Why is PHP so successful?

I'm now hosting and maintaining a PHPBB forum boards for some friends, and each day I'm more angry with PHP.

It's widely used, mostly in "open-source environments", because as it runs under Linux and supports MySQL,it's very common to see free hosting services. And because of that, there are many open-source packages with complete portals, forums, even CMS sites.

All of this is great,except that PHP is very similar to ASP 3.0 and JSP: It allows really bad coding habits. It supports classes (or so I've been told), but the truth is that if you download and look at phpBB, phpNuke or PostNuke sources, you'll find a web coding design from the old times of ASP 3.0...

I'm quite surprised how bad is to include a MOD/component to phpBB. You have to edit the sources in many places, and the instructions are just a list of "open this file, search for xxx, add after it this lines", and shit like that.

I don't mind if it's free or not, but it even has dangerous security information disclosures; Today the DB access went down for a few minutes, and phpBB was telling everybody not only my DB name, but the DB access user, the file where the system was attempting to connect (with the full physical path!) and even the line of the error!!!

It's a shame because the language may really be good, but everytime I have to do something with it, reminds me how good was my decision to switch to .NET and OOP Web Design (available too on Java).

So, why is PHP so successful? I think that it's just and only because it's free and can be used in free OSes. What do you think?

Posted by Kartones on 2007-05-01

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