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Ugly programs are like ugly suspension bridges: they're much more liable to collapse than pretty ones, because the way humans (especially engineer-humans) perceive beauty is intimately related to our ability to process and understand complexity. A language that makes it hard to write elegant code makes it hard to write good code.
A most important, but also most elusive, aspect of any tool is its influence on the habits of those who train themselves in its use. If the tool is a programming language this influence is, whether we like it or not, an influence on our thinking habits.
There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code.
PHP is a minor evil perpetrated and created by incompetent amateurs, whereas Perl is a great and insidious evil perpetrated by skilled but perverted professionals.