There are plenty of holy wars on the web that argue about superiority of PHP over Perl and vice versa. There are many people who prefer PHP, and there are many others who prefer Perl. I am, of course, in the Perl camp. I have programmed both Perl and PHP over some time, and there is no doubt in my head that Perl is way better than PHP as a language. The only point that I like about PHP is the how mod_php works. mod_php is a PHP module for Apache web server, for those who don’t know.
Anyway, back to the subject. I came across an excellent document titled “PHP IN CONTRAST TO PERL“. It summarizes the benefits of Perl compared to PHP nicely and clearly. It also links to a number of other resources on the subject, as well as provides the summary of those resources. Really neat paper and a must read for anyone who has or will have to deal with Perl and/or PHP.
There is an article at kuro5hin.net called “Switching from PHP to Zope/Python“. This should provide for an interesting read for all those poor PHP souls.
As for me – I use Perl and I am not planning to change any time soon. There are two major bonuses in Perl for my programming tasks:
- CPAN – Comprehensive Perl Archive Network. This is a huge collection of modules that help me to avoid as much programming as possible. And that’s pretty much.
- Perl’s scalability to all sorts of tasks. I am using Perl for one-line long utility scripts, log analyzing, mail searching, graph building, database maintenance, web programming and anything else that pops up. The broadness of tasks makes PHP way underpowered and Java way too complex. There are tools that might come handy (like Python), but why change if Perl works for me?
Said that, I am familiar with other languages, since it’s not rare at all that I need to patch someone else’s code. PHP being a widely used language for web development comes to my hands pretty often. My Python familiarity is more on the system level and GUI programming.