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Why is PHP a good first language?

PHP has several advantages over some of the more modern languages for beginners. The first is that it doesn't try to hide how the web works behind a event architecture as ASP.NET does. Instead it encourages you to access the POST and GET variables as an array, which is only a slight improvement on how it is actually stored as a query string.

Unlike more complex languages PHP does not require a programmer to learn complicated things to get going and it provides a lot of high level functions to do things with less code, which means you can easily produce something to show you your progress.

Now PHP has removed or disabled by default some of the bad decisions it made in the past such as Magic Quotes inside post variables and has moved to making the language properly object orientated. Therefore it has the potential to start the programmer off on simple code and move them into the more complicated techniques like object orientation without having to learn a new language.

The only disadvantage to learning PHP is that it allows you to use bad PHP programming techniques as it is a weakly typed language and has a lot of strange equality issues such as when any string is compared to true it then equates to true.

However as your PHP programming experience increases the developer should begin to look and learn at the correct ways of developing PHP.

Written by Dominic Skinner
Last Updated: 2011-10-25 16:00:38