It's the wizard, not the wand.


I'm reading this morning and I come across a post about a thing that somebody wrote called (or subtitled, I'm not sure) Node.php. Anyone who doesn't understand what it is by looking at the name wouldn't understand my explanation for what it does, so whatever.

For the non-programmers --

It's written in a language called PHP. PHP, despite being the backbone for the server side component of a huge number of the largest websites in existence (as well as this tiny little one), is almost universally derided in hacker circles. It's sort of like the Alvarez guitar of programming languages. No "real professional" guitar player would be caught dead playing anything but a Les Paul or a Strat, so the Alvarez is widely acknowledged to be a "starter" guitar, much like PHP is "starter" language to some people.

The problem is that this is all a bunch of pseudo-religious hokey, and (many) hackers are more vain, egotistical, and prone to engaging in flame wars over their chosen tools than even musicians. Any actual real professional musician knows good and damn well that he can get a beautiful sound out of an Alvarez and that only rookies have the time to make fun of each other for their choice because the pros are too busy creating.

I typically play a plywood Chinese bass that's been cut up into little pieces and I get a damn good sound out of it. Is the sound better than my carved bass? Is it easier to play? No. Does that stop me from rocking the joint with it? No.

So why in the face of so much evidence that PHP is a perfectly useful language to a vast number of programmers of all skill levels around the world does it garner such derision? Someone please explain it to me as if you were trying to convince a non-programmer that they should care because the whole thing seems a little immature.