There are thousands of professional programmers, but there are hundreds of thousands of amateurs and businessmen like me, not professional IT beings, but intelligent people who can quickly script in PHP, ASP, HTML, CSS etc and just need to get the job done.
Of course, what we lack is the time to acquire the deeper understanding we would like, and it was useful to help us lot get a global perspective of where PHP stands right now, and pointing out stuff we lesser mortals would not have known (Facebook compiling PHP, how PHP is actually precessed, etc).
It was worth the time and effort putting the article together, and the more critical comments by others were both polite and also informative.
To a large extent, computing has 'lost it's way'. It's all very well for pro's (that many of us can't afford) understand the 'dark side and tricks' of any specific languages and platforms, but to me, that is defect of the language involved.
PHP gives ordinary folk a fair chance of producing working script quickly and effectively, we will learn 'more clever' parts later.
I'm sad that most pro's are entrenched in there own protectionist way of thinking and will always dislike what people like me will have to say.
The 'compiled languages' like C and Java only gained favour with professional programmers who had the time and motivation to learn the syntax, but to a 'normal' persons like me, anybody that designed a language where the source code needs /* ... */ for comments and a zillion curly braces to enclose code fragments needs there head testing, its unreadable (by design) to anyone that doesn't spend all day reading that sort of stuff.
Let's have plain logical English as the starting point, a la Visual Basic for example, and make the compiler do the work, not the programmer.
One comment implied the main reason for the popularity of PHP was that you plug it in and it works, BELIEVE IT, that is exactly what the world wants. I'm on my 4th day of trying to get Linux working on a brand new laptop, searching for a solution only reveals that hundreds of others are looking for solutions to the same problems.
So yes, the fact that PHP 'works' is worth gold for starters
I look forward to anything else Manuel, or similar writers can post.