jschueler at eloquency
Feb 29, 2012, 6:04 AM
At least one person in yesterday's discussion wondered if mod_perl might
be obsolete given the overwhelming dominance of PHP. I just want to share
a few observations.
When someone asks me the difference between PHP and Perl. I usually
respond that the PHP's core API is bigger by a magnitude of 2. I
estimate the core PHP api is around 10K functions.
Fundamentally, the difference is one of entropy, or irreversibility.
It's trivial to implement the PHP API as a perl module- which with a
little extra parsing, could even handle the syntax differences.
Conversely, it seems nearly impossible to map all the perl idioms to PHP
functions. A perl standard would accomodate the PHP framework. PHP
accomodates nothing else. I'm pretty sympathetic when PHP evangelists
discuss the advantages of standardization, but that seems beside the
The current trend is towards bigger and bigger API's. Frameworks like
Joomla and Drupal are falling over each other to push more and more API's
out to their developers. There's an obvious advantage to the publishing
and training support businesses; it might even explain where all this
momentum originates. But there's bound to be a backlash.
Almost all the best practices I've learned in the past 20 years are being
ridiculed as old-fashioned. I might as well be evangelizing a punch card
IDE. I'll be the first to admit that I'm plying my trade in a backwater.
Here, PHP is the only game in town, and I feel like some old guy crashing