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?