I know that a track requires quite some maintenance, but I would like if we could improve the PHP track.
Disclaimer, I cannot help right now for personal reasons, but would love to help somewhen later, when I’m able again.
I have been PHP developers for quite some years, started early 2000 with PHP, so I have seen a line of code or two.
I would love to see the PHP track enforce some of the possibilities in PHP, instead of showing its weaknesses. Today I saw a test in PHP track that failed, because I have declared types on my properties. That should not be “punished”, that you write more strong typed code. I know there is a concept in the PHP track later, regarding types, but it should be included from the first lesson, in my opinion.
PHP doesn’t have the best reputation, unfortunately, so I think it’s important to teach the users on Exercism how to use PHP right, not how it can be used without any types etc.
I’m really passionate about PHP and don’t like to see when the language is not shown the respect that I think it deserves.
As mentioned in another thread today (1), I think PHP should always run tests against the newest version, and the difficulties described there, could perhaps be solved with the suggestion I made earlier (2) with composer.json,.
And as PHP is quite backwards compatible. A exercise done in PHP 8.0 would most likely not fail in PHP 8.3 unless some function got removed, and if that’s the case, it only fair that the exercise should be revisited, to learn about the change.
As mentioned in the disclaimer, I cannot help right now. But I will happily help later. I think it’s important to improve the PHP track it after all runs quite a large percentage of the web, the better we can teach people to use it, the better our experience on the web would be, at least on the PHP driven sites ;)