Rasmus Lerdorf is an opinionated man.
However, so am I, so I have some things to say about these particular opinions. Lerdorf is claiming the web is broken. I do not disagree. Lerdorf is claiming PHP is the cure, and I couldn't disagree more if he had written that statement on a shard of tin and jammed it in my stomach.
That is quite a strong disagreement.
I mean, didn't PHP break the web in the first place?
Right off the bat, I should note that I do believe PHP can be used well. Any language (almost) can be used properly enough that it can be a decent environment to use, so long as you follow strict rules. PHP is a great example of a language that promotes ignoring any rules. Following a good set of policies, one can develop well structured and elegant applications with PHP, but the fact of the matter is that the language does very little to promote anything in the way of good use of itself.
PHP might not promote bad coding, but it simply does so little in the way of promoting good code that it might as well provide facilities for plaintext passwords in query strings built in at the global level. There are too many aspiring developers finding their way to PHP, being drawn by the crowd, rather than the quality of the language. There is a critical mass of bad information about all the wrong ways we can do things in PHP, and none of them tell you its the wrong way. Are they evil? No, they just don't know any better either.
PHP is not evil. PHP broke the web with nothing but good intentions. PHP still broke the web, and only with a massively backwards-compatibility breaking (and that means no options to enable it back!) revisions to the language would anything be remedied. Even in that case, either everyone will migrate to other languages or the language would fork, because the only way to fix PHP is to become like Perl 6 and not exist at all.
I am beginning to sound like a language bigot.
I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.
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