PHP Adoption, Measured in Book Sales

By Deane Barker on April 10, 2007

PHP Becoming Mainstream: I’ve always been fascinating by an analysis of book sales as an indicator of language adoption. My “how much shelf space is it getting at Barnes and Noble” test correctly predicted the ascendance of both Python and Ruby.

As such, I find this interesting.

We’ve noticed that one of the signs that a language is becoming mainstream (and perhaps being abandoned by the cutting edge developers) is that the For Dummies book becomes the top seller.

[…] In Q1 of 2005, the Dummies book was #7; in Q1 2006, #5; in Q1 2007 it’s #1. Not only is the Dummies book now #1, four of the top five titles are now introductory.



  1. Some people think that PHP is not a good first language to learn because it’s web centric. Others say it’s not a real language.

    First of all, web centricity has nothing to do with learning how to program. PHP supports OOP and is a great way to practice those OOP skills, while not having to worry about the more complex issues OOP tends to bring with languages like C++.

    As for those saying that PHP is not a real language, let me ask you guys – what determines a real language? Just because its applications live online and not on the desktop, doesn’t make it any less real.

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