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It's important to differentiate when people are complaining about the language and it's use, and how effective it is. Almost nobody criticizes PHP performance (relative to other scripting languages), whether not not it is technically faster or slower than another language. Then, even a good portion of the criticisms of the language come with the caveat that it does let you get simple stuff done quick.

My main problem with PHP is that I'm primarily a Perl dev (but have done some heavy PHP work in the past), and it's syntax is just close enough to make me always aware of how unintuitive it is in comparison, and all the extra steps I have to take to accomplish something simple. It's maddening.

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