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<PHP is Approaching the End of Its Life Cycle ⁄ >

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PHP while not the top programming language does dominate the web. It is seen as being easy to learn and can be used on any webserver. So PHP is gaining popularity by leaps. But PHP is also approaching the end of its development life cycle. The language itself is close to the point where it can no longer grow.


ASP had one thing over PHP that PHP will never be able to do. ASP could be extended using Visual basic or C++ easily. The extensions are powerful and simple to read. Despite all the griping about "dll hell" ASP extendability is still a useful technology that is still in use today. Yes, I am a Microsoft Certified VB Developer so I am a bit biased. But I still have not found anything in the LAMP world that comes close to the Microsoft IIS, Visual Basic and ASP combo. But the technology has other shortcomings that can not be ignored or overcome.

It is important to remember that Microsoft saw these shortcomings in ASP and recognized the signs of its end life cycle. This is why they went forward with ASP.NET against all the controversy and protesting.

PHP is not easily extendable in comparison to other languages. In fact the only extensions that are getting made are by those that work on the PHP core or are partnered with Zend somehow. Even so very few extensions are being created. PHPs extension repository PECL is gathering cobwebs and dust. PECL is something that could be shutdown and not one PHP developer would protest.

Evidence of the problems with extending PHP is the PHP6 proposal for dropping the dl() which is the function used to run third party extensions within a PHP application. Most web hosting companies do not allow the use of the dl() function. Those that do probably are not worried because even in advanced PHP web development there usually is not one programmer that can make use of it.

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