Falling in love with PHP--again

Posted on July 31, 2013

Warning: This post is over a year old. I don't always update old posts with new information, so some of this information may be out of date.

PHP is one of the most maligned languages today--even more hated than JavaScript, which says a lot.

The problem is that there are thousands of PHP sites, PHP apps (and PHP developers) that are low quality, untested, procedural, antiquated, poorly designed and poorly commented. Much PHP code is flaky, hackable, and ugly, and the language itself was clearly not designed with modern coding standards and conventions in mind--its naming is inconsistent, its OOP features are frustratingly-designed afterthoughts, and it suffers from myriad other painful little problems that sum up to a big pain in the rear.

I've developed in CodeIgniter, a PHP-based MVC framework, for years, and while the addition of a framework and of the MVC methodology have brought some much-needed structure to my PHP world, I've still longed for the beauty, simplicity, and expressiveness of Ruby on Rails. After working on a few Rails apps for work, I came close to fully changing over my loyalties.

And then came Laravel. Laravel is a light, flexible, expressive framework that capitalizes on the best parts of PHP and does its best to supplant the places where PHP is most lacking. Laravel is powerful, extensible, rewritable, and is in active development by some really brilliant people. The learning curve is low, the power is high, and I cannot begin to express the joy it's given me to work in this framework.

Laravel has singlehandedly rekindled my love for PHP, and my hope that it may actually contend with Ruby (especially on Rails) as a legitimate language for web app development.

Taylor Otwell, I owe you a beer. And my PHP-coding life.

Comments? I'm @stauffermatt on Twitter

Tags: development  •  php  •  laravel  •  codeigniter


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