PHP (Hypertext Processor) is an open source, object-oriented interpreted programming language. It is one of the most preferred languages for web development. Fast speed and dynamic website management are its distinguishing features. It is a loosely typed language and platform independent as well. Python on the other hand too is an open source interpreted high level programming language. That means both the languages offer similar levels of ease in programming. This article helps to discover more about the attributes and features of PHP and Python, and assists programmers to compare PHP v/s Python.
While comparing both the languages there are certain parameters that are to be considered. These parameters help analyse the performance of both languages relative to the specific outputs. The parameters that will be discussed in this article are performance, platform dependence, level of difficulty, packages, dynamic typing, integrating with other languages, server support,security, control and community.
COMPARING PHP VS PYTHON
PHP being a dynamic interpreted language does not have the compiling job and is directly read by the machine when run. Every time it is run it is read afresh by the machine. So it’s actually the speed factor that dominates the performance aspect. But thanks to the new version, that has multiplied the speed of PHP. It manages to have an excellent speed and works well while performing the specified task. Python on the other hand is really versatile and easy going but it lags behind PHP when it comes to speed.
PHP has a diverse base of platforms including Linux, Windows, Unix and Mac OSX. It is because it requires a web server for running and is independent of the OS. While python too is a platform independent language, it uses PVM for converting codes to machine codes. So here both the languages offer a wide base of operating systems.
Level of difficulty
Python unequivocally is easier to learn and execute. Programmers usually prefer to begin programming with python. Although it is easy to learn for the beginners, it is equally a tough job to master programming in python. But with practice it is all achievable. On the other hand, PHP originally developed as a personal homepage tool was not intended to be a general purpose programming language. This made it a bit difficult to learn. So if the question is PHP vs. Python, when it comes to ease of learning, python wins the race.
Python has a great range of libraries supporting it. These libraries can be accessed by the developers for performing innumerable operations with great ease. It is one of the distinguishing features of python. However, PHP does not come with a lot of libraries that support diverse functions but it has a core Standard PHP library (SPL) along with some other popular libraries. This narrow support of libraries however, does not affect the popularity of PHP. Even the language behind Wikipedia is PHP.
In compile-time coding it is mandatory to specify the variables, but the dynamic typing feature makes it easier for developers by cutting the variable specification. The variables in such a method of typing are interpreted on run time. Both the python and the PHP programming languages follow the dynamic method of typing.
Server support is a very crucial aspect and the larger the number of servers that support a language the more popularity it gains. Server support enhances and broadens the applicability of the language, which results in widespread usage of the language. This is quite a reason behind PHP being the developing language for Wikipedia development. Both the languages secure a great support of web servers. Looking at python the most popularly used servers are Apache HTTPD and Django. On the other hand popular open source servers used with PHP are WAMP, XAMPP, MAMP and LEMP among others
On the question of security, python grabs the medal! Python is renowned for the security that it offers. Security is not generally a concern of programming languages, the reason why most of the programming languages are insecure. Its security feature helps it stand out from the rest of the languages. On the other hand PHP does not provide a tight security against threats. Its security is quite conventional and requires installing additional programmes for ensuring code safety.
Control over the websites
One of the reasons behind the stronghold of PHP over python in web application programming is the strong control that it offers over the websites. The developers can conveniently change or update the websites using PHP.
PHP has incredible community support owing to the long period of time it has been in the market. PHP community support adds to its other features and makes it more accessible and popular. Python too enjoys great community support. Due to its active community support it is one of the most popular and most preferred programming languages.
In the battle of PHP vs. Python, after going through the above comparison, readers might have got a rough idea of which language suits their needs better. It is not necessary that everyone compares two languages on the same parameters or that everyone has similar demands from a programming language. These were some of the general parameters based on the most popular demands of the programmers. Going through these parameters one can conclude that both python and PHP play on similar grounds. However there are some aspects where python outperforms PHP. So it wouldn’t be illegitimate to call python the winner. But there are definitely exceptions to it. Python can be a good choice for beginner or intermediate level programmers but if one has adequate experience in PHP, they don’t even need to look around and can continue working with it confidently.