Perspectives on the future of PHP
by Jeffrey McGuire
Technology as empowerment
Angie “Webchick” Byron, Drupal core committer, put something into words in a Spring 2014 podcast interview that sums up my thoughts on how we, as creators of software, enable and empower others to do good in the world. Paraphrasing Angie: “We make really abstract complicated programming concepts accessible to non-developers, available to them by clicking a few buttons, without having to understand all the code that comes underneath it. What I get really excited about is the idea that we create really easily accessible things to help those people who are on the front lines trying to make the world a better place. We can build technology to enable that.”
Announcing the Future of PHP guest blog series
As part of the LAMP stack, PHP is a dominant, open source web technology and it is getting more powerful all the time: convergence through technologies like Composer and the PSR standards is bringing once disparate communities together. Multiple “meta projects” like Drupal are adopting code from around the PHP and free-and-open-source spheres. Contribution to one project has become contribution to whole ecosystems. After getting a lot of great attention for the 2013 series we called “The Power of PHP”, it’s time to talk about ... The Future of PHP!
Where do we do all this? Governments, enterprises, non-profits, schools, banks, and space programs run PHP applications of every shape, size, and purpose. Many – maybe most – of us in the world of open source software are idealists. Since PHP powers 80% of the web today, we can also say pragmatically that we are perfectly positioned to have the chance – and perhaps the responsibility – to make a difference through PHP. But how do we get there? Where is “there”? What are the tools available to us now and around the corner?
This series of articles by experts from around the PHP ecosystem will investigate "The Future of PHP" from a broad range of angles, perspectives, and depths. From trends, to the so-called "PHP Renaissance", to the nuts and bolts of various functionality (PHP 5.x v. 5.y ...), to the brave new world of performant PHP (HHVM, PHPNG, oh my!), to inter-project cooperation (Drupal + Symfony, anyone?) and functional interaction (Composer, PSR); we’ll take a look at all this and more.
In the next months, I am looking forward to sharing with you posts and podcasts featuring Lukas Smith, Ryan Weaver, Larry Garfield, Lorna Jane Mitchell, Richard Miller, Chris Cornutt, Chris Hartjes, Fabrice Bernhard, Michelangelo van Dam, and perhaps a surprise guest or two!
Image by Elliott White III: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eliw/8806067761/in/photostream/