I attended this weekend my first Ruby conference, Ruby Lugdunum in Lyon. Besides cool talks and the fun of meeting people like Nick, Blake, or Laetitia, my friend Camille & I did a surprise lightning talk about how PHP is better than Ruby. Here are the slides and a more detailed transcript:

  1. A lot of free hosts: it’s easy to find a PHP host, you just have to google “free php host” and you find a ton of free PHP/MySQL hosts
  2. Bigger community: The PHP community is really huge, and it’s really easy to find a PHP developer
  3. Easy to learn: Most people in the IT field have some notions of C. Adding a $ before every variable, forgetting about typed variables, and you’re good to go. It’s even simpler if you’ve done some Perl too.
  4. We know when the line ends thanks to semicolons
  5. Big websites use PHP: Facebook, Flickr, Wikipedia, and I should add Overblog because I used to work there. All these websites use PHP, and it scales pretty well.
  6. Mark Zuckerberg uses PHP: The richest programmer in the world (well, he’s not a real programmer anymore, but he used to be) is a PHP developer, so PHP can actually make you rich!
  7. Typing skills: due to a more “verbose” syntax, PHP improves your typing skills. This way, any PHP developer types faster than any Ruby one. And this is very important, because you chat faster so you spend more time actually working! ;)
  8. Real blog engines & CMS: While PHP has WordPress, Drupal and Joomla (to mention the most famous ones), Ruby/Rails’ most famous products are Mephisto, Radiant and Locomotive. I think we can objectively say is that there’s a clear lack of features/plugins on the Ruby based systems, probably due to the smaller community?
  9. Pear is better than Rubygem: OK, this was just a troll, to make the audience feel hurt and yell “BOOOO” very hard…
  10. … Which leads us to our last slide: PHP dev have sense of humor ;)

Of course, saying that PHP is so much better than Ruby is pure bullshit, and this talk is, as I hope you guessed, a big big sarcasm. Trolling apart, I think this talk is also quite interesting, since somehow it shows some of the weaknesses of Ruby and its ecosystem.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun preparing and doing the actual lightning talk, and I can’t wait to create another funny one with Camille, even if some people don’t seem to understand our offbeat humor ;)

Slides by Camille Roux & Bastien Labelle: Why PHP is (so much) better than Ruby?