On Learning PHP and the Culture of Languages

So I’ve been hacking away at PHP for a while now, and I must say it’s a fairly easily language to pick up…

So I’ve been hacking away at PHP for a while now, and I must say it’s a fairly easly language to pick up. In fact, that seems to be the biggest strength of PHP, besides the fact that’s it’s also easy to install and every host out there seems to have done so.

Still the templating-freak in me feels a bit dirty mixing all of that presentational-html with logical-code. It’s like perl cgi’s in 1998 or something… I know, there’s Smarty and other templating systems, and of course some will tell you that PHP is (sort of) a templating system in itself… Still, that cultural thing…

Kellan, in There Has Got To Be A Better Way, has this bit titled The Impenetrable Importance of Culture:

For me the hardest part in working with languages I’m less familiar with (python, and php for example) rather then those I’m more comfortable with (perl or java) is not syntax questions, its culture. For all of Perl’s much vaunted “There is More Then One Way To Do It”, I know the proper way to do things, the proper tool to reach for, and if I don’t I have ways of finding out, largely through internal calculation based on my understanding of the Perl reputation landscape. Its that information which is opaque to me, especially in PHP where the fast number of practioners are novices.

That’s previously summed up my thoughts on PHP, though I’m still quite open to it, and might change my mind…

(I must admin, PHP is hundreds, if not thousands of times better than dealing with ASP or ColdFusion, at least in my book, and again, this is due to a large degree because of the culture surrounding each of them.)