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[PHP-DEV] Wake up

Posted by Florin Patan 
Johannes Schlüter
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 12:00AM
On Wed, 2013-09-11 at 23:34 +0200, Florin Patan wrote:
> First, I didn't said anything about attitude to new comers. For me it
> was quite well and people offered to help out in solving issues.

Thanks.

> Second, if you read the posting rules of this mailing list, top
> posting is one of those things that you should avoid.
>
> Given the following factors:
> - lack of clear language scope: yes we build webpages but guess what,
> we aren't doing blogs for a long time ago. if you dimiss Wikipedia,
> Facebook and some other sily sites in the top 100 hits / month that
> use PHP you are given a whole slew of startups and some of them even
> businesses which are using PHP. Some of them might even prefer to have
> in-house developed tools but then for those tools PHP says: sorry, you
> should check another language if you want this or that. It's simply
> frustrating :)

Facebook is not using PHP but HipHop. Weblogs and small sites are still
a big part of the user base (shared hosters still seem to see enough
market to battle in that market, I know different "web agencies" serving
those).

> - lack of a clear roadmap: as I said earlier, can someone really tell
> what's in the next two versions of php from now

.... and never will. I commented on that in a different mail.

> - lack of clear authority - who can and should steer discussions to a
> desired path and stop trolling (even by core devs)

A troll has no respect on authority. The community at large has to
handle that.

> - lack of actual feedback from the community on topics/rfcs: there's
> always a 'but people need/want/don't need/don't want' with no concrete
> way to really gauge what the community position really is

“Nobody knows what most PHP programmers do.”
- Bjarne Stroustrup (inventor of C++, parapharsed)

There is no single community, there are wikipedia and yahoo and such
(which itself aren't homogeneous entities), there are wordpress users,
there are small special interest forums, there people just learning
programming, using it on intranet sites, ...

This actually is the cause for the discussions here - everybody here
lives in a different world, facing different challenges.

> - lack of clear documentation about the internals: you really can't
> tell me that the docs out there are clear because I did a bunch of
> searching for them and I'm pretty good at finding stuff

What specifically do you need? I often hear this abstract comment. Often
these either are very specialized questions or lack of C knowledge or
such.

> - personal feelings on a subject instead or rational ones

Depending on what kind of challenges you are coming from you rank
requirements differently. This impacts"rationalism". If you want a jack
of all trades language you rank additions differently from when you are
aiming for a beginner-friendly language, which you value differently
from when you put BC first, ...

That said: Not all arguments are good, but often a disagreement here
comes from different views colliding, which, to some degree, is healthy
in order to find the right path working for as many users as possible.

joahnnes



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Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 03:10AM
Hi Johannes,

I do understand motivations behind keeping core simple and stable that
majority of internals always promote. I also understand the majority of
user base is on shared host.
But as a counterpart, what about large agencies that do want to extract
every single feature PHP has to provide?
That's the part it sounds blurry. Which side should PHP take? Trying to
keep both sides happy is becoming more and more
difficult along the years.

Who would make this decision? What is gonna happen with the other side?
Someone needs to address this.
Why don't we reevaluate all highlighted topics provided on that
StackOverflow thread (use my comment as base) as it was done in that 2005
Paris meeting? That should be a great start for ZE3.

From the personal side, I truly agree with this thread. I tried 5 times to
contribute to internals, all of them generated endless flames, and even
RFCs where over 50% was pro the support, I got an answer like "most core
devs were against it, so no". I'm pretty much on Anthony's side.


Thanks,


On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 5:58 PM, Johannes Schlüter
<[email protected]>wrote:

