PHP is dead!

Nov 18, 2022

PHP is dead!
Hi Friend

I’ve been using PHP since version 5.2. One of the first things I was told when I first started learning it was that PHP is dead!

5.2 was released in 2006 yet here we are in November 2022 with version 8.2 about to be released. In fact, a new version has been released every November or December for the last 8 years.

According to W3Techs reports as of October 2022, it is used by 74.4% of all the websites whose server-side programming language they know…I’d say that means it’s very much alive and it’s not going to die any time soon because it is too good at what it does. It is a language which was purposely designed for the web.

You don’t need to piece several different packages together to start making web requests with PHP, everything is ready to go immediately. But if you do want to talk about the packages and tools available to a PHP developer, I think that what we have these days puts us in a very strong position.

Composer is a brilliant dependency management tool…give me Composer over NPM any day of the week! Laravel and Symfony are as good as (if not better than) any framework in any language and there is nothing which compares with Api Platform in any language.

There are surveys published each year which ask about the popularity of programming languages and PHP is usually surpassed by the latest flavor of the month. The main piece of information you need to take away from a survey…is that it is a survey. In other words, it is based on opinions and not on usage.

PHP isn’t even in the top 10 programming languages according to the most recent Stack Overflow rankings. However, the numbers paint quite a different picture than the opinions.

Here is a graph which was recently published by RedMonk as part of their ranking analysis.

RedMonk as part of their ranking analysis.

The x-axis represents popularity on Github by the number of projects. The y-axis represents the rank on Stack Overflow by the number of tags.

Just in case your eyesight isn’t great, PHP ranks about fourth after JavaScript, Python, and Java. It is used for server-side web programming more than any of those languages, the others don’t even come close.

So let me confirm to you that PHP is not dead and it isn’t dying. It may not be the hippest language but it is certainly one of the most practical and it is the most accomplished at what it does. PHP developers are still very much in demand.

If I was just starting out in PHP today I have no doubt that the first thing someone would tell me is that PHP is dead. And I’d also have no doubt that I’d still be making a decent living with it in 15 years' time.

It has come a long way since version 5.2 and the energy, talent and enthusiasm in the current core team suggest that the best is still to come! Cheers Gary

P.S. I've just published 12 new videos to the Git and GitHub course. They are all about Github and working with remote repositories. I'm currently working on the next section which is all about collaboration. I should also mention that once you are enrolled, you are enrolled for life and can view the course any time you like. The same applies to all my courses.

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