I'll start this of by saying I enjoy PHP, for no particular reason, but a few years into the past I looked at some tutorials, and generaly started working with it, having fun and money with it, and it (the last IT in this sentence, I hope :) ) grew on me. and I don't think it's perfection encarnated (not close), but I don't think it's (damn) inferiour to other interpreted programming languages, it's just .. different. Also, my opinion is, most of the time, a humble one, when it's not ... I'll put up a big red sign ;) .So, let's call this a disclamer, and move on with things :D
During my EuroOscon, I was witness to two of the biggest differences between Perl and PHP, the sense of community and the general awe factor (symbolized in Perl-God Larry Wall and the amazing Damian Conway) that Perl has ... and PHP clearly doesn't. Perl members exude pride in it, Larry's State of the Onion talk draw crowds, and Damian is just bloody brilliant :) . The PHP crowd however, is far more shy, people gave me that "oh dear" look when I said I was a PHP user ,the man who invented it, Rasmus Lerdorf, while being apparently open, strikes you as someone who works best alone, unlike Larry Wall, who I caught attending and having a good time in a good deal of presentations, and as for the majority (ok, all) of the PHP presentations they lacked ... well .. a lot of things, they weren't very interesting to tell you the truth.
So what's the point of all of this? Well, the biggest point is that PHP has a bit of distance to go, especially on the human point of view, at least at a "user" level, exacly the level where most of us lie :) . At a depper (developer) level, I believe things are better, since the language is alive and kicking, so is there a problem that needs fixing? Well, probably not, but things could improve :) , for one, altough I do appreciate the effort that PHP (ok, zend has been doing in bringing PHP to the Enterprise (with Oracle, for instance) but what about grass-roots? Well, I googled it and there are some organized attempts, here and there, but in comparison, this is just a whole different game (take Portuguese representation for one) .
So what's there to do? Well, we're not saving the world or anything, but I've been entertaning the notion that change starts small, and o a very small level, I've been entertaining the thought that MAYBE some of you feel the same, and that we could actually do something about it :) . Think I'm crazy or just plain blind? Say so on the comment box :), I dare you ;).