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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