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

Peter Sawczynec ps at
Thu Jun 8 07:38:33 EDT 2006

Forward progress in any field, even the hi tech, is actually a very
incremental uptick of new knowledge and technique applied on top of existent
knowledge. Great creators in every field will readily admit that they stand
on the shoulders of previous giants. As we do even with PHP.

Therefore, I believe there is nothing, not even a spate of misapplied
technique that cannot be refocused and refined within a single generation of
new PHP product and developers.

Just as PHP is actually a compendium of many fine minds at work delivering
slices of solution, then the necessary refocus of all PHP programming on the
more enterprise-ready, flexible, matured OOP technique should start right
here, right now with any and all of us.

To the tech writers, to the tutors, to the paid consultants brought in to
teach a team, to the book writers, to the module creators, to the project
leaders, to the book editors, the conference leaders, the industry leaders,
and the gurus that watchfully circle the fire:

I believe that we can all enhance our product with a single well-applied
master stroke: Start teaching the OOP paradigm, first thing, right out of
the box. Make it the first essential construct that needs to be bridged to
youthful developers. No more first step "echo 'hello world';" examples,
instead go straight to something more like: "class output{ function
present_output($matter){ return $matter; } } $msg = new output();
$msg->present_output('Hello World'); echo $msg;".

Why not segue OOP examples and techniques into all your new instructional
material right now. 

I believe that within 1 - 2 years we could have almost all PHP product
totally converted to OOP, have new people coming in ready set for OOP work,
and have a giant pool of teaching material and product that is all OOP. 

Like others here note, I do independent programming for the certain
freedoms, direct hands-on responsibility, the pretty fine earning potential,
and, yes, even the satisfaction of helping a business use their resources
more competitively and more cost-effectively.

So if we want i) an optimized PHP product, ii) new developers ready set to
go straight to OOP enterprise dev, and iii) developers and the product gain
more share of mind, more market share, and ultimately more dollars
potential: it is time to switch more and more to the OOP paradigm from the
get go.

To those unthanked early adapters already implementing OOP in your
instructional material, we salute you.
Warmest regards,
Peter Sawczynec,
Technology Director
_Design & Interface
_Database Management
ps at



-----Original Message-----
From: talk-bounces at [mailto:talk-bounces at] On
Behalf Of leeeyerman at
Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2006 10:56 AM
To: talk at
Subject: [nycphp-talk] Why the light has gone out on LAMP

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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