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PHP is not a Swiss Army Knife, quit calling it that.
Oct 11, 2011 @ 14:53:55

New on the php|architect site today, there's a post from Cal Evans with his opinion of the PHP language - "it's not a Swiss Army Knife, quit calling it that."

I've heard a lot of people compare PHP to a Swiss Army Knife. You know the ones, 5 blades, a corkscrew, a saw...and the obligatory toothpick that you will lose so you might as well take it out now and just throw it away. Why anyone would consider PHP to be like this is beyond me. [...] A Swiss Army Knife undergoes a lot of design work before it is released. It is well designed. [...] A Swiss Army Knife is polished and refined. [...] No, PHP is none of those things, it is not purposefully designed, it is not polished, and it is not bulky.

In his opinion, if PHP was any tool, it'd be more of a screwdriver - the good kind that's stood the test of time and has worked again and again, despite what was demanded. He points out that yes, you can do stupid things with PHP, but that's true of any language - quit blaming the language for your bad mistakes.

PHP is a more widely used language on the web for one very good reason, when you need to get something done, it's always there in your toolbox, ready for you to take out, abuse in new ways and then put away.
tagged: opinion swissarmyknife screwdriver language decisions


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