Computational Class


Programming Paradigms

Defined by


PHP is language defined by a tool built by some guys who saw a Perl interpreter once and thought it was really neat. They thought that it would just rock to make a similar tool that lived in a webserver and whose default operation was print.

"One of the most interesting aspects [of PHP version 2] included the way while loops were implemented. The hand-crafted lexical scanner would go through the script and when it hit the while keyword it would remember its position in the file. At the end of the loop, the file pointer sought back to the saved position, and the whole loop was reread and re-executed."

PHP 5 Power Programming by Andi Gutmans, Stig Sæther Bakken, and Derick Rethans

'Nuff said, I guess.

No, no — you can never say enough about PHP!

I would have to say the single greatest software engineering achievement of PHP is how it taught us all that programming should never be done without having constantly within arm's reach a book with a photo of the author's face on it. Preferably on the cover, and preferably amidst the photos of his or her 8 co-authors. Even more preferably described as a "Cookbook", or a collection of "Hacks" — hey, if it didn't save me from having to understand what I'm doing, I wouldn't have spent the \$30 on it.

However, this is not to diminish the other great advance that PHP has brought us. Truly, the shortest path from point A to point B is to slap some B-coloured paint onto point A and put up a sign next to it saying "Welcome to Point B, Population: You!" And does not PHP help us achieve such a software development style — so effective, so powerful, so downright worthy of this maxim?

Fatal error: require_once() [function.require]: Failed opening required 'config.php' (include_path='.:/usr/local/share/pear') in /internal/directory/structure/home/website/include/oh_drat.php on line 444