Simon Willison’s Weblog


PHP philosophy, and bundling SQLite

24th June 2003

Here’s a great quote from Rasmus Lerdorf (the creator of PHP) for people who have become disheartened with PHP’s lack of elegance when compared to other languages such as Python:

PHP has never been just a scripting engine with some cool add-ons. PHP has always been the solution to the Web problem with even more bonus add-ons. And as I have said so many times, PHP is not about purity in CS principles or architecture, it is about solving the ugly web problem with an admittedly ugly, but extremely functional and convenient solution. If you are looking for purity you are in the wrong boat. Get out now before you get hit by a wet cat!

I’ve seen this point of view a few times before, but I’ve never seen it summarised in quite such a concise way. For me, it brings a lot of common PHP development issues in to perspective.

Incidentally, Rasmus’ comment comes as part of a thread about the bundling of the full SQLite database engine with PHP5. I’ve talked about SQLite before: it’s a remarkably powerful (and fast) relational database engine designed for embedding in other applications. See Sterling’s blog for more links relating to the conversation.

This is PHP philosophy, and bundling SQLite by Simon Willison, posted on 24th June 2003.

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