What a damning title for this post.

Peter Williams has started working with PHP. He comments mostly about the syntax and with the understanding that he’s writing about PHP 4. Some of that has been improved upon in PHP 5: exceptions, for instance, to which Matt Zandstra has written a good introduction. I agree with a lot of what Peter says. DHH has a point: PHP is not pretty to look at, and sometimes it’s ugly to use. Using -> as a method invocation operator is unpleasant (Perl does the same thing, but in Perl 6 it’s a .). It’s a small thing, but small things add up. I don’t like to use PHP because I like the syntax of the language or because it’s a joy to write PHP code. I like to use PHP because it gets the job done, sometimes quite powerfully. And it’s a helluva lot better in PHP 5.

It is a joy to write Ruby code. Just want to say that. Coming from Ruby to PHP, that’s gotta be hard.

At first I thought Peter was being a bit over the top complaining about PHP’s requiring explicit statement terminators. Then I thought back to how much time I’ve spent tracking down bugs that turned out to be a misplaced or missing semicolon. He’s got a point.