However, I *also* think that it is ethically bankrupt for me to impose my will on the mother.
Funding abortions with tax revenue likewise imposes pro-choice advocates' will on taxpayers. Thus it is ethically bankrupt to require employers to pay for abortifacient means of birth control if they already pay for other, non-abortifacient means. And as I understand it, Hobby Lobby was paying for condoms, diaphragms, the pill, the patch, vasectomies, and more.
What's an example of a (default) dynamic language doing comparing right?
Python at least doesn't aggressively try to convert strings that look like numbers to numbers to compare them numerically.
What's an example of an existing language with decently named library parts?
Python adopted PEP 8 fairly early on.
"Versions change semantics": That's another trade-off in improving the language versus backward compatibility. I'm not sure I'd classify that as summarily "bad".
Python allows each module to specify its own semantic versioning either with new syntax (such as with or new-style classes) or, when old syntax would get new semantics, with from __future__ statements.
The naming convention makes reading code a lot more readable
With a try/catch you can catch every failure, not just one per line, with a single handler.
And with returning false, you can handle failures even within a generator expression. In Python, statements can do things that expressions cannot, and one of these things is try. This means if you include a function call that may raise an exception in a generator expression, you need to make and name a separate function that tries the call and translates the exception to a sentinel value indicating that a particular call in the list failed. If you're using the warning-to-ErrorException snippet from PHP's manual, then @expression behaves as if there were an inline try/catch: exceptions when you want them, nulls when you don't.
Point me to a rebuttal that is more than essentially "You're right, but it's fine and everyone else should be totally okay with it broken this way" and maybe I'll change my mind.
I wasn't trying to change anyone's mind about PHP being broken. I was only trying to point out that not everybody agrees that PHP is as broken as "fractal" rant author believes it is.
i'm not sure how you can possibly have read this thread and concluded that only six items from the original lengthy post are valid.
I admit to having grouped similar points from "fractal" together to make the strongest half dozen talking points.
After writing tons of Java code that [checks a string variable for both null and equality to the empty string]
Not all implicit conversions introduce problems. Casting to a Boolean type, as the if statement does, is fine with the caveat that which values are considered "truthy" or "falsey" depends on the language. For example, PHP's ordinary bool cast rules are pretty much the same as Python's, except that the string "0" is falsey in PHP but truthy in Python. C and Java have their own definition: a nonzero primitive or a nonnull pointer is truthy. I find these implicit conversions, as well as some language-specific rule for implicit conversion to the language's string type, to make sense in general.
The practical problem with how PHP handles comparisons comes when it performs implicit conversions that make little sense. Strings more often than not end up converted to numbers before they're compared.
For the parse errors, you mean you don't do precommit hooks to do php -l to validate your checkins and don't have continuous integration setup?
You are correct that a lot of people do not. For one thing, they may lack the money to lease both a testing environment and a production environment from the hosting provider. Or they may lack access to server logs because the hosting provider doesn't provide server logs to customers on plans below the VPS tier.
For the undefined functions, if you're doing OOP, the language has had great support for autoloading classes for over a decade
Autoload failures caused fatal errors until 5.3, and some hosting providers were still on 5.2 after 5.4 came out.
The only valid complaint is that the major version isn't incremented often enough to clue people in that there are potential breaking problems.
True. But there are several cases in Python where the interpreter implements both sets of semantics and allows each source code file to select one or the other. Some, such as the division semantics, use the from __future__ statement; others, such as the parallel "classic classes" and "new classes" in the 2.x series, use other syntactic triggers. And unlike Python, where the initial #!/usr/bin/env line selects the interpreter version, the choice of PHP version depends on a server configuration that's often out of the hosting subscriber's control.
PHP is basically a thin wrapper for C libraries.
Thin wrappers are better when they're namespaced. Namespaces allow providing both traditional names and PEP 8-compliant names without overly polluting the global namespace.
"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev