United we stand, divided we fall: proposal to split PHP into two separate languages is unanimously rejected
A proposal suggesting that PHP should be separated into two languages has been rejected by all fifty-three PHP members that govern the future of PHP development. The original proposal requested that a new PHP dialect, dubbed P++, be created to add new features and improvements to modernize the PHP language. Development would continue on both PHP and P++, with PHP preserving backwards compatibility with the entire PHP ecosystem.
PHP is a divisive language, with many developers bemoaning its slow evolution. While many developers prefer PHP as a dynamic language with an emphasis on simplicity, other developers that support the creation of P++ hope to create a dialect that is strictly typed, a significant deviation from PHP’s long-standing philosophy. Creating a new strictly typed dialect, according to these developers, would help them add more complex and advanced features. P++ would also be able to carry on development with less baggage, removing old or difficult to maintain features of PHP in favor of faster innovation.
P++ would live alongside PHP and share much of the same code, but would likely face a number of serious obstacles. The PHP development team would still need to maintain two versions of certain parts of the codebase. And, while developers would install both PHP and P++ as a single language, most development teams would likely want to pick one for most of their development. For teams with legacy PHP code, converting existing PHP code to P++ would be a nontrivial task and PHP tools would likely not support P++ at launch.
Want to get more of these in your inbox?
Subscribe for weekly updates from the Software team.