There’s a lot to hate about PHP.
Maybe that’s harsh: nothing’s perfect, every language has it’s strength and weaknesses, and noone ever suggested using PHP for everything.
Bearing that in mind, I’m using PHP daily, and you get used to a lot of quirks and foibles, and it’s easy to forget how truly shit it is.
Take arrays for example. Please; please take ‘em.
Skipping the “needle, haystack” parameter ordering farce, there are two things I dislike.
- array access warnings
- array access
First, the warnings.
The language designers must have made a choice between checked vs. unchecked array access: should this throw a warning, or shouldn’t it:
$titles = array("Philosopher's Stone", "Chamber of Secrets"); // accessing an element that doesn't exist: $title = $titles;
They decided it should – it’s just a “Notice”; easily hidden with appropriate
php.ini settings. I can live with that; it’s been a while, but doesn’t Java throws a wobbly when you fall off the end of an array too?
My grievance is here, when you make a typo:
$titles = array("Philosopher's Stone", "Chamber of Secrets"); $tiltes = "Prisoner of Azkaban";
No errors, no warnings, no notices. Idiot-fingers just created a new array
$tiltes, assigning a vitally important piece of information to a variable that shouldn’t exist!
That’s a bit stupid, isn’t it? Bit of a design-decision inconsistency?
Onto array access: it would be nice – and when I say nice, I mean obvious, natural and expected – to write:
$head = $dom->get_elements_by_tagname('head');
getElementsByTagName returns an
array; we’re expecting a single
<head> element, so try to skip the bullshit and access it straight-off. But we can’t, because PHP’s compiler can’t handle array-access on function return-values.
Object access? Sure, no problem. Calling a method of an object in an array inside another array is no problem:
But if you want to access an array element returned from a function, choose a different language.