I recently had the opportunity to work on a PHP application that was written by a student in 2004. Before the time of PHP frameworks and separation of MVC, when applications had SQL and HTML in the same files. Each page was a form that submitted to itself. Everything contained in one file per page. Pretty crazy, right?
Crazy like awesome. I had so much fun working on features for this old application. It wasn’t just nostalgic, it was like comfort food. Easy and delicious. I’m not really sure how comfort food is “easy”, but just go with it. I was practically begging to do more work on it.
I can’t imagine myself creating a new application like this from scratch, but I’ve been thinking about the benefits. Anyone with just a tiny bit of PHP experience could pick it up and maintain it, there’s no technology ramp-up time. A project like this could be orphaned and passed around between anyone. It could be used to teach people basic PHP within the organization. Say, people who are so Java-centric they refuse to learn anything new or different.
It was a good opportunity to take a look at the past and see what we’ve lost by going forward with technology.