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View Full Version : PHP's staying power?



Carbine18
02-12-2006, 07:59 AM
Hey, I am a new member here, and new to coding. I have a very basic knowledge of PHP and am considering broadening my skills, but was wondering.

With all of the competition that PHP has, is it worth putting my time into learning it? for example we have Ruby, ASP, Cold Fusion etc.

Is PHP going to compete with these with its upcoming releases of PHP 5 etc.

main idea: how does PHP compare to these, and how will it compare to these in upcoming years.

thanks

-Steve

raf
02-12-2006, 10:42 AM
PHP will be around for quite a few years, and is only growing in popularity.

if you wanna do web-development, then PHP is your best option as a powerfull, easy to learn and use language that allows you to quickly build webapplications.

wondering about it's popularity?
http://www.dedasys.com/articles/language_popularity.html
http://www.tiobe.com/index.htm?tiobe_index
http://journal.boblycat.org/karltk/archives/entry-000285.html

fci
02-12-2006, 02:49 PM
With all of the competition that PHP has, is it worth putting my time into learning it? for example we have Ruby, ASP, Cold Fusion etc.
I'd say it's more likely you will find a PHP job then another one. ASP/CF pay better but they're ultimately not that different from PHP (besides the syntax of course.. and closed source etc).


Is PHP going to compete with these with its upcoming releases of PHP 5 etc.
upcoming? php5 is already out but that's what I'd recommend although many hosts etc still use php 4.x.x (some web apps break from php4->5 but are more likely to break if you're going from 5 -> 4 because of how many changes were made-- although that depends what features of 5 you're using). I'd say PHP is fairly competitive because of how much penetration it has in the web hosting arena (everyone and their mom and dad has installed phpbb and so on).


main idea: how does PHP compare to these, and how will it compare to these in upcoming years.
I believe PHP will get better and maybe even be better in the coming years. The more people that switch to php5 the better.

Personally, I dislike php a lot but only because I feel like I've done it too long and would rather learn different syntaxes/languages (I did learn JS along the way and have picked up some perl recently and dabbled with ruby and so on).

A similar thread popped up at this forum although the question was phrased differently:
http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=486156


PHP will be around for quite a few years, and is only growing in popularity.
I agree with this but if you're going to do it 'professionally' it does tend to pay less (at least in comparison to Java and .NET).


if you wanna do web-development, then PHP is your best option as a powerfull,
it can be powerful although you should be aware of the alternatives such as the Java web frameworks and some of the interesting Ruby ones (nitro, rails, etc).


easy to learn
with all the questions that come to this forum, I wouldn't be so sure. If you already have programming skills then I think PHP probably won't be too bad. there is much more to PHP then PHP itself.. why? well, here are the other variables that are common to PHP: Linux, Apache and MySQL. Linux/Apache being the apps that put PHP on the web and MySQL being the one that lets PHP have db functionality.


and use language
it doesn't do everything I want it to do at times... or maybe more how things are done.. it's all subjective though.


that allows you to quickly build webapplications.
if you know what you're doing, yes. Learning what I might consider the 'right' approach to a task is what will speed up the dev process.

firepages
02-12-2006, 03:32 PM
I think your question would have been relevant at the PHP3 stage ,ruby & Python etc were around then as well and PERL was positively king of the web.

Since then PHP has gotten itself everywhere , it was built to solve the `web-problem` and did so , & that was before the injection of Zend etc, PHP5 OO is structured to appease java & NET heads who are beginning to realise that PHP actually does scale (albeit in a different direction) & PHP6 will close up some of the embarrasing bits of PHP.

15 million domains and counting ... one of those is the biggest on the web (Yahoo) , many of those java-heads would call 'enterprise' scale applications (which they told us PHP was incapable of since it was interpreted and not OO enough)

I think the fact that there are commonly 2 (in reality 3 ..yes I still know php3 hosts!) major verions of a language in widescale use (and supported) is itself a proof of PHP's robustness.

Until Microsoft can come up with a server to compete with $your_flavour_here) then linux based solutions will continue to rule the web (yes I know PHP is x-platform), .NET is a step forward from ASP.old but IIS remains.

I have played with and enjoyed Ruby (On Rails) but to be honest I would not want to do mass virtual hosting with it , its server bindings are (currently) too dodgy.

