In the Zend survey, the company asked what PHP users liked most about the language. The overwhelming reason given was that PHP is “easy to develop with.” In fact, 89% of respondents said that PHP’s ease of use was the primary reason for using it. They didn’t say they used it because they could remote control their GPS satellite. Almost every PHP user said they love PHP because it was easy to use. When the people at Zend had all this information in front of them while developing PHP5 why would they put so much effort into making PHP a complex, object-modeled language when 9 out of 10 people were primarily using PHP because it was easy to develop with?
It’s no coincidence that a few months before the release of PHP5, Zend released a plug-in for Sun’s Web server that retailed for almost $800. At the same time the hype coming from Zend about the Zend Engine II was that full integration with Java would be closer than ever before. If tightly coupling PHP and Java wasn’t of major importance for PHP users, (only 9% of PHP users claimed to be running Solaris) who was this important for?
On the PHP website, it clearly states, “The future of PHP is mainly driven by its core, the Zend Engine. PHP 5 will include the new Zend Engine 2.0.” This statement doesn’t get anymore black and white. Whatever direction the Zend Engine goes, PHP is going. The call of the PHP community was that they liked PHP simple. As a matter of fact, 85% of PHP users were running Windows as their desktop operating system. The move to make the Zend engine more complex and integrated with Java appears to be the result of Zend’s business maneuverings and not so much as a result of creating what the PHP community at large held valuable.