There’s an interesting post on Ning Developer Blog on their choice to use PHP as the Ning platform client language.
At Tagged, we don’t roll the way Diego does at Ning, but it’s shocking how similar the thinking is. This post was related to the old dog: PHP templating systems vs. PHP as templating.
It reminds me of my biggest beef with working at Plaxo, which used C++ with clearsilver templating. Whenever I used Clearsilver, I kept thinking, “Well this is obviously designed by a bunch of C coders who think they know better.”
Coding in that joke of a templating system, was like coding with both hands tied behind your back. Having such restrictions did lead to a certain amount of creativity—introducing Ajax to Plaxo about a year before the term was coined, and maybe influencing things like Meebo—but I keep thinking how much the setup got in the way of programmers expressing their creativity. How long did my former company spend looking for C++ John Henrys, when a segmentation (like the way Ning does with Java core and PHP frontend) would have served as the steam-powered hammer?
The John Henrys can focus on what they’re good at instead of dying to prove that they can do HTML templating and everything else also. “Everything you can do I can do better…”
Diego is right, but my emphasis is different: PHP is a programming language.
And language is a vehicle for expression.