Rasmus Lerdorf on the future of PHP

Rasmus Lerdorf, the founder of PHP programming language, will be Keynote speaker at Codemotion Milan 2015.

We can’t wait to attend his keynote and his talk, on Saturday 21st, but, meanwhile, we leak out some answers he gave to our questions on PHP :)

Hi Rasmus, Coding and Dreaming with PHP for over 20 years: this is the title of your Keynote at Codemotion Milan 2015: would you give us a quick introduction to your talk?

I am going to talk about how PHP came to be. Going all the way back to the beginning of the Web in 1993 and then how it has progressed over the years. 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 me
and by extension what is likely to motivate other developers.

Starting form 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 Synfony – 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?

The performance.

Thank you very much to Rasmus Lerdorf to have kindly answered our questions!
See you at Codemotion Milan 2015!


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