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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Maybe it's because people who use PHP probably don't realize that it sucks, and others are thankfully spared the experience, so they don't feel a need to complain publicly.

    Marcel
    • We shouldn't discount or try to explain away what people think. My guess is that PHP doesn't suck for a lot of people, which is why a lot of people (relatively) do not say that it sucks.

      If we find out why, rather than treating the datum as an outlier, we can apply what we find to Perl.

      For instance, several different people have told me that the PHP core documentation is organized better and available in other languages.

      A lot of other people have also told me that the PHP documentation is more pragmatic,

      • I am not a fan of PHP.

        But one of its advantages (and source of its success) is that it is a relatively hassle-free Apache module.

        Compared to mod_perl, it is:

          * easy to compile
          * easy to maintain
          * hassle-free for ISPs

        Part of PHP's simplicity is down to the language itself - for instance it's harder to slowly leak memory over time via unbroken circular references. But part of its simplicity is due to the fact that PHP is not so tightly integrated into Apache - it only handles the co
        • And, ultimately is it worth all the trouble fighting to regain (some of) PHP's niche?

          Yes, for several very good reasons.

          1. PHP is just a watered down version of perl in the author's own words. From a language standpoint it's clearly a nasty failure. We don't want people to learn technology this bad. It tends to create bad habits...
          2. The previous point tends to lead to the fact that the vast majority of PHP code out there is just awful and nasty. The PHP community has done a much better job of putting full applications up for people to try than the Perl community has, but if you want to extend any of it or switch it from PostgreSQL to MySQL, good luck. The code and database design of most of these PHP projects is awful. This is made worse by the way database access and other things are done. The PHP community just doesn't value rightness very much, but the Perl community needs to show more results. PHPers think little at all, but Perlers seem to contemplate to the point of not doing anything. I expect whatever balance is to be found will land in the Perl community.
          3. PHP isn't hassle free! It's blatant disability at being extended without being recompiled hardly makes it hassle free. Any significant project I've ever seen in PHP has required that PHP be recompiled five or six times before the right versions of everything are there. This is a pain for the ISP, the developer, and the customer. With that and the previous point it's hard for me to believe that PHP is easy to maintain. It just isn't so when you get beyond a couple of pages.
          So we end up with a sitation where a vast amount of effort is being expended by people with too little information creating applications that fall apart under their own weight. I'm not going to pretend we don't have a lot of clueless perl out there too (there are far worse things than Matt's scripts even), but the perl that is out there tends to be written by people with enough software engineering experience to do things with a view of the future and a realistic expectation that others will come behind us and try to maintain it.

          So, the page designers who have picked up PHP to make a few interactive screens and figure they can make the latest web PIM make a pretty significant mongolian horde. Educating them would benefit all of us.

          • PHP is an awful, awful language and programming environment. Nearly everyone on use.perl.org is going to largely agree this statement. YET LOOK AT Freshmeat [freshmeat.net]. There are a hundreds PHP apps out there and more everyday. Why? Because PHP allows novice programmers (but perhaps experienced graphic designers) to whip up web apps quickly. Are these apps maintainable or elegent? Hell no, yet most of them sure look purdy.

            That is the paradox of PHP. It's a just-good-enough [jwz.org] tool for most (web) users. Perl is never goi

            • If anybody has read this far and doesn't have a pet perl web app project somewhere in your life, please fix it!

              The best way to show the PHPers what they're missing is to create nice domain-specific perl web apps and do them well. There are lots of PHP apps out there to use as examples of how the screens should LOOK. Heck, start with their HTML! It's open source after all! They've stolen plenty of good perl ideas (like /.) and reimplemented them in their nasty little language, so don't feel any guilt!

              • I hate PHP slash clones. They feel so limiting. Slash works exactly the way I think, and every PHP slash clone tries to change that in subtle ways or fails to implement all the needed features.

                I move my mouse over a topic icon, and there's no alt tag to tell me what the topic is.

                Nested/threaded/flat means different things to different people, but at least I know what it means in genuine slash.

                --
                J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers