PHP vs Perl (Put on flame proof gear)

Dave Smith dave at
Sat Mar 18 16:12:14 MST 2006

Ross Werner wrote:
> A bigger difference I think is the functional aspects of Perl (like 
> map() or grep()) which, AFAIK, have no real counterpart in PHP.

Check out PHP's array_walk() and array_search() for arrays at least. 
Perl's grep() and map() are more special though, since they don't seem 
to behave like normal Perl functions (whatever "normal" means for Perl).

The more languages I learn, the more I begin to think that language 
choice is more of a personal preference than an imperative. Java 
programmers are no more likely to fail than Python programmers in my 
experience. It's already been stated once, and I agree: Modern language 
choice has more to do with the language's community and libraries than 
it does with its syntax.

Another point to consider that hasn't been mentioned already is 
deployment. I personally program mainly in C++, with some Perl, PHP, 
Python, and Bash sprinkled in for diversity. For end-user applications, 
C++ is much easier to deploy than all of those languages (Bash excepted, 
maybe). Java lacks a static linker (though it can done with genjar), 
requires a huge JVM, and depends way too much on strange environment 
variables. Python/Perl/PHP require interpreters, and different revisions 
(yes, revisions!) of the interpreters provide differing APIs for some 
very important functions (like settimeout() in Python's socket, and 
different exceptions for the same function).

With C++, I can static link in whatever libraries I want at compile time 
(even the C++ standard library itself!). Cross platform support is only 
as hard as you make it. Macros are very powerful when used wisely. C++ 
is great. Don't dog it, Stuart, you old hack! ;)


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