This vital programming language is in a fragile position. New plan aims to help


PHP, one of the most popular programming languages, must be supported by the creation of a new foundation to secure its future.

PHP, created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1995, is a popular language to learn in part because it is used in around 78% of the world’s websites, according to W3Techs data.

Czech Republic-based IDE maker JetBrains announced the new PHP foundation this week. It’s made up of a handful of companies that will help fund future PHP development, including Automattic, Laravel, Acquia, Zend, Private Packagist, Symfony, Craft CMS, Tideways, and PrestaShop, as well as JetBrains.

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While the idea of ​​a PHP foundation has been circulating for years, it was the departure of key PHP contributor Nikita Popov that made the foundation more critical now.

Popov, who has been working on PHP for 10 years, including three years at JetBrains, decided to focus on LLVM.

“In addition to PHP, Nikita has a long history of contributing to Rust and LLVM. And just like PHP, when he moved from a hobby to a real job, Nikita decided to focus his professional activities on LLVM,” said noted JetBrains. He will be leaving JetBrains in December.

“Losing one of the main contributors to PHP is a big blow to the community, as it carries a lot of knowledge and expertise. It puts the language that powers 78% of the web in a fragile position. Not to mention an overwhelming burden on the maintainer, which unfortunately in the free software world often leads to burnout, ”said JetBrains.

A catalyst for the foundation was the small group of developers determined to maintain certain key parts of PHP – a problem raised by PHP contributor Joe Watkins in May.

“It always has been, there are certain parts of the PHP source code that only a few people understand,” Watkins wrote.

“Maybe only two people should wake up this morning and decide that they want to do something different with their lives so that the PHP project lacks the expertise and resources to move it forward in its current form and in the future. current pace Think of the number of people whose livelihoods depend on PHP, the number of mortgages, car payments, school fees, the total payroll, “he added.

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These two people were Dmitry Stogov and Nikita Popov, he said. Both are essential for the maintenance of the PHP JIT compiler, which is essential for the future of PHP and cannot be removed.

The PHP Foundation raises funds through the Open Collective and has so far raised about half of the annual budget of $ 84,000 that it expects to need from the crowdfunding side.

Overall, he plans to raise around $ 300,000 per year, of which a third JetBrains will contribute each year.

“We expect to be able to pay market salaries to core PHP developers. The more we collect, the more developers will be able to work full time on PHP.”


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