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Will PHP Become a Niche Language?

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Will PHP Become a Niche Language?

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If any language isn't a niche language, PHP isn't. Every version builds more functionality into the core, and its applications seem endless.

Its ubiquity, combined with its haphazard history, have encouraged an interesting attitude among developers -- positive by use but sometimes negative by opinion

But will its ubiquity persist, as 'cooler' languages like Ruby and Python continue to gain momentum?

In a recent blogpost, Watts Martin says no. After a (somewhat negative) comparison to Python 3, Ruby 2, and Perl 6, Watts explains an interesting, more positive parallel:

A friend compared PHP to the COBOL of the web, and indeed, that seems to be COBOL’s philosophy, too. Yet that philosophy has served COBOL pretty well: it’s (still) being used fairly widely in the kinds of business applications you (still) run on minicomputers and people who know it (still) command a good salary.

He isn't sure that PHP will maintain this parallel for long -- not because it doesn't have the stuff to become a niche language, but because the dev team historically hasn't been interested in slimming the language down.

Interesting opinion piece. Check it out.

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