[nycphp-talk] Why the light has gone out on LAMP
leeeyerman at aol.com
leeeyerman at aol.com
Tue Jun 6 10:56:29 EDT 2006
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
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
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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