> More By Ian Felton

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