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Robert Peake's Blog:
Does Popularity Matter?
January 06, 2006 @ 07:08:53

In his latest blog entry, Robert Peake looks at something that PHP is certainly susceptible to, given that other languages like JSP, ASP, and Ruby are always being compared to it - the popularity of the language. Robert asks "Does Popularity Matter?"

Nexen recently posted a great survey on PHP usage (perhaps they beat NetCraft to the punch this time?). We've seen these trends before: PHP is on the steady rise for numbers of installations. Coupled with Apache, it is the most popular web development platform around.

My question is: does that really matter?

By "matter" I mean, "does it affect PHP's credibility in a positive way?"; and also: "does it prove anything?"

He wonders if the numbers that show on the surveys are PHP usage because people want to use it, or if it's simply that it's preinstalled in so many places these days (and has a low "barrier to entry") that it's being mistaken for popularity. He also mentions something that I think we all, as PHP developers and ambassadors, should think about:

So, rather than the community resting on its collective laurels for one more year of increased installations, I encourage us all to consider what can be done to promote PHP through education, standards, and best practices to its rightful place as much, much more than simply a popular web development language.

1 comment voice your opinion now!
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