I don;t like to talk about CF ;)

You can stick several hundred PHP/MySQL/PostgreSQL domains on a 1/2 decent server without issue ... only PERL can compete and if it was human readable then it would probably would appeal more to noobs.

PHP owns because you can use it from day 1 to create powerful applications with little knowledge, but unlike most similar tools it then allows you to go so much further to code far more complex applications, GUI's, shell scripting, network programming ... It will never compete with lower-level compiled anguages for device drivers etc but thats a different arena.

Anyway , if you have any scripting/programming knowledge you can pick up PHP in a matter of days , just download the manual.

<edit>I forgot Python ... I like Python , but it like perl was not originally intended for the web and it shows</edit>

ralph l mayo
02-12-2006, 05:33 PM
caveat: not an answer of the original question :]

Once you get to be a good coder you'll find you can pick up other languages that share fundamentals, so just pick something and learn fundamentals, namely object oriented design patterns. If you can pick up OO in PHP you'll find using Java is just a matter of studying what it calls the methods you need in its library. Vice versa, and the same (pretty much) goes for Python and Ruby, both very objective languages.

Learn best practices, particularly if you're going the PHP route don't be tempted to throw all your business and display logic together in one inextricable mess of a file. PHP has a bad rap extending from its Personal Home Page days for being a language people who aren't coders use to inflict atrocities on information technology. It's mature enough to write stable and maintainable code now, but only if you put in the extra effort to do it right. Good news is once you learn to do it right you are a good coder and can extend your skills to any modern (objective) language.

Highly recommended reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-pattern

marek_mar
02-12-2006, 05:53 PM
PHP is more or less Zend. Zend doesn't look like it would want to stop developing PHP. It's quite the opposite actually. Zend is trying to make PHP fit for commercial use and that's why it has developed Platvorm and Core. The partner list of PHP is growing.
Zend is making their own PHP framework which is supposed to aid their goal of spreading PHP.
PHP has also a quite large variety of non-web-developement uses (PHP-GTK for example).

felgall
02-12-2006, 08:23 PM
Once you know one programming language it is much easier to learn a second language. Once you know half a dozen different languages learning another is extremely easy. The more languages you know the easier it gets.

It doesn't matter if the currently popular languages disappear to be replaced by others because if you know several languages already then learning the new ones wont be a problem.

degsy
02-13-2006, 03:47 PM
I find that PHP is best because of the range of functions.
There is usually a function for everything you need and you have to laugh sometimes when coding in ASP and you can't do something (or not easy) and you just think that PHP has a function for exactly what you want to do.

gg9
03-14-2006, 07:25 PM
PHP is currently better than Ruby because of its MASSIVE and USEFUL libraries. For web development, can't beat it. But i bet Ruby will catch up fast

missing-score
03-15-2006, 10:46 AM
Ruby is different to PHP in the sense that it is more framework orientated. I can't say Ive ever ruby, or that ive ever really had the urge to... Im a PHP Fanboy so to speak :P

Ive been developing with PHP for over 3 years now and to be perfectly honest, I doubted PHP version 4 becuase of its lack of OO support. I like building OO based scripts and websites which is why I went through a phase of disliking PHP. PHP 5 has improved that so much that Im really starting to enjoy developing again, and I'm currently working on my own PHP 5 based framework (I know theres alot already, but i gotta find something to pass the time).

As for staying power, I'd say definatley yes. Its easy to set up for multiple hosting situations on *NIX systems and its easy to set up for local development on windows. Its all free, easy to learn and predictable.... very often you can guess the name of a function even if you have never used it before.

fci
03-15-2006, 07:11 PM
PHP is currently better than Ruby because of its MASSIVE and USEFUL libraries. For web development, can't beat it. But i bet Ruby will catch up fast

what do you know about Ruby.. ?
This is Ruby's standard library:
http://www.ruby-doc.org/stdlib/

Ruby itself is not geared toward the web so it's not really apple to apples. These Ruby frameworks are though: Nitro (http://www.nitrohq.com/) and Rails (http://www.rubyonrails.org/).

loanskey
04-14-2006, 11:48 AM
PHP is the best.
Specially after the launch of PHP5. This is fully object oriented.



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