In our second interview, we talk to Tom Oram, who works for a small development firm in Wales and Rob Allen, from Nineteen Feet.
These two developers have a solid wealth of PHP experience and knowledge and have helped me refine my ideas and approaches on many occasions. With that, we’ll start with Tom.
What lead you to PHP?
A job. I was offered a job using a language I knew nothing about called PHP. It was PHP version 3 at the time, so much less advanced than it is now. Since then, I’ve been using PHP almost every day of my working life.
What have been the things about PHP that bit you?
In previous versions I’ve had various things which have caused confusion and frustration, most notably references and object copying in PHP 4.
However in PHP 5 I don’t really have anything that really catches me out. There are, however, things which I think could be improved or added to make the language easier and more consistent to use.
What have been the highlights or redeeming features
I guess the best thing about PHP is the speed in which you can get going. You can have an idea and very quickly try it out while at the same time it’s very well suited to larger and more complex projects as well.
What are the compelling PHP features for you?
For me I love interfaces and the fact that static typing is becoming more and more possible while still allowing dynamic typing.
What do you want to see added to the language?
Type hinting for scalar parameter types
Type hinting of return values
Why PHP over Ruby, Python, Go, etc?
Honestly I think they all have their own pros and cons. In many ways I think the other languages are designed better and are more consistent.
However if you’re used to programming in a statically typed language (especially Java) then PHP might seem easier to relate to than Python or Ruby.
Do you see yourself moving to another language in the future?
I use other languages all the time, and if a job is better suited to another language I will use that. However for web-based projects I always reach for PHP first, I currently have no intention of changing that.
Do you have a custom framework/setup?
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