[nycphp-talk] Why the light has gone out on LAMP

leeeyerman at leeeyerman at
Tue Jun 6 10:56:29 EDT 2006

Hey everyone,

Check out this article.  It is a huge slam on the LAMP framework.  It 
may be worth our collective response.

The article is titled:

Why the light has gone out on LAMP

Written by:

Bits and pieces from the article:

I'm quite opposed to using MySQL and PHP, and I'm none too fond of 
Apache. Anyone who knows me or happens into a conversation with me 
about development quickly learns of my distaste for these particular 
projects. To be fair, Apache is the least problematic of the three and 
if there were no alternatives, I'd use it without a lot of complaint.

MySQL and PHP, on the other hand, really raise my ire. Both of them 
have two major problems:

1. Bug ridden (by this I am including both misfeatures as well as 
actual bugs).
2. They encourage bad habits.

PHP is another sore spot for me. I've gotten to the point that not only 
will I not write PHP code, I won't even run applications written in PHP 
(my long search for decent blogging software was due to the restriction 
that it not be written in PHP). At some level PHP is a great language 
because the entry cost is so low. Not so much because the language is 
so particularly friendly, but because it was designed to work in an 
extremely simple environment (the web) and because it's quite possible 
to learn PHP incrementally by intermixing it with HTML. So what's the 
problem? Well, first of all, as anyone who's done much web programming 
will tell you, mixing code with markup is *not* a good thing if you 
care about maintenance or extensibility. The very thing that makes PHP 
a great language for beginners is the very thing that makes it a bad 
language for beginners. At some point they will have to unlearn those 
habits, except that usually they don't. Also, because it's so easy to 
whip out a quick PHP webapp, many, if not most, PHP programmers fail to 
delve very deep into the realm of programming, preferring to sit at the 
edge and reap the benefits without the work (I'm not talking about 
coding work, rather the work of understanding your field). PHP 
programmers practically popularized the most common attack in the 
world, the SQL-injection attack. Not only is it the most common, it's 
the most easily avoided. That's how shallow most PHP-programmer's 
knowledge is. "Professional" programmers are still assembling SQL 
queries by concatenating strings.

PHP and MySQL are this generation's BASIC, the language that was 
described thusly by the Free Online Dictionary of Computing

BASIC has become the leading cause of brain-damage in proto-hackers. 
This is another case (like Pascal) of the cascading lossage that 
happens when a language deliberately designed as an educational toy 
gets taken too seriously. A novice can write short BASIC programs (on 
the order of 10-20 lines) very easily; writing anything longer is (a) 
very painful, and (b) encourages bad habits that will make it harder to 
use more powerful languages well. This wouldn't be so bad if historical 
accidents hadn't made BASIC so common on low-end micros. As it is, it 
ruins thousands of potential wizards a year.

Replace BASIC with PHP or MySQL and you've got today's most common 
programmer. Worse, the most common programs in existence today mix the 
two in a brain-freezing mixture of stupidity.



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