That means amplify simplicity, not the opposite. Include the code that improves the performance of PHP into the public PHP kernel. If every implementation of PHP is the best it can be, PHP will be more competitive with other scripting languages so that it can remain the preeminent hypertext preprocessor. People should be saying, “PHP is beyond a shadow of a doubt, the simplest, most innovative forward thinking scripting language” instead of saying, “Did I miss something, or is PHP drifting into some kind of Twilight Zone where it’s neither great for quick development nor for large scale development?" as someone recently stated on a popular PHP message board.
On that same vein, instead of being so eager to make PHP tightly coupled to Java, ease off and concentrate on more hypertext preprocessing needs such as better security for protecting against SQL injections and XSS attacks, and better Unicode support. Stay focused on what the average PHP developer is doing. Provide every developer with the means of encrypting his or her PHP code. Doing this will encourage commercial PHP development.
Instead of selling 6000 licenses of your proprietary code to enterprise businesses and forking the direction of PHP away from the community, sell production licenses to every commercial website using PHP for a low fee. Zend has worked to influence MySQL to adopt a dual-licensing approach that appears to be working. Why can’t PHP adopt a similar license? If Zend wants to target enterprise level companies to generate company profit, instead of creating proprietary software that could be included in the kernel, why not focus Zend on creating PHP enterprise Web applications that demonstrate the power and flexibility of PHP?
While surely this is the plan already, the approach that is being taken could alienate the PHP community. Don’t withhold code and guide the direction of PHP away from the community that helps create Zend’s success. Then there will be no conflict of interest and then PHP can see its character develop as the years go by, remaining true to itself and to those who made it successful.
(This article originally appeared in the September 2004 issue of Plug-in).