In Damnation of PHP

<rant>Apologies if the title is a bit strong, but I think it’s the nearest I can get to the opposite of “In Praise of PHP”

I’ve just spent a week-end migrating my website to a new hosting server. As part of that process, I had to rewrite all my old ASP code using PHP. Here’s what I learned:

  1. The Apache/Linux community have misleadingly changed the meaning of “ASP”. If you bought a Linux-based hosting service 5+ years ago with “ASP”, it meant a *nix port of Active Server Pages. That worked for me, as I could develop it on Windows. Now, if you buy a Linux hosting service with “ASP” it means “Apache Server Pages”, and the embedded language is Perl. Useless!
  2. PHP has positively the worst combination of features for a language:
    • A c-based language’s sensitivity to case, ending semicolons and curly bracket counts,
    • None of the protections against errors in the latter that a C++/Java (or VB) language gives you, like strong typing and forced variable declaration,
    • No single-step debugging. Now I accept that this may not be 100% true, so don’t all write in with the names of all the debuggers I didn’t find in a quick search for tools on Sunday morning, but certainly I don’t have one at the moment,
    • It runs differently on Windows and Linux, and in a way I haven’t yet understood 100%, so I can only test by uploading to my live website.

That said, I’ve still got it! I’ve managed to convert my blog and my book reviews, and I’ve actually improved on my old code for the latter. Just please let me have VB.NET back for my next major project.

OK. </rant>

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