Presumption of uncluefulness

» 19 July 2007 » In PHP, Rants »

PHP internals mailing list has been filled with massive threads lately, mostly concerning PHP 6. Nothing too surprising in the amount, topics, or quality of polemic there, but I just love it when someone pipes in with a post like this:

I don’t really know much about topic X, and to be honest, I don’t really
know much about the internal workings of php. I’m going to suggest an implementation suggestion… Keep in mind I havent
hacked around with php source, so my variable naming etc will be wrong…
and its all psuedocode, so its not

[a page of C++ snipped]

I think this would provide a very fast implementation of what is trying to
be done.

Im just making a suggestion, and feel free to ignore/criticise me if im
wrong. I don’t know anything about phps internals… Just an idea

That’s just awesome. We totally haven’t considered that before, but your brilliant, yet humble and self-deprecating idea has shined new light onto the issue. Don’t worry about PHP internals, it’s just some hackish code we had lying around.

I just have to wonder why someone would post this without bothering to research the issue at hand for at least 15 minutes. It’d be like me going to the space shuttle designers and saying, “Hey, I know I don’t have a degree in rocket engineering and it’s just an idea, but that problem with the insulation foam you’re having.. have you thought about putting some duct tape on it?”

Every message like this leads me to change my default presumptions about the cluefulness of the new posters to the list, and unfortunately, not in a better direction.

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  1. andrei
    David Coallier
    19/07/2007 at 6:42 pm Permalink

    Haha 😉 Good one, I felt exactly the same reading it 😛

  2. andrei
    19/07/2007 at 11:55 pm Permalink

    After a lot people who had serious efforts and had them well thought have been bashed away (remember that tainted data discussion) the rest that remains is the so called rest.
    The Members of that List have helped to develop that situation for years. Its not their own fault, but they helped it.
    I guess the PHP-World is horizontally very divided in terms of society. Some are IN, and they are right (or discuss with other INNERS) and the others are wrong.
    Simple thing: DO not read internals, the waste of time quota is to large. G*

  3. andrei
    20/07/2007 at 7:05 am Permalink

    At least they know C++. When I was a grad student in physics, I’d have people coming out of the woodwork to explain their new earth shattering theory that the universe was made out of Popsicle sticks, crystals, turtles or what have you, based upon their experience watching a show on discovery channel.

    BTW, I fully reserve the right to make one of those postings in the future. One of these days PHP will really tick me off ( most likely in its memory management), and I’ll be forced to actually do something about it. But, I think I’ll actually just provide a fully implemented patch, rather than just a random ref counting code snippet.

  4. andrei
    31/07/2007 at 10:02 am Permalink

    The posting case referenced by the author is surprisingly similar to people (especially in the PHP world) that bash Ruby, Python, etc and haven’t even written anything substantial in it yet. Of course, you would never do such a thing, right?

  5. andrei
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