> On Wed, 2013-09-11 at 23:34 +0200, Florin Patan wrote:
> > First, I didn't said anything about attitude to new comers. For me it
> > was quite well and people offered to help out in solving issues.
>
> Thanks.
>
> > Second, if you read the posting rules of this mailing list, top
> > posting is one of those things that you should avoid.
> >
> > Given the following factors:
> > - lack of clear language scope: yes we build webpages but guess what,
> > we aren't doing blogs for a long time ago. if you dimiss Wikipedia,
> > Facebook and some other sily sites in the top 100 hits / month that
> > use PHP you are given a whole slew of startups and some of them even
> > businesses which are using PHP. Some of them might even prefer to have
> > in-house developed tools but then for those tools PHP says: sorry, you
> > should check another language if you want this or that. It's simply
> > frustrating :)
>
> Facebook is not using PHP but HipHop. Weblogs and small sites are still
> a big part of the user base (shared hosters still seem to see enough
> market to battle in that market, I know different "web agencies" serving
> those).
>
> > - lack of a clear roadmap: as I said earlier, can someone really tell
> > what's in the next two versions of php from now
>
> ... and never will. I commented on that in a different mail.
>
> > - lack of clear authority - who can and should steer discussions to a
> > desired path and stop trolling (even by core devs)
>
> A troll has no respect on authority. The community at large has to
> handle that.
>
> > - lack of actual feedback from the community on topics/rfcs: there's
> > always a 'but people need/want/don't need/don't want' with no concrete
> > way to really gauge what the community position really is
>
> “Nobody knows what most PHP programmers do.”
> - Bjarne Stroustrup (inventor of C++, parapharsed)
>
> There is no single community, there are wikipedia and yahoo and such
> (which itself aren't homogeneous entities), there are wordpress users,
> there are small special interest forums, there people just learning
> programming, using it on intranet sites, ...
>
> This actually is the cause for the discussions here - everybody here
> lives in a different world, facing different challenges.
>
> > - lack of clear documentation about the internals: you really can't
> > tell me that the docs out there are clear because I did a bunch of
> > searching for them and I'm pretty good at finding stuff
>
> What specifically do you need? I often hear this abstract comment. Often
> these either are very specialized questions or lack of C knowledge or
> such.
>
> > - personal feelings on a subject instead or rational ones
>
> Depending on what kind of challenges you are coming from you rank
> requirements differently. This impacts"rationalism". If you want a jack
> of all trades language you rank additions differently from when you are
> aiming for a beginner-friendly language, which you value differently
> from when you put BC first, ...
>
> That said: Not all arguments are good, but often a disagreement here
> comes from different views colliding, which, to some degree, is healthy
> in order to find the right path working for as many users as possible.
>
> joahnnes
>
>
>
> --
> PHP Internals - PHP Runtime Development Mailing List
> To unsubscribe, visit: http://www.php.net/unsub.php
>
>


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MSN: guilhermeblanco@hotmail.com
GTalk: guilhermeblanco
Toronto - ON/Canada
Rasmus Lerdorf
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 04:50AM
On 09/11/2013 05:34 PM, Florin Patan wrote:
> - lack of a clear roadmap: as I said earlier, can someone really tell
> what's in the next two versions of php from now

That's never going to happen. We don't have paid developers that we can
assign tasks to. We have volunteers who work on things they need or find
fun to work on. We can't possibly provide a solid road map two (I assume
you mean major) versions out.

The process is clearly described here:

https://wiki.php.net/rfc/releaseprocess

When it comes time to do the next release we look at the state of the
various projects/rfcs and we, led by the released manager, decide which
features are far enough along to go into that release. Saying that a
certain feature will be in a release 2 years from now without knowing
whether the person championing it will still be around just isn't
realistic. Plus interesting ideas come up all the time, and a solid
2-year road map would mean there would be at least a 2-year delay on
anything new.

We do have a fuzzy road map in the form of the set of RFCs on the wiki.
A subset of those are likely to be in the next release. And to influence
that, instead of writing lots of long email threads on internals,
contact the author of the RFC you are interested in and ask them if they
need help with anything.

And yes, even very complete RFCs may still get shot down for a number of
different reasons. PHP is quite mature, and major new features are going
to face a lot of friction. This is not a bad thing. I often wish that
some of the things I put in years ago had had a bit more friction. But
there was nobody around to provide that friction. Now we have the luxury
of a lot of experienced people with a wealth of ideas and opinions to
provide this friction.

-Rasmus

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Larry Garfield
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 05:20AM
On 09/11/2013 05:44 AM, Florin Patan wrote:
> Where's Rasmus, the so called benevolent dictator, to actually dictate
> and handle the internals? Yes Rasmus, you're making money out of PHP
> yet I haven't seen a comment from you in the past months. Wikipedia
> doesn't list you as hibernating.

Rasmus abdicated his potential role as BDFL years ago. PHP doesn't have
a BDFL. That is, arguably, part of the problem.

> Then there's that 'little' community of framework developers called
> FIG which tried to do some standardization in the way things are done
> in userland but guess what. It took 2 years or so for anyone here to
> actually think we might really want to add PSR-0 to core. And people
> here still have issues with that because it's not in the PHP 'open
> spirit' (of the internals). Granted, FIG could do much better but hey,
> they follow the example set here by you.

Actually, as far as I'm concerned the Internals free-for-all process is
a great example of everything FIG should avoid, and some of us have been
working very hard to avoid the trap of "be like internals" (as was the
initial model we've been trying to move away from). It's a great object
lesson in how to not run a dev community.

I'd say sorry if that sounds harsh, but I'm not really sorry about it. :-)

> Or better yet, ask someone like Facebook to take over and that's it.
> Maybe they'll be interested in doing that since they had to rewrite
> HHVM two times to get more performance out of PHP.
> If you don't like Facebook, let Microsoft take over if they are
> interested. They have contributors here, they have some programming
> languages under their belt.

We don't need one company taking over PHP. However, nearly all projects
eventually spawn a NFP company to at least help coordinate it, if not
drive it.

> Or just dismiss the project completely and let the community take over.
>
> But please, stop with these:
> - nah, today is not a good day for this patch/ thread
> - we have a leader already
> - we have people contributing
> - look ma' charts are growing, we are still ahead of others
> - I'll just be against everything today as I didn't had enough sugar
> in my coffee
> attitudes as it's really not productive for developers and companies
> that are still using PHP.

As others in this thread have hinted, there are multiple roots to the
problem. A process that sucks (although admittedly not as badly as it
did before RFCs) is one root. A lack of shared vision is another.

When a new feature is proposed, or a controversial fix considered, by
what metric is it judged? What is the goal we're shooting for with
PHP? Is the goal "the easiest to pick up web language", or "the most
powerful web language", or "the fastest performing web language"? Guess
what: Those are, quite often, mutually-exclusive. Which matters more?
Ask 5 people on this list and you'll get 15 answers. That's no way to
run a project, or a community.

Here's another root: PHP may not be a commercial entity, but it still
has users and customers. The first rule of usability is "know thy user;
thou art not thy user", and the first rule of good user-centric or
customer-centric development is "thou art not thy customer".

PHP's customers are people developing IN PHP, not developing PHP. A
serious project needs to focus on what its users want/need/will benefit
from, not what its own developers want. Yes, this is a mental shift for
those working on the project. Yes, this can be hard. No, it's not
always fun.

But the curse of success is that you don't get a choice in whether or
not that shift has to happen. It's a shift that happens TO you, whether
you want it to or not. At that point a lot of developers may drop out
because it's not fun anymore, and feels like work. This happens.
Perhaps it should happen more, as long as there are customer-focused
people to replace them.

(Yes, I have lived through that transition in Drupal. It's still in
progress. Yes we lost people from core in the process. In the end, the
project is stronger for it.)

--Larry Garfield

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Seva Lapsha
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 06:20AM
PHP is a collective mind. Any dictatorship would mean a degradation for it.
If you don't like how it's managed, there is an easy path:

1. Earn authority.
2. Propose a change.
3. Implement it.
4. Maintain it.

Start with 1.



On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 6:44 AM, Florin Patan <[email protected]> wrote:

> Good day internals,
>
>
>
> This morning I read something that's not fun:
> https://twitter.com/ircmaxell/status/376027280562073600
>
> Yet another good contributor leaves this community (not the whole PHP
> community) because of the way things are done here.
>
> It's true that this is an open source project and everyone can join
> and leave whenever he/she wants but like Anthony says, this project
> needs more leadership, more vision and definitely a better management.
> Someone said that there's no one coming forward or trying to change
> things, I may not be the right person to do this but at least maybe
> I'll wake up someone who can take action and change things.
>
> Here's some facts:
> - a couple of months ago named parameters was a taboo subject, I know
> because I've asked for it and everyone went silent, now we have a RFC
> discussing it
> - we had a RFC for autoloading functions but people just can't
> understand how to provide feedback and at the end of the day it
> resulted in a contributor leaving because of the murkiness here
> - we have a bunch of RFCs waiting for feedback and being trolled to
> infinity by people with their own agendas
> - having a RFC to make a language change requires to have a patch
> which if you don't know C and internals you got no chance of doing.
> And if you do know C, PHP internals will drain the soul out of you
> before doing something
> - there's no clear objective for what PHP has / will have / will not
> have / will not ever have.
> - there were patches proposed by Facebook, and others, that are / were
> rejected, delayed or ignored. Who heard of Facebook anyway, they have
> just one website with a billion users probably running on a a couple
> of Galaxy Note 3 and 2-3 iPhone 6 as a load balancers, my cat can do
> better I tell you.
>
> Where's Rasmus, the so called benevolent dictator, to actually dictate
> and handle the internals? Yes Rasmus, you're making money out of PHP
> yet I haven't seen a comment from you in the past months. Wikipedia
> doesn't list you as hibernating.
>
> Where Zend | The PHP Company? It's their name, no? They are making
> money out of PHP brand, certifications and training? They've added the
> opcode cache and that was the single biggest thing they've did in 7
> years? Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
>
> Then there's that 'little' community of framework developers called
> FIG which tried to do some standardization in the way things are done
> in userland but guess what. It took 2 years or so for anyone here to
> actually think we might really want to add PSR-0 to core. And people
> here still have issues with that because it's not in the PHP 'open
> spirit' (of the internals). Granted, FIG could do much better but hey,
> they follow the example set here by you.
>
> For me this PHP 'open spirit' is just a way of saying: I don't want to
> have my head full of real issues so I'll just ignore them and let
> others handle them.
>
> Look at other languages. Take GO for example, which is done by the
> other big noobs on the market called Google.
>
> If you want, you can actually start and contribute to the language in
> less that a week from learning the language! There's documentation
> inside their sources (shocking! I know). There are pages talking about
> their language decisions and why they do(n't) support certain things.
> PHP has some rather prehistoric documentation about its internals and
> that's it. Ok, PHP is written in C not PHP that's why it's harder to
> contribute to it but it's not like there's documentation for internals
> anyway. Or maybe, just maybe, they actually have some good language
> design, who knows?
>
> And I know what you'll say:
> - yet another one making some smoke, lets ignore him;
> - who cares about you complaining, PHP is still the most spread
> language for servers
> - PHP releases very often with new things for developers that they
> want / use / need.
>
> But you really expect this to continue forever? If so you are plain
> ignorant and you shouldn't be part of this.
>
> So, either you care about PHP and wake up or leave and let others take
> over.
>
> Or better yet, ask someone like Facebook to take over and that's it.
> Maybe they'll be interested in doing that since they had to rewrite
> HHVM two times to get more performance out of PHP.
> If you don't like Facebook, let Microsoft take over if they are
> interested. They have contributors here, they have some programming
> languages under their belt.
>
> Or just dismiss the project completely and let the community take over.
>
> But please, stop with these:
> - nah, today is not a good day for this patch/ thread
> - we have a leader already
> - we have people contributing
> - look ma' charts are growing, we are still ahead of others
> - I'll just be against everything today as I didn't had enough sugar
> in my coffee
> attitudes as it's really not productive for developers and companies
> that are still using PHP.
>
>
>
> ----
> Florin Patan
> https://github.com/dlsniper
> http://www.linkedin.com/in/florinpatan
>
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>
>
Philip Sturgeon
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 07:10AM
> PHP is a collective mind. Any dictatorship would mean a degradation for it.
> If you don't like how it's managed, there is an easy path:
>
> 1. Earn authority.
> 2. Propose a change.
> 3. Implement it.
> 4. Maintain it.
>
> Start with 1.

