On Thu, Aug 16, 2001 at 02:24:27AM +0300, Zeev Suraski wrote:
> >I've rambled a bit, but my feeling is that the Linux Today Article is
> >premature.  PHP can (and likely will) support the features mentioned in the
> >article, but the real question is, are these really the features that are
> >going to be used?

> Very nice non-PC statement! :)

A programming language is not only a tool and a framework, it
also is a set of people sharing a common vision and working
together - a community. What Microsoft provided with .net
is not so much a product - yet. It is a vision, though, and
a plan where they want to go in the next few years.

So to compete here, PHP need not only be superior in technical
checklist items, it also has to provide a kind of development
roadmap, a plan where it wants to be in 3 and in 5 years, and
what services it will provide to developers then. That is the
PHP vision that the language and the system needs to stand the
marketing onslaught by Microsoft.

Note how other communities, notably Perl, provided such a vision
in the past (e.g. the mythical Perl compiler), and continue
to provide such visions now (e.g. Perl 6 and flexible scanners
to turn Perl into the one language to parse all syntaxes). Larry
provides even more - with his speeches and interviews he even
provides a kind of philosophy behind Perl, a greater concept
to explain not only how, but also why things have been done the
way they have been done.

As you can see in the case of Perl, the vision need not be
final, useful or even true, it just needs to be cool, and
believable. It is being used as a tool to bind the community
tigther together, to provide hope and a sense of direction.

To come back to PHP: What is the place of PHP in 3 and in 5
years, what are the next big projects tackled in the
development of PHP, and what is the larger idea behind PHP -
what does the language _want_ to become, and what audience will
it cater. If you can answer these questions for your developing
audience, these answers will have a large influence on the
qualification and quantity of audience you have.

PHP 2005 - If you code it, they will come.


Kristian Köhntopp, NetUSE AG Dr.-Hell-Straße, D-24107 Kiel
Tel: +49 431 386 435 00, Fax: +49 431 386 435 99

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