Just a WTF in the suburban railway

June 24, 2009

Today I was going in the suburban railway, where a flat screen was mounted mainly to show the next stop etc. Apart from this simple task, it also displayed some ads, sponsored news, and stuff. Among these blocks was a survey from “Rankaholics” which asked for the “most beautiful programming languages”. And the result was as follows: (Only the first three ranks were shown.)

  1. PHP: 26 %
  2. C++: 12 %
  3. Python: 11 %

What the…? Why the heck do people think that PHP is beautiful? (Yes, there might be people who might find PHP beautiful, but these do certainly not sum up to 26 %.)

This did not go out of my head, so I googled for Rankaholics at home. It turns out to be yet another Web 2.0 site, this time for user-generated surveys. The cited survey is actually this one (warning: German site). The question for this survey reads:

Programmers are fighting downright guerilla wars, not only between the different OS camps. One should not compare apples and oranges, but now I’m asking the ultimate question: Which is the most beautiful programming or scripting language?

So PHP is only on the top because of the many script kiddies hacking their sites together in PHP. But PHP is really not beautiful, really. Please, everyone, go to this site, get an account (Google Translate is your friend if you don’t speak German) and vote for a language that really is beautiful.


14 Responses to “Just a WTF in the suburban railway”

  1. MasterLu Says:

    Where are LISP/Scheme, Smalltalk, Haskell, Scala?

  2. Kame2 Says:

    Quote from the left site: Teilnehmer 49 (english: participant 49)
    So there are a sum of 12 voters for PHP…

  3. peppelorum Says:

    What, PHP, C++ and Java have really ugly syntax. Maybe they are beatifully constructed but to judge that I hvae to little knowledge.
    My list would be something like: Python, Ruby, Lisp

  4. niko sams Says:

    php is pretty popular and …it just works.

    But it’s NOT beautiful.

  5. Wesley C. Says:

    If it makes you feel any better, “schönsten,” in my rusty german, translates to nicest, not most beautiful. Google phrases it as “the best programming languages.” I assume many would say that PHP is the most useful language, but they’d have to be drunk and quite possibly blind to say it’s the most beautiful. The string functions alone would get it banned from any art school. Anyway, I hope this comment gives you a little more hope for the world.

  6. cmh Says:

    Why does this matter? Why does everyone feel the need to blog about any opinion contrary to their own? Oh my, some people believe than PHP is an aesthetically pleasing language. We must put a stop to this fallacy immediately! Please.

  7. Afief Says:

    He is already in the subway, if they were to display the full ranking LISP would be down there, right beside the center of the earth.

  8. AIM Says:

    Get over it, PHP is the most beatiful, and don’t mix it up in a sentence containing the word hack, cause it’s simply plain stupid.

    Why would C++ for example be better? In my knowledge it’s the most hacky language out there.

    Don’t just say something, back it up.

  9. Emil Sedgh Says:

    The fact that most people write ugly php code and you always read their code doesnt mean php sucks.

    php code can be good and readable.

  10. Michael Says:

    I think php is beautiful 🙂
    It was my first programming language an for me it is beautiful. I’m either a script kiddy nor a beginner. I can write C++ and Python too. For me all these languages are “beautyful” but the language which doesn’t make me thought is php.
    Perhaps the only reason is that it was my first language. Some time ago I had to write something in VBA. This is an ugly language. For me it really sucks.
    I really hate this “no braces” system. If I look on the code it looks like spaghetti all the time no matter if I’m writing clean or not.
    Python uses no brackets too but you are forced to write very clean.
    To my opinion it is also better to not have some features of some programming languages. I really doubt that “goto” or javascripts “object-is-array-is-string-is-allthesame” leads to better code.
    I really like the decisions made by the php developers but as i said before perhaps the only reason is that it was my first language.
    The situation with php scripts is very ugly. There are a million sites with really bad code. Buggy, without exceptions and with no security in mind.
    But I think you can’t blame a language only because its easy to learn. And I think this is the main reason why there is so many bad code out there.
    They made really bad decisions in the past like “register_globals” but things are much better right now i think.

  11. Who cares? Beauty is in the mind of the beholder, anyway.

  12. Chris Says:

    Wot no FORTRAN ?

  13. Angel Blue01 Says:

    Any language that uses braces and semicolons isn’t beautiful to me

    • majewsky Says:

      This is the perfect example for why this survey is unrealistic: I really love C++ for braces and semicolons (it has other severe flaws, however).

      Esben (two comments above) is totally right that beauty is in the mind of the beholder.

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