PHP has been around for an extremely long time. Back in the olden days, PHP wasn’t as good as it was, but was easy to pick up and run with. PHP is also a very forgiving language.
What I mean by it being a forgiving language is that it will try to run regardless of how bad your code is. It will try to just carry on regardless, instead of falling over because of an unused variable or something.
This, at least according to a lot of people, is a main bad point about PHP. Many developers out there in the world like a language to start screaming and slapping them when they do something wrong. Turns out, normal people don’t so PHP gained a lot of traction.
The only real valid criticism of PHP I can understand is that it used to perform like… well… shit. I’ll be honest here. If we aren’t, we won’t be able to improve the language. But, has all of this changed in PHP 7? Let’s look at some of the great points of PHP 7.
“Hot Damn” Performance
I’m not making this up, PHP 7 (and subsequent releases) have made a major impact in a substantial way. For example, online social network Badoo managed to save one million dollars by switching their codebase and servers to PHP 7.
They share some great graphs on the post, I seriously recommend checking it out.
Proper Object Orientation
PHP 7 brought proper object orientation with it. It was, in a way, possible with earlier versions and hacking it in there somehow with very “unique” code. PHP 7 standardised this and followed the trends we see in other languages meaning it was familiar, well-tested and has been a hit ever since being added.
An Incredible Open Source Community
I know there were open source applications prior to PHP 7, but in the past few years there has been a huge growth in the number of open source applications, frameworks, and packages available through tools like composer. Just look at Packagist and tell me it isn’t beautiful to see.
This has made developing faster and easier than ever before, and has lead to a huge shift towards great quality code within the PHP ecosystem.
I really want to stress this. The community back in the olden days was fragmented, sometimes bitchy, and generally not overly inviting. Over the past few years this has changed massively.
The community has exploded, but with it, also become a far nicer place to be. People openly share good code with each other, and encourage others in the right direction without being abusive dicks about it. This in its self will help PHP massively, and to the community, I want to say thank you for growing up as well as growing in size.
I feel this post is getting a little bit long now, so I’ll end it here and maybe make a follow-up post in the future if I remember. PHP has grown an incredible amount in a short space of time, and the community has only grown faster (in my opinion). I can’t wait to see what the future holds.