“Is PHP Dead?” This is a question asked by many as we as IT professionals move away from the “open source” platforms such as PHP, Java, Perl and Python to platforms that are more tightly controlled (hence the term) such as Windows and Apple. The fact is that PHP is not dead, but it is moving quite slowly into the background. There is no reason why you should write PHP code any time soon.
I believe there are two main reasons for this. First of all, PHP is extremely extensible, so as PHP is growing, so will the number of available extensions. This is great for those who write PHP code for a variety of purposes (not just web development). Secondly, PHP is not as dependent on Sun’s open source technologies as Java, for instance, which means there are many more open source solutions available.
What is PHP dead? In my opinion, two things happened when PHP was first released. One, the many open source solutions came about which made the codebase much bigger than what it had been before (and in some cases, much bigger than Sun’s OpenOffice), and two, the open source community took PHP much more seriously, which meant that many improvements were made (and still are being made) for PHP. So PHP is not dead, but it is moving very slowly. There are many reasons behind this, but let me run through some of the main ones:
“Is PHP Dead?” – because there have been many changes that have been brought about to the language (most of these have been negative), one cannot claim that PHP is dead right now. There are still a lot of people who use PHP, and many more who are thinking of switching to PHP from other platforms, including Joomla. To the extent this is true, we can safely say that PHP is not dead.
“But how come it is so?” – well, the answer is simple: the community is increasing, and the more code that is written – the more people who will use PHP. As long as there are developers around who are willing to contribute to the development, there is absolutely no reason why PHP won’t be a very powerful platform.
“Why doesn’t it have more features?” – PHP is (and has always been) flexible. Even though its primary goal is to be a low-cost programming language, it is not necessarily that difficult to create a lot of tools that make web development easier. Furthermore, many companies have found that writing PHP is much cheaper than writing a new programming language. In fact, the number of programmers that do not have any experience with PHP is on the rise, which is another reason why PHP is gaining in popularity.
“So is PHP dead?” – in my opinion, PHP is far from dead, although the rate at which many companies will hire new developers is dwindling. In my opinion, there is still a bright future for PHP, as there is a huge market for websites and software that run on the platform. In addition, the open source nature of PHP and the large number of scripts that run on it means that there are always going to be developers working on code that is meant to improve the language and make it more stable and secure.
I hope this is has answered your question, “Is PHP Dead?” – but remember, that question only tells you one part of the story. There are many other considerations to make when looking at PHP. For a deeper understanding of PHP, it is strongly suggested that you read some PHP documentation, such as the ones found at Phpapers. There you will find a complete list of all of the files, commands and functions that make up a PHP program, as well as many other interesting details about the language.