Yahoo! has to deal with problems of scale that many sites don't. They've grown up with a combination of proprietary and Open Source software, and are shifting more towards Open Source. For a bit of history on their technical underpinnings (and a pitch for PHP), see Michael Rawdin's presentation at PHPcon 2002, available on-line at http://public.yahoo.com/~radwin/talks/yahoo-phpcon2002.htm
Of note here is that they have 3 million lines of Perl in their codebase.
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