Why is earning authority a step in this process? This just seems like
yet another barrier to entry.

"You know enough C and you understand how to implement the feature,
but I've not seen your name around here so get stuffed."

That doesn't seem like a helpful attitude.

As for the comments about the FIG made by others, I agree with Larry
in that we're doing a pretty good job at trying to build on the
example set forward by internals. Self moderation and workflow are two
important factors to the group, and I don't feel like this 4 point
list is the sort of workflow anyone should be trying to follow or
enforce.

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Rajneesh Shetty
RE: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 07:20AM
http://www.unicom.com/pw/faq/sco-xenix.faq

"blast from the past"...

Rajneesh N. Shetty
Tel : (+61)468371858
________________________________________
From: Philip Sturgeon [[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, 12 September 2013 2:43 PM
To: internals@lists.php.net
Subject: Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up

> PHP is a collective mind. Any dictatorship would mean a degradation for it.
> If you don't like how it's managed, there is an easy path:
>
> 1. Earn authority.
> 2. Propose a change.
> 3. Implement it.
> 4. Maintain it.
>
> Start with 1.

Why is earning authority a step in this process? This just seems like
yet another barrier to entry.

"You know enough C and you understand how to implement the feature,
but I've not seen your name around here so get stuffed."

That doesn't seem like a helpful attitude.

As for the comments about the FIG made by others, I agree with Larry
in that we're doing a pretty good job at trying to build on the
example set forward by internals. Self moderation and workflow are two
important factors to the group, and I don't feel like this 4 point
list is the sort of workflow anyone should be trying to follow or
enforce.

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Daniel Brown
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 07:50AM
On Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 12:10 AM, Seva Lapsha <[email protected]> wrote:
> PHP is a collective mind. Any dictatorship would mean a degradation for it.
> If you don't like how it's managed, there is an easy path:
>
> 1. Earn authority.
> 2. Propose a change.
> 3. Implement it.
> 4. Maintain it.
>
> Start with 1.

This is one of only a very, very small few points that, to me,
have any merit. Those who are calling for change have not yet met
point #1 in the above list (and, though it may be confusing to some,
we try to abide by the rules and refer to things as "above" --- a note
to those who have not yet even read the etiquette of the list, yet
still feel entitled to a voice).

One of the reasons PHP has been so successful is that some of us
agreed with the original ideals, the path along which it traveled, and
the camaraderie we found in those who shared our opinions. And to
those of you who may not, let me truncate this with a single order:

Fork.

To the rest of you who are still reading, I'll apologize in
advance for my wordiness.

To those of you who are raising your voices now: why did it take
you so long? Do we - by which I mean folks who actively volunteer
their time to the project - seem unapproachable? Outside of these
QWERTY-coups, the list is generally quiet --- particularly when
changes are proposed. When such discussions come up, there are some
who voice approval or opposition..... and they do, at the very least,
actively participate in the discussion - and democracy - of the
ongoing project as a whole.

Today, I see folks who may have awesome intentions, but - unless I
missed something - are not active contributors.

To which, again, I refer to Seva's very valid Point #1.

[We'll take a quick commercial break to let you know that this
message is neither sponsored nor endorsed by Seva, who - to my
knowlege - I have never even met before. I know return you to the
ongoing rant-thread, already in progress.]

The beauty of the development of PHP - and most other projects
share this exact same quality - is that it's not a singularity. PHP
is an ecosystem. The project has so many roles that, quite honestly,
we can't fill them all. And because it's all based on passionate
folks willing to volunteer their time, it makes it just slightly
difficult to recruit. I don't think help-wanted ads would have very
successful results when considering that we'd be asking folks to
volunteer - as so many have over the years - to fill spots such as:

* Implementation of new features (requires knowledge of C)
* Improvement of the documentation (requires knowledge of English)
* Translation of the documentation (requires knowledge of English
and another language)
* Alpha- and beta-testing new releases and providing feedback (may
require multiple environments)
* Systems administration (requires being required)
* QA (requires patience)
* Bug-reporting (requires sixty seconds or less, or your next bug is free)

Salary: commensurate with experience, divided by zero.

It's not just us, it's all open source projects. Sure, sometimes
having financial backing is great. Unfortunately, that turns folks
away, too --- especially when it eradicates the ecosystem of the
original project. A very basic example to which many of you may
relate: Mandrake. Err.... Mandriva. Well, no matter what its name,
since it's no longer free. I should probably refer to it as
Mandriva(R) at this point, just to be safe.

The short-winded summary (and yes, I saved it for the end, to make
everyone suffer) is this: if you want to make a change in PHP - or
anything in life - then get involved, get active, and get things
accomplished. Don't just pull some "occupy" movement and think things
will change because of a voice in numbers. Get inspired, get
involved, and get the fuck to work. Otherwise, move along, and be
archived like the rest of the one-offs.

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Pascal Chevrel
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 09:30AM
e 12/09/2013 07:40, Daniel Brown a écrit :
> On Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 12:10 AM, Seva Lapsha <[email protected]> wrote:
>> PHP is a collective mind. Any dictatorship would mean a degradation for it.
>> If you don't like how it's managed, there is an easy path:
>>
>> 1. Earn authority.
>> 2. Propose a change.
>> 3. Implement it.
>> 4. Maintain it.
>>
>> Start with 1.
>
> This is one of only a very, very small few points that, to me,
> have any merit. Those who are calling for change have not yet met
> point #1 in the above list

Hi,

So basically you say that Anthony Ferrara hasn't earned point #1? Can
you elaborate on that?

Regards,

Pascal

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Florian Anderiasch
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 09:30AM
On 09/12/2013 06:43 AM, Philip Sturgeon wrote:

> As for the comments about the FIG made by others, I agree with Larry
> in that we're doing a pretty good job at trying to build on the
> example set forward by internals. Self moderation and workflow are two
> important factors to the group, and I don't feel like this 4 point
> list is the sort of workflow anyone should be trying to follow or
> enforce.

I'm not sure I'm getting what you're trying to say here:

If it only is about the workflow in FIG, ok, maybe that should be looked
at and put out more descriptively on this list instead of people telling
to go read something somewhere.

If it is about what FIG does, then I disagree - because while I love
what FIG has been come up with (in terms of contents partly and of it
being done at all fully) - I think it has no place in internals and is
very well off as a seperate entity. Like I find a coding standard set by
the language developers kind of nuts. (Go pun not intended, because in
Go it has been there from the public beta version, not introduced like
15 years after inception. Same with Python, afaik it was a PEP that was
basically accepted by the community at large)


Greetings,
Florian

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Matthieu Napoli
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 09:50AM
Le 12/09/2013 07:40, Daniel Brown a écrit :
> On Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 12:10 AM, Seva Lapsha <[email protected]> wrote:
>> PHP is a collective mind. Any dictatorship would mean a degradation for it.
>> If you don't like how it's managed, there is an easy path:
>>
>> 1. Earn authority.
>> 2. Propose a change.
>> 3. Implement it.
>> 4. Maintain it.
>>
>> Start with 1.
>
> This is one of only a very, very small few points that, to me,
> have any merit. Those who are calling for change have not yet met
> point #1 in the above list (and, though it may be confusing to some,
> we try to abide by the rules and refer to things as "above" --- a note
> to those who have not yet even read the etiquette of the list, yet
> still feel entitled to a voice).
>
> One of the reasons PHP has been so successful is that some of us
> agreed with the original ideals, the path along which it traveled, and
> the camaraderie we found in those who shared our opinions. And to
> those of you who may not, let me truncate this with a single order:
>
> Fork.
>
> To the rest of you who are still reading, I'll apologize in
> advance for my wordiness.
>
> To those of you who are raising your voices now: why did it take
> you so long? Do we - by which I mean folks who actively volunteer
> their time to the project - seem unapproachable? Outside of these
> QWERTY-coups, the list is generally quiet --- particularly when
> changes are proposed. When such discussions come up, there are some
> who voice approval or opposition..... and they do, at the very least,
> actively participate in the discussion - and democracy - of the
> ongoing project as a whole.
>
> Today, I see folks who may have awesome intentions, but - unless I
> missed something - are not active contributors.
>
> To which, again, I refer to Seva's very valid Point #1.
>
> [We'll take a quick commercial break to let you know that this
> message is neither sponsored nor endorsed by Seva, who - to my
> knowlege - I have never even met before. I know return you to the
> ongoing rant-thread, already in progress.]
>
> The beauty of the development of PHP - and most other projects
> share this exact same quality - is that it's not a singularity. PHP
> is an ecosystem. The project has so many roles that, quite honestly,
> we can't fill them all. And because it's all based on passionate
> folks willing to volunteer their time, it makes it just slightly
> difficult to recruit. I don't think help-wanted ads would have very
> successful results when considering that we'd be asking folks to
> volunteer - as so many have over the years - to fill spots such as:
>
> * Implementation of new features (requires knowledge of C)
> * Improvement of the documentation (requires knowledge of English)
> * Translation of the documentation (requires knowledge of English
> and another language)
> * Alpha- and beta-testing new releases and providing feedback (may
> require multiple environments)
> * Systems administration (requires being required)
> * QA (requires patience)
> * Bug-reporting (requires sixty seconds or less, or your next bug is free)
>
> Salary: commensurate with experience, divided by zero.
>
> It's not just us, it's all open source projects. Sure, sometimes
> having financial backing is great. Unfortunately, that turns folks
> away, too --- especially when it eradicates the ecosystem of the
> original project. A very basic example to which many of you may
> relate: Mandrake. Err.... Mandriva. Well, no matter what its name,
> since it's no longer free. I should probably refer to it as
> Mandriva(R) at this point, just to be safe.
>
> The short-winded summary (and yes, I saved it for the end, to make
> everyone suffer) is this: if you want to make a change in PHP - or
> anything in life - then get involved, get active, and get things
> accomplished. Don't just pull some "occupy" movement and think things
> will change because of a voice in numbers. Get inspired, get
> involved, and get the fuck to work. Otherwise, move along, and be
> archived like the rest of the one-offs.
>

So your opinion is: Core contributors develop PHP for themselves. Those
who don't agree should either: become contributors (to be part of the
"themselves"), or fork.

IMO, that's a weird way to see how a major language should be developed.

There are two ways of seing this:

1) Core contributors develop PHP for themselves
2) Core contributors develop PHP for the users

Maybe that's the root of the problem. We can poll the community, listen
to framework developers and open the mailing list all we want, if the
majority of core developers think 1) things will not change.

Maybe that's something that a choice that needs to be taken: do
internals choose 1) or 2). That would be the start of a "vision".

If 1) then just keep everything as it is, and only contributors can
propose changes. We (the community) are second-class users, and either
we all chip in to pay C devs to be part of internals and to influence
how PHP will evolve, either we wait for what internals decides to do
with PHP.

If 2) then there needs to be some change. First, a way to hear the voice
of the community. Either with a more open system that lets anyone vote
on posts (the "silent voice", see the "Forum software" thread), or by
conducting polls on what does the community thinks:

- is PHP moving too fast or too slow in terms of features
- if a RFC is technically implemented and valid, do you wish to see this
feature (this is not letting the community vote to RFC, but it's a poll
to give concrete results to "everybody/nobody wants it")

(or by any other way, these are examples)

But I don't see how PHP can continue with contributors thinking 1) and
others thinking 2).

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Seva Lapsha
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 10:30AM
Authorities don't run away.


On Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 3:25 AM, Pascal Chevrel <[email protected]>wrote:

> e 12/09/2013 07:40, Daniel Brown a écrit :
>
> On Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 12:10 AM, Seva Lapsha <[email protected]>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> PHP is a collective mind. Any dictatorship would mean a degradation for
>>> it.
>>> If you don't like how it's managed, there is an easy path:
>>>
>>> 1. Earn authority.
>>> 2. Propose a change.
>>> 3. Implement it.
>>> 4. Maintain it.
>>>
>>> Start with 1.
>>>
>>
>> This is one of only a very, very small few points that, to me,
>> have any merit. Those who are calling for change have not yet met
>> point #1 in the above list
>>
>
> Hi,
>
> So basically you say that Anthony Ferrara hasn't earned point #1? Can you
> elaborate on that?
>
> Regards,
>
> Pascal
>
>
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>
>
Lester Caine
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 11:00AM
Rasmus Lerdorf wrote:
> That's never going to happen. We don't have paid developers that we can
> assign tasks to. We have volunteers who work on things they need or find
> fun to work on. We can't possibly provide a solid road map two (I assume
> you mean major) versions out.

The conflict here is the modern plan to allow major version updates a lot more
often than in the past. On one hand I can understand that people get frustrated
that things are not changing quick enough but similarly there are those of us
who prefer stability over flashy new 'features'. I know I keep banging on about
'PHP6', but surely it is now time to nail down the PHP5 developments and start
with a clean sheet of paper for PHP6? That I feel would make many of us happy
and alleviate a lot of the current animosity? Alright we can simply stop at what
I will call a minor version bump ... PHP5.4 ... but there is not enough support
for a stable minor version. These major/minor updates are simply happening too
often for some of us to cope with. Certainly the re-instigation of many features
which were turned down in the past would suggest that a second stream would make
sense?

