Rasmus Lerdorf is the founder of PHP programming language. We met him during his Keynote at Codemotion Milan, where he answered our questions on the future of PHP 🙂
Hi Rasmus, Coding and Dreaming with PHP for over 20 years: this is the title of your Keynote at Codemotion Milan: would you give us a quick introduction to your talk?
Going all the way back to the beginning of the Web in 1993 and then how it has progressed over the years, I am going to talk about how PHP came to be. That part will be somewhat technical, but in order for someone to work on the same project for over 20 years there has to be something beyond just technical challenges which will lead me to what motivates meand by extension what is likely to motivate other developers.
Starting from a personal project PHP – acronym for personal home page – has begun one of the most common general-purpose programming language for the web. What’s your feeling about it?
It is not really a general-purpose language. It is still heavily web-centric. My personal feelings about it is that it is a useful tool that allows people to do amazing things. But PHP itself is still just a tool. Like a hammer. Not all that exciting. What is exciting is what people build with that hammer.
PHP language gave birth to a large group of frameworks such as Laravel or Symfony – just to name a couple – What is your opinion about them? Is there a framework you use or prefer or would suggest to a PHP developer?
I have been critical in the past about monolithic frameworks that had way to much overhead. We work hard to make PHP fast so it can be frustrating to see it bogged down by excessive framework code. My normal advice is to pick a targeted framework if possible. Like WordPress if your problem looks like a blog, or Drupal if it is a content-management problem. If your problem is more general, choose components from modular frameworks such that you are only using the parts you need. The Composer package manager makes this quite easy to do these days.
Object oriented programming: starting from PHP 5, also PHP moved toward an object oriented paradigm. Which will be next steps in this direction?
OOP in PHP is quite complete. There will be tweaks here and there and we might do something about turning resources into objects at some point in the future, but I see no major changes coming in this area.
What will be the hottest features in PHP 7 in your opinion?
Are you interested in learning more about Rasmus Lerdorf? Check the recording of his inspiring Keynote!