Then there are the weird details. If
x is a string that holds the character for
x+1 will produce the string
x-1 will produce the number zero. Does anyone remember the difference between
Language we love to hate: PHP
It’s not really a computer language. It’s more of a tool for adding a bit of smarts to static HTML. You can store information in a database and concatenate it with static tags. There might be a few more features, but it seems like all we do with PHP is glue together strings we grab from a database.
Arguing about toyish code or baby syntax isn’t worth the trouble. Most of the Web is built with PHP. Between WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, most of the content on the Web is delivered through PHP code. Then there’s a little thing known as Facebook that was written in PHP and continues to suck up a larger and larger percentage of the time of people “on the Web.” We should be happy that Facebook built the HipHop Virtual Machine, inspiring Zend to create PHP 7.0. These new PHP engines are often twice as fast, an irresistible speed bump that will save millions in electricity and ensure we’ll write PHP long into the future.
Language we love to hate: Cobol
Cobol began in 1959, long before most of us were born. It should be obsolete with its complex syntax filled with hundreds of restricted words. Yet the Cobol lovers keep generating new versions, borrowing ideas from other languages, and bolting them onto a frame that’s almost 60 years old. Did you know there’s something called Cobol 2014? It includes dynamic tables, an idea that people have been trying to get into the language since 2002. That’s not all that’s new. Did you think it died in the ’70s? You are so wrong.
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