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Daniel Macedo
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 11:40AM
Why not both?
The list should and will remain, but I see no issue in using the same
inbox to start/reply-to a thread; it's been done, it can be done!
And I don't think it's just about keeping people who like one or the
other more, but rather allowing a quick read over the conversation in
a threaded conversation when my main e-mail client isn't available
(not that gmail is THAT terrible with the threaded conversations)

But I think this is a secondary question to the more relevant "is the
PHP internals mailing, RFC process, «not the PHP way» discussions,
etc" working out positively for the language, the (internals)
developers and web developers at large.
And please don't just cite the PHP usage numbers, I think those more
involved know it's a more complex matter than only that...

The way I see Anthony's response wasn't because of that particular
discussion, but the last drop of a continuous number of inefficient
communication or just a bit of bad taste when defending X view within
a discussion.

I also have to agree with having the more prominent "PHP Companies"
being part of the process (and improving it if possible) as well as
outsiders (be it FB or others) being included in a more friendly and
productive discussion. Along with a vision for the long term. (Rasmus,
I don't think this is so much a roadmap, as it is a need for simply a
vision as broad as can be)

Or as Rodney King put it: Why can't we all just get along?

Cheers :)

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Florin Patan
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 12:20PM
On Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 4:46 AM, Rasmus Lerdorf <[email protected]> wrote:
> On 09/11/2013 05:34 PM, Florin Patan wrote:
>> - lack of a clear roadmap: as I said earlier, can someone really tell
>> what's in the next two versions of php from now
>
> That's never going to happen. We don't have paid developers that we can
> assign tasks to. We have volunteers who work on things they need or find
> fun to work on. We can't possibly provide a solid road map two (I assume
> you mean major) versions out.
>
> The process is clearly described here:
>
> https://wiki.php.net/rfc/releaseprocess
>
> When it comes time to do the next release we look at the state of the
> various projects/rfcs and we, led by the released manager, decide which
> features are far enough along to go into that release. Saying that a
> certain feature will be in a release 2 years from now without knowing
> whether the person championing it will still be around just isn't
> realistic. Plus interesting ideas come up all the time, and a solid
> 2-year road map would mean there would be at least a 2-year delay on
> anything new.
>
> We do have a fuzzy road map in the form of the set of RFCs on the wiki.
> A subset of those are likely to be in the next release. And to influence
> that, instead of writing lots of long email threads on internals,
> contact the author of the RFC you are interested in and ask them if they
> need help with anything.
>
> And yes, even very complete RFCs may still get shot down for a number of
> different reasons. PHP is quite mature, and major new features are going
> to face a lot of friction. This is not a bad thing. I often wish that
> some of the things I put in years ago had had a bit more friction. But
> there was nobody around to provide that friction. Now we have the luxury
> of a lot of experienced people with a wealth of ideas and opinions to
> provide this friction.
>
> -Rasmus


I fully agree with you, every thing that goes in a programming
language that is used at this scale should be properly verified /
checked / questioned before saying: yes, merge it.

But at some point this friction leads to people saying things that are
not true about the internals or contributors / potential contributors
to leave. The later is even worst given the fact that there's only a
dozen or so, iirc, of stable core contributors. New comers will see
this as a bad place instead of trying to understand why that happened
as it's easier to see the negative side that the cause or the positive
side.


Below is my personal experience so far and why I started this.

The mentality I see in the companies / people that are using PHP is
that they long passed the stage where they need a simple website /
presentation platform. If we look at the ecosystem right now, we have:
- Wordpress: used from blogs to presentation websites to simple
personal shop sites. Could improve on architecture / code but it's
already too huge and too late to do it without burdening the users
with endless hours of changes
- Magento & co. for the sales part, which could again improve on
architecture but it's a work in progress with Magento 2 iirc, again,
big people lots of stores using it
- Drupal & rest of CMS software that are better built and people turn
to them to build more 'professional'/corporate websites
- custom sites / applications / backends : most of the career I've
been doing just that so I know a thing or two here. People expect
things to go fast, be clean, bug free and be developed in a blink of
an eye, if possible. Apps here are long gone from the simple
presentation website, Wordpress style blogs, Drupal or Magento setups.
- frameworks, ORMs and other tools: the land that's supporting most of
the above eco-system. Be it a in-house framework or Zend Framework
2/Symfony2/... they all get bigger and bigger, add more things that
users need to build all of the above. They need to be fast, easy to
understand, bug free, lightweight and so on.
- people who are not in any of the above sections: that's something
that I can't speak of, I don't really have contact with things out of
the above points, please help out with use cases.

