REPOST: Re: Python Popularity: Questions and Comments

Cameron Laird claird at
Mon Dec 31 11:36:38 EST 2001

In article <2$--$$_----_-%$%%$>,
Ron Stephens  <rdsteph at> wrote:
>Hmm, it is absolutely amazing how fast PHP got so popular, isn't it? PHP has quite a few more
>SourceForge projects than Python, as many as Perl in fact (about 2700 I believe, compared to
>Python's 1300). Also, there are more PHP books in most book stores than Python books.
>Does anyone know how old PHP is? I'd really like to know. I have not been aware of PHP for much
>more than two years, but then I wasn't paying any attention before that. When was PHP "launched"?
>How did it grow so fast? Can the Python community learn anything from this phenomenon? Can we even
>incorporate some of the good points from PHP for web programming into Python, or Python add-on
Rasmus Lerdorf hacked out the first PHP in 1994.  More
information of this sort is available at <URL: > and elsewhere.

Keys to PHP's growth:
1.  The explosion of the Web.  PHP is crafted
    to make (particular styles of) Dynamic Web
    pages easy, and lots of people know that's
    what they want.
2.  No-charge, open-source licensing, ...
3.  Early adoption of PHP as an Apache project.
    This was a bit of an historic accident, and
    it remains true that PHP usage estimates
    are often inflated by counts of Apache
    installations with unused-but-present PHP

Cameron Laird <Cameron at>

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