No one likes Yahoo’s search deal with Microsoft. Wall Street wanted more up front money; tech elites called it an abdication, a “shame” and “seppuku.” Now Yahoo is losing a programming icon over the embarrassing arrangement.
Rasmus Lerdorf, inventor of the PHP programming language, confirms he is leaving the company. “It has only been a couple of days,” he told us by email yesterday. “I really don’t know what is next yet… I am enjoying having a bit more time to play with pet projects this week.”
Lerdorf, whose widely-used programming and templating system has been especially popular among Web startups, declined to elaborate on why he left Yahoo. But he was blunt about the matter on Twitter this past summer, just moments after the Yahoo announced a pact in which Microsoft would power its search results — previously handled by in-house code — while Yahoo would continue to sell ads against the results:
If we had to guess where Lerdorf might end up, we’d lay our money on Facebook, a PHP shop and a fast-growing one at that. The massive social network has no doubt pushed Lerdorf’s language to the edges of its performance envelope. More importantly, the young company shows no inclination to outsource software development to its largest competitor and turn itself into a second-tier advertising network.