As for people who work in those ecosystems and their requirements /
expectations:
- when you start with something simple PHP is a great tool. You can
actually code in a couple of hours something that's displayed on
interwebs
- then you move to do a small website, non-profit. PHP is still a good tool.
- as the site evolves into something bigger: you get into already
built systems, Wordpress / Drupal or even frameworks. PHP starts to
okish
- if you go business/selling you go Magento / similar and you start
require more things from PHP, still okish
- if the business/site you're working on grows bigger and bigger it's
time for a custom solution. It requires time, skills and PHP starts to
show it's uglier sides
- then you go frameworks which help you build all of the above:
there's thing you want to do, users expects from you but if you do
them PHP can really slow you down either in development or even worst,
in speed. When you start having a slow framework, nobody new will use
you anymore, and people will look for something else which in turn
will become slow again.

I'm not saying always make framework people happy and everyone will be
happy but unless you're working with legacy code which hasn't seen the
light of PHP 5 ever, chances are your code will use a framework.

From the definition of PHP http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php
we get that PHP is a "general-purpose scripting language that is
especially suited for web development". Web development has shifted a
huge deal since 200x. I dare to say, it shifted a lot from 2011 even,
with the emerge of new framework wave. It took them about 1-2 years to
come out and use namespaces and so on but they also added a great deal
of new ways to think / write code for PHP developers.

Granted, I've been changing around jobs a couple of times in the past
years but it's all based on what I've seen in companies that range
from small to big, from nation wide number one online store to
multi-country stores to worldwide mobile applications.

And yes, internals are very friendly when it comes to helping people
out, I'll say it again, I haven't see someone asking a question and
not receiving at least one answer but when it comes to changes to the
language.. that's another story.

That's why I think it's the time to reevaluate the priorities in PHP,
how it communicates itself to the world and have a clear mission in
mind.

Granted, having a roadmap is a hard thing, especially with non-payed
contributors to the language but we might just as well as a call for
vote on the reasons why companies that are using PHP don't provide
more help to core. There's a bunch of conferences where people attend,
companies send their employees that we could use as a reference. We
could use php.net to gather more input from them.

And yes, I'm not in a position where I could do this, mainly because I
haven't gain some random e-pen standard that people are using to
choose if they listen to people or not but I'm sure that there are
members here who could make their voice heard on these matters and
I'll be helping out each idea that comes out and needs help as best as
possible to the extent of my skills.


Kind regards
----
Florin Patan
https://github.com/dlsniper
http://www.linkedin.com/in/florinpatan

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Florin Patan
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 12:20PM
On Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 11:02 AM, Lester Caine <[email protected]> wrote:
> Rasmus Lerdorf wrote:
>>
>> That's never going to happen. We don't have paid developers that we can
>> assign tasks to. We have volunteers who work on things they need or find
>> fun to work on. We can't possibly provide a solid road map two (I assume
>> you mean major) versions out.
>
>
> The conflict here is the modern plan to allow major version updates a lot
> more often than in the past. On one hand I can understand that people get
> frustrated that things are not changing quick enough but similarly there are
> those of us who prefer stability over flashy new 'features'. I know I keep
> banging on about 'PHP6', but surely it is now time to nail down the PHP5
> developments and start with a clean sheet of paper for PHP6? That I feel
> would make many of us happy and alleviate a lot of the current animosity?
> Alright we can simply stop at what I will call a minor version bump ...
> PHP5.4 ... but there is not enough support for a stable minor version. These
> major/minor updates are simply happening too often for some of us to cope
> with. Certainly the re-instigation of many features which were turned down
> in the past would suggest that a second stream would make sense?
>
>
> --
> Lester Caine - G8HFL
> -----------------------------
> Contact - http://lsces.co.uk/wiki/?page=contact
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>
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>

Just by looking at the features that are coming to PHP 5.6 I think all
the community will get plenty of features to work with in the future.
Thanks to the help from Nikita and Sara, I'll also submit soon another
(proper) RFC for return type hinting / return typing which along with
parameter changes parameters, function autoloading (I still hope
Anthony will change his mind and come back to finish things properly)
so yes, I'll be one of the contributors, if the RFC is accepted. I'd
be ready to support it in the future as well but at least for the time
being I have to rely on help to get things done.

That said, maybe after 5.6 release it would be a good time to have a
meeting and talk about future PHP versions and how we get there? I can
suggest Berlin as a place to do it, there's plenty of activity here,
lots of startups using PHP and a pretty nice city.

Until that, could we consider making a poll on the website to let the
users vote for their feature changes and so we can really gauge what
the community that uses PHP wants / needs?



Kind regards
----
Florin Patan
https://github.com/dlsniper
http://www.linkedin.com/in/florinpatan

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Pascal Chevrel
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 01:50PM
Le 12/09/2013 04:46, Rasmus Lerdorf a écrit :
> On 09/11/2013 05:34 PM, Florin Patan wrote:
>> - lack of a clear roadmap: as I said earlier, can someone