PHP, Ruby and Python confrontation. Who is winning?

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PHP, Ruby and Python confrontation

In this post I suggest to find out which of the best-known programming languages is the most popular and how deserved this popularity is. There will be three languages under the microscope of our readers today, namely, PHP, Ruby and Python.

Having looked into the history everyone certainly notes that all three languages have a long way of improvement. They were developed in the beginning of 90-ies of the last century: the Python was released in 1991, PHP and Ruby were issued in 1995. The purposes of the founders were similar - to create the most functional, flexible and user-friendly language. But the process of development was different in details and this influenced the results of the creators’ work. When working on Python the emphasis was given to efficiency and reliability of the code; the creators of PHP sought to gain a language ideal for web programming and for creation of dynamic Web pages, and the Ruby language was intended as a flexible and easy in programming. It is necessary to pay tribute to developers of all these languages, because they have achieved their goals - their developments have got a lot of fans. A huge number of well-known sites are written using these languages. For example, the creators of Groupon and Twitter preferred Ruby, developers of Google and Youtube were fans of Python, and PHP has attracted owners of Wikipedia and Facebook.

The most accurate picture of the superiority of a particular language can be obtained by studying its popularity among the people most closely associated with the use of various languages in their work, i.e. among programmers. It turns out that the easiest language to learn for a beginner is Python due to its simple syntax; it is very easy to study PHP for those who are familiar with C; and for quick understanding of Ruby it is desirable to know some other languages.

Researches and surveys have shown that the popularity of PHP is almost twice as high as popularity of Python, and four times greater than popularity of Ruby. But at the same time, Ruby has not lost its position in the ranking of languages for the last year, while the rates of PHP and Python fell down and have worsened their occupied positions.

As Ruby has saved its position in the popularity rank, it’s natural that this language is the least discussed in comparison with the other two (only 4% of the total). It is spoken 2 times more about PHP, and most controversial is Python, that is a leader by this comparison criteria.

Customers also reflect the popularity of languages, as they often look for professionals with specific knowledge while searching for performers. Thus, monitoring of applications for software showed that more than 20% of studied proposals mean a developer’s knowledge in PHP. A Ruby and Python hardly overcome a three-percent barrier. These studies lead to the conclusion that the most famous and close to people who are not related to the programming is PHP language. As for the developers, most of them devoted their professional life to PHP. For example, about 20 thousand people among users of social business network Linkedin have indicated knowledge of PHP in their profile, and the rate for Ruby and Python is just in the range of one thousand.

Thus, PHP language has the highest rates in most of the considered parameters that indicates its greatest popularity in comparison with the other two considered languages. But based on the facts above, it cannot be unambiguously declared that PHP has an undisputed advantage over Python and Ruby. Competent developers choose languages for projects basing in the first instance on the purpose and requirements of the development, and a variety of languages with their features contribute the correctness of that choice.

Topics: Software , Web