Ben Ramsey has a new post to his site where he reviews the "eras" of PHP that it's gone through in the past few years and ends up with what he calls the "Era of Testing" - the recent strong push that's being made to promote and encourage unit testing in PHP applications.
Over the past decade, the PHP community has progressed through a handful of distinct eras that have each been marked by a focus on specific best practices. This is most evident in the types of talks presented at conferences and user groups and in the articles published by php|architect magazine, PHPDeveloper.org, and the blogs of those whose feeds are distributed through Planet PHP. In thinking through this, I’ve come up with the following eras I think we, the PHP community, have had over the last ten years. These are in a general order, but eras overlap, and some have lasted longer than others, so there’s not a distinct beginning or end to each.
He briefly covers five different areas that PHP has evolved in over the past years: the shift to OOP, web application security, framework use, coding standards/organization and the push for better testing.
With the coming of the testing era, I’m seeing a lot of maturity in our community. The code we write is getting better. We’re following standards and best practices. We’re implementing a lot of good design principles. [...] I think the decade since PHP 5 was released has brought us to a great place as a community. [...] With each new era, we can’t forget what we’ve learned, though. We must continue teaching and revising these best practices as we learn more.