Deploy Friday: hot topics for cloud technologists and developers

#27 Language Spotlight — PHP

June 16, 2021 Larry Garfield, Patrick Dawkins, Sara Golemon, Gabriel Caruso Season 1 Episode 27
Deploy Friday: hot topics for cloud technologists and developers
#27 Language Spotlight — PHP
Show Notes

Today we continue our Language Spotlight series. PHP is the most-used server-side web development language in the world, and it’s also one of the few to be purely open source. We speak with two PHP 8.0 Release Managers, Sara Golemon and Gabriel Caruso, about the current status of PHP and the PHP 8.0 release.

Exciting PHP features and benefits

It’s hard to understate how important PHP is for the Internet. It has been in constant, evolving use online for 26 years — the Internet itself has only existed for 38.  Some of its most popular benefits are that it’s easy to get started and easy to use (plus, its stellar documentation). But it also has exciting features and improvements that many people may not know about. Sara Golemon lists several of them for us. 

  • The type system:“Strict types really brought the type system to the forefront of people's minds, because they can actually use types that they pass around on a daily basis much better than they could before.”
  • Composer:“Composer is a dependency management system at its core that allows you to pull in packages from other places. Composer makes code sharing and reuse across the Ruby / PHP ecosystem so much more solid and so much better.”
  • Attributes: “Attributes are going to allow us to do much more interesting things in the future with user space classes and code, even internal code.”

PHP has other, more abstract characteristics that our guests enjoy, such as its flexibility. As Sara puts it, “PHP allows you to shoot yourself in the foot. PHP is not built on guide rails. PHP is designed to say, ‘Here are a bunch of tools, do something with those tools, and build something with these tools.’”

For Gabriel, he enjoys PHP’s ability to wrangle complex projects. “I think that one of the advantages of PHP for the web is it’s very easy to structure a large project, even if there are multiple different paradigms in each part of it.” 

Sara sums up PHP’s importance and influence on the web well. “You should learn PHP if you're going to work on the web, period. PHP was born on the web, it was built for the web, it literally grew up with the web. It is part of the web's DNA, and it does the web really, really, really, really well.”

To experience how PHP does the web, try PHP on Platform.sh

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