I recall several years ago a discussion on #phpc on Freenode IRC about the need for white papers on the use of PHP in the enterprise/business world. These white papers would serve as a sort of advocacy for PHP, but more important than advocating the use of PHP, they would help answer questions about PHP that management types have. The white papers would discuss the benefits of using PHP, highlighting its strengths and even noting its limitations. In short, it would answer the question: why is PHP suited (or not suited) for the task we need to complete? I was particularly interested in these white papers for Atlanta PHP to use and distribute to the local business community.
Well, three years have passed, and I don’t believe anyone has ever published any white papers on PHP, giving it a business case, and while we have companies like Zend, OmniTI, and eZ Systems providing support for PHP, I haven’t seen any documentation from them like this. So, last Thursday when Stuart Herbert announced his Google Group for developing a business case for PHP, I took notice and joined.
While I know that this group isn’t trying to advocate the use of PHP over other languages, I hope that it can generate white papers that will explain the benefits/advantages of PHP and why it is well-suited for particular tasks. Also, I think these white papers would do well to outline how PHP can work alongside other languages like Java, and how PHP has excellent support for XML and SOAP, making it a good choice to communicate with legacy/disparate systems.
I encourage those companies who use PHP and have an investment in the language to take part in this effort.