Java vs PHP vs RoR vs .Net
So, its kind of crazy, but we do them all. It makes us feel like we are a decent authority at discussing what language is better.
Java vs PHP
Both Java and PHP are completely different beasts. They are different in how they came about, reasons why they succeeded, and what place they have in the market. Their only similarity is that they both replaced a very populate language. Java largely replaced C++ and PHP mostly replaced Perl. This replacement is most apparent in web development. However, C++ and Perl still hold their own places in the market rather stubbornly. So that was history. Now, which one is better. Well. Java is better than PHP, in lot of cases. And there are many other cases where PHP would be better.
Our overall feeling is that all of these languages have their place, and most of them have a really good and stable place in the market.