In Volker Dusch's latest post he makes a suggestion to the PHP community as a whole - stop pretending PHP is a good language and admit its flaws where it has them.
I'm currently observing two kinds of discussions around the core PHP language. A couple of folks say "Sure the language sucks but look at all the amazing stuff we build with it!" and the other camp goes "Look at all the amazing stuff we build - The language can't be that bad!". The main point here is that the PHP applications that have been created over the years are incredible. [...] The astonishing dominance of PHP in the Web doesn't come from the fact that it is a good language, it comes from the fact that it allowed people to create and maintain things that are really useful.
He gets into some of the "it's not okay when..." kinds of things that PHP allows, things like:
- Presenting the user with the "White Page of Death" when the script dies because of an error
- Output of basic operations could depend on the environment it's run in
- Problems with type hinting
- Not being able to talk to two backend sources at once
He also suggests a few things that you can do to help the situation including not sending angry emails to the internals mailing list and contribute back with something useful instead (like RFCs).
The claim that "PHP is this awesome enabling language that let's you focus on doing awesome things" doesn't hold up when all of the gains are wasting dealing with the obtuse errors.