While I personally agree with some of what Luke Welling wrote in his article “PHP is not Java” for PHP Advent 2008, I also disagree with the general tone of the article and the examples he provides. The example Luke provides might be true in some respects (that it looks like Java code), but the solution offered is the best example why PHP and PHP developers are looked down on most time.

PHP is the red-headed step child (no offense to redheads, I love you all) when it comes to programming, or wait, scripting languages. Because PHP is not even a programming language. ;-) For example, when I started at this co-working place most of the people did not talk to me at all. Besides Jan, who I share the room with most of the time, there are only Ruby (and Java) people on this floor. Horror, right? (Just kidding!)

And even though my crap PHP code handles much more traffic than their fancy rails, and even though I’m open to other languages as well, most people stop taking me serious when I admit to doing PHP.

The truth is out there, Mulder.

The notion of the last years has been that a lot of PHP-based open source projects worked hard to improve the quality of their code by defining coding standards, by improving the documentation and sometimes even by adding a dedicated QA team. Even though any PR is good PR, no one wants to make those headlines. The (by no means complete) list of examples include (of course) PEAR, Joomla (where this is an ongoing effort :-)), and also rather notorious projects such as phpBB and Wordpress.