Interview with Rasmus Lerdorf of PHP fame
Posted: Dec 3, 05, 14:23 techAdmin
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You can read an interview with Rasmus Lerdorf here. It's alway interesting to see what these open source guys think about what they do, and the computing scene in general.
:: Quote ::I started developing PHP nearly 10 years ago now. That was long before the term "Open Source" was coined and before the GPL and Free Software was well known. And as with many open source projects that have gone on to become popular, the motivation was never philosophical or even narcissistic. It was purely a case of needing a tool to solve real-world Web-related problems. In 1994 the options were fairly limited when it came to Web development tools. I found myself writing dynamic components for Web sites in C or Perl, and the code overlap from one problem to the next was quite significant. For performance reasons, I was increasingly tending away from Perl and toward C, because the fork+exec overhead of having to run Perl as a standalone CGI was too restrictive.
Familiar story I'd say, like they say, most interesting open source projects were and are started to scratch the main developer's itch about some subject or other. That's what makes them so interesting.
:: Quote ::Among the things that drive the purists crazy are that names of functions are not case-sensitive but variables are; built-in functions are not consistently named; and no real structure is enforced on PHP developers, making it easy to write messy code. I can't really argue with these criticisms, but I can at least attempt to explain how and why we got to this state.
... I wanted people to treat the special PHP tags as being basically just like other markup tags, which meant that PHP's tags should also not be case-sensitive.
In case you were wondering about that, I wasn't, I always just use the same lower case conventions so I never even noticed, which just goes to demonstrate what he says here:
:: Quote ::About the lack of enforced structure, all I can say is that I absolutely hate programming frameworks that lock me into a certain way of approaching a problem. That doesn't mean I don't believe in structure and frameworks, but I do believe in people having the power to come up with their own to match their environment.
re scalability, often something people talk about with PHP versus Java for example:
:: Quote ::The shared-nothing architecture of PHP where each request is completely distinct and separate from any other request leads to infinite horizontal scalability in the language itself. PHP encourages you to push scalability issues to the layers that require it. If you need a shared datastore, use a database that supports replication and can scale to the levels you need. If you need to load balance requests or distribute certain requests to certain servers, use a front end load balancer that supports this. By avoiding a central controlling process, PHP avoids being the bottleneck in the system.
Ok, that's enough quotes, it's worth the time it takes to read it, it will show you some pretty interesting points you may not have thought about before.
I won't quote the whole article, read it yourself if you're interested, these are just some of the more interesting comments.
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