Being a long time Java developer I am looking for a change, a new technology to add to my arsenal and I have heard some great things about PHP. How do you see the see the transition form Java to PHP? One would think it would be easier to pick up and master and it could be learned in a short amount of time. What do you vision being the most challenging thing to grasp with PHP coming form Java?
The biggest adjustment that I have is the loss of JSTL and the separation of back-end servlet code from UI JSP code. In my JSPs I have NO server-side scripting. I use only tags and pass data from the servlet to the JSP using JavaBeans. While I can somewhat simulate that in PHP, it isn't quite the same.
Then the complex data structures can get somehwat complicated. But there are tools/functions built in that let you dump such things in a semi-readable way. Makes for really ugly web pages but at least you can see that data being passed around to figure out why your code isn't working the way you expected.
Fianlly, command completion in Java IDEs has crippled me - I can no longer function without it. The PHP IDEs sometimes have a hard time at guessing the data type and thus the command completion doesn't always work.