PHP is a dying language

Me: 10 to 1 whatever kid wrote that is a ruby developer
Friend: haha

I’m just stating the obvious. When the first computer was invented, the legendary Grace Hopper created the first compiled programming language. That language is still around and is still popular today!

Programming languages don’t “die,” they proliferate.

And when a person makes blanket statements like, “PHP is a dying language,” it allows me to a make blanket statement about that person’s programming preferences and maturity.

The difference is, my statement is probably right.

15 thoughts on “PHP is a dying language

  1. Ruby is a worthless language, PHP is on the block to be the next dying language as ASP .Net makes it’s more prevalent move into the internet in the next two years. Why ASP .Net? Because you can use languages such as C# to write web apps. If you’ve had any experience in actual web AND software development, you’ll understand why this is a huge win over languages such as PHP.

    – markscrap

  2. 1. I bet that person is under 30.
    2. I bet he is wither a web centric person, or Windows
    3. I bet his father programs in smalltalk
    4, In reality, I cannot think of a better language for server side manipulation of web communications.

  3. @Keith Barrett: I agree (I hedged my bets by mentioning windows development in the mouseovers), but I do believe PHP marketshare will decline going forward. This is due to the value a templating system adds in a world where more and more view work is being done via Ajax and Javascript frameworks. Certainly large server side web frameworks (dotNet, J2EE, Ruby on Rails) have yet to make as much an impact as YUI has in its three short years of existence.

    Given that COBOL has been in the top 20 most popular software languages in the world for sixty years, reports of the death of PHP at this point seem greatly exaggerated.

    My central premise was that programming languages don’t seem to die off, they proliferate. Smalltalk for instance, besides being viable in its own right, is here today in the form of Objective C. 🙂

    @Mark Vaughn: By a coincidence I recently had to dig up my first PHP conference talk (on object oriented programming in PHP) from 2002 and it has a slide with about thirty points of discussion showing dotNET features not in PHP including a quote from Sterling Hughes about the potential of dotNET.

    It’s been seven years since that time, and PHP market share has only increased.

    As for my “actual web and software development experience,” the website I am the architect of is ranked in top 100 worldwide in traffic and the top 3 social network in the United States (in market share, time spent, and average daily users), has over 90 million registered users, and serves 190 million pages/day (or generates around 400 million dynamic pages/day depending on how you’re counting). Over the last nine years, I have worked as the senior engineer (or higher) at five startups, four of which are still in business running software on the code I created.

    So why don’t you pull out your penis and we’ll measure? 😀

  4. @Mark Vaughn

    Actually, I think what you’re saying is absolutely false. First of all, .NET has had C# as a language to write code with for a very long time now, and it has yet to do anything but lose ground. And it continues to do this. Saying that it’s a “brand new concept that will take over the world” is just a lie, and an absurd exageration seeing as it has been available for years now… Nothing has changed.

    Secondly, why will it continue to fail? Because the .NET framework is one of the most bloated frameworks on the net. Not to mention the fact that most of the developers who go to it will be the challenged Ruby devs who want things to be a “point, click, done” approach, requiring as little actual development as possible.

    So, if ya wanna call .NET development “real” development, go right ahead. I’ll just continue to laugh. TRUE development is C++, or C# without the .NET, or anything else without a framework. Frameworks, imo, make things easier, and takes away from a developer’s mind. It makes you lazy, slow, and depending on that framework to do the job right.

    That’s why I am glad to be a PHP dev personally. I don’t need Microsoft telling me to use their buggy, exploit-filled crappy code instead of my better/secure solution.

    But nice try there champ.

  5. @Mark Vaughan

    “Its”, not “it’s”.

    Someone with the tag “markscrap” would do well to note the correct positioning of apostrophes.

  6. @tychay The sad fact i that I’ve been a developer for over 20 years and I heard statements like this countless times, and it has nothing to do with “legacy languages” hanging on. It is always young programmers that has been raised in the Microsoft universe believing that it is the center of the world.

    The first thing you need to do to gain credibility is to work outside of the Microsoft universe. You need to be able to see from the outside looking in. ervers were a lot more stable before they showed up (no one rebooted a server just to keep it from crashing until MS), and the future of web platforms will always begin with a technology (like mobile phones) that Microsoft will enter afterward. I worked with mini computers before windows, was a Linux user before version 1, was a VMS guru, A Windows Administrator, and now play in the world of Macs. When you use multiple platforms, when you write code or web sites that work under multiple platforms or browsers, especially non-Microsoft platforms, you gain an appreciation for what really does work corectly. No Microsoft centric technology will replace anything open. The technology user base will require that it be cross-platform in nature and work on Unix and Linux and Firefox/Chrome/Opera. This is especially true when you consider that phones are the patform of the future.

    Are far as credentials. I was the author of 4 products (2780 PE, 3271 PE, DECmessgeQ/BEAmessagQ, and Red Hat HA Linux) that received world-wide recognition at their time. A “website” doesn’t compare to thousands of lines of code and fortune 100 companies. Also note that years ago Javascript was thought to be a cying language because of PHP and ActiveX.

    So don’t downplay someone who has changed their primary programing language 7 times and OS 5 times through the years. I’ve been an internet user longer than you. I’ve heard it all before, especially from people that believed in SAP, SOA, Smalltalk, MS networking, C#, Lotus 1-2-3, Lotus Notes, SGI, and Novell were it. There are a lot of forces at work determining technology’s future (company takeovers, new hardware, new rapid development tools). Would you have predicted Google over Microsoft? If it were based solely on the best tech, then the Amiga would be in a lot more homes or we’d all be using Macs.

  7. From personal and professional observation: PHP use is going up. PHP jobs are becoming more numerous (though the economy is pushing many of these back into the “contract” realm whereas they were full-time positions last year). PHP visibility is going down. Why? Because, for the most part, the PHP4 to PHP5 transition is complete. The changes in the language led to a huge burst of published tutorials, instructions and opinion pieces about the changes to PHP. The new capabilities brought in new developers and new interest from some large companies. Lots of people talked about PHP. Now, most of the audience for those articles are using the language, most of the topics are old ground, well-covered. Tutorials are becoming tighter, less generalized, and thus, less likely to capture a broad audience.

    So, how can we call attention to a widespread, easily available, mature language? PHP6 is coming up but it’s deliberately aimed at being less of a sea-change than PHP5 was, and it’s still a long way off from official launch. What can users and user-groups do and/or publish to keep PHP in the most-recent category of news without repeating ourselves ad nauseum or diving into esoterica? How can we trumpet PHP’s timeliness without stumbling into generally uninformed holy wars with new language proponents?

  8. @Keith Barrett: Well said.

    I think you’re missing a distinction in my reply—only part of it was directed at you. The part you take offense with was the part directed at Mark who imputed that I am neither a software developer nor work in the “real web.” As for what you refer to, I’ve been programming for thirty years, but only the last ten commercially (and not all of it in PHP by a long shot). My first computer was a DEC-10, my first PC an Apple ][+, etc. Granted, it’s not as prestigious as you—I didn’t jump on Linux until RedHat and Corel because I was a BSD (BSD386) holdout. I blame youthful inexperience for that misstep. 😉

    @Steve Sheldon: I thought dotNet was a framework? 🙂

    @MonkeyT: Interesting question. I don’t know the answer to that. If I had to guess I’d say that now that PHP has established itself in the consumer web world, it should look at why it has so little (relative) traction among the Fortune 500 and enterprise.

  9. I would never want to work with someone who’s argument against a language is “it’s not as popular as X”. Does a mechanic buy his car based on car sales?

    Why do non PHP developers think that PHP is a dying language? Because being a LAMP shop is becoming a specialty, and those LAMP shops take pride in their software development.

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