Ian Bicking: the old part of his blog

nl2br

That's actually a very good example, because it's truly at the level where those beginning PHP people are enjoying PHP. Sure, a_string.replace('\n', '<br>\n') seems easy enough to me and you, but has a bunch of details as a prerequesite, details that get in the way of a beginning programmer coming up with that expression on their own (or at least, it would be a real and true programming task for them, where it's just an idiom for you or me). Obviously a more experienced PHP programmer could come up with that on their own, but they are already hooked at that point. (And at the same time I think there is a substantial group of PHP programmers who do not completely understand the inner workings of something like nl2br()).

Comment on Re: Orthogonality is Pretentious
by Ian Bicking