In light of this, comparing PHP vs. JS doesn’t look like matching up apples and oranges anymore but becomes a necessary preliminary stage to turn the choice of a programming language for a particular project into a knowledgeable decision.
Brief Overview of Each Language
PHP is now interpreted as a recursive acronym standing for Hypertext Preprocessor. But at the time of its invention (and that was back in 1994), it was short for Personal Home Page tool. During over a quarter of the century, it has expanded its sway, becoming the principal technology for the back-end development of digital products. In fact, more than three-fourths of all web pages of different nature (regular sites as well as picture galleries, login pages, database-driven sites) are built with it, including such heavy-duty websites as Wikipedia or Facebook.
The open-source character of this language enables PHP-powered solutions to be run on all existing operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux, UNIX). PHP instances aren’t limited to websites only but also include servers (MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB) and Content Management Systems (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla).
JS vs. PHP: Zooming in on Similarities
Given these similarities, the languages can become a powerful software development booster when used in combination. If programmers apply PHP for back-end creation and Java for the front-end design, they get access to a solid number of libraries, a huge codebase of frameworks, and powerful community support. The combo brings maximum value in developing iGaming sites that can host a range of highly responsive online games.
PHP vs. Java: Differences Pinpointed
While comparing these languages, it makes sense to go through the essential aspects of their usage and functioning.
Both languages are cross-platform, which makes them excellent tools for building applications running on different operating systems. Mostly, such solutions are web apps, though Java and PHP are good for mobile apps too.
The roster of technologies PHP can play well with is quite limited. These are HTML and the already mentioned components of the LAMP stack. Plus, PHP can be extended by two specialized package managers (Composer and PEAR). Such a meager list would make the usage of PHP rather deficient, but for the existence of CMSs (Drupal or WordPress) that dramatically facilitate web development efforts.
This quality is largely conditioned by the concurrency each language allows. Simply put, it means that all threads start and end at the same time, so the task isn’t accomplished unless the processing of sub-threads and threads is over.
PHP is everything Java is not. It is multi-threaded and synchronous, which spells I/O blocking operation pattern. As a result, any next code line can’t be executed until the previous one is, which hinders the speed considerably.
This is the essence of any communication system, and it holds the same importance for programming languages as well. Its organization ultimately determines how simple or complex a language is and exposes the unique approach utilized to reach the project goal. Let’s have a quick look at the most prominent syntactic features each language manifests.
- Both languages have a complete gamut of bracket types, such as round, square, and curly.
- The sets of arrays each language employs vary as well because PHP allows both numeric and associative (aka key-value pairs) arrays, while Java lacks the latter. In it, in case you want to employ one, you must leverage JSON strings instead. However, in both languages, arrays begin with “0”.
- There is a notable difference between the languages in the treatment of objects and arrays. In PHP, objects and arrays are two separate entities that require distinct syntactic structures to be used in. In Java, they are items of identical order, so they can be switched at will. Moreover, an object can be referenced as an array and vice versa.
- Boolean variables get different treatments, too. The word “true” can be spelled either in lowercase or uppercase in PHP but in JS, only the lowercase word is recognized and accepted.
8. Runtime Environments
Evidently, neither PHP nor Java has a decisive superiority over the other, exposing both merits and demerits, so the choice of the programming language should be made with an eye to the project you are going to implement.
As a seasoned IT vendor with a plethora of successfully completed software products in the portfolio, Forbytes has figured out where each language is more efficient.
- Express.js, Node.js, MongoDB, or similar server technologies;
- React.js, Ember.js, Angular.js, Backbone.js, or other front-end frameworks;
- MEAN-type solution stacks;
- Dynamic single-page applications.
Being a general-purpose programming language, PHP is typically employed for creating the back-end of dynamic web pages, such as blogs, e-commerce websites, or learning management systems. If you opt for PHP, you should apply it in the use cases covering:
- Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, or other CMS;
- LAMP-type solution stacks;
- MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Oracle, or other servers of this type.
In case you are still in doubt as to the choice of the language for your project, pull a shrewd move by combining PHP with Java for the back-end and front-end development correspondingly and enjoy the best of both worlds.
Drawing a Bottomline
There is no universal recipe for selection since each language has its assets and downsides, so you should rather look at the project you are going to utilize it for. The developer staff of Forbytes has sufficient skills and experience to not only advise you on the choice but efficiently use both languages to build a first-rate software product of any type and complexity.