Is PHP Still a Worthwhile Language To Learn?

mbadolato (Slashdot reader #105,588) shares this post from Belgium-based programmer Brent Roose:

It’s no secret among web developers and programmers in general: PHP doesn’t have the best reputation. Despite still being one of the most used languages to build web applications; over the years PHP has managed to get itself a reputation of messy codebases, inexperienced developers, insecure code, an inconsistent core library, and what not. While many of the arguments against PHP still stand today, there’s also a bright side: you can write clean and maintainable, fast and reliable applications in PHP.

In this post, I want to look at this bright side of PHP development. I want to show you that, despite its many shortcomings, PHP is a worthwhile language to learn. I want you to know that the PHP 5 era is coming to an end. That, if you want to, you can write modern and clean PHP code, and leave behind much of the mess it was 10 years ago.
The article notes PHP’s opt-in type system and performance-enhancing rewrites (including the ability to store compiled chunks of PHP code in memory). And it argues that PHP “is still evolving today,” with a package repository averaging over 25 million downloads a day. There’s also PHP web application frameworks (as well as asynchronous frameworks), so “PHP isn’t just WordPress anymore.”

And in keeping with the core team’s yearly release cycle, PHP 8 is expected at the end of 2020, which will include a JIT compiler, “allowing PHP to enter new areas besides web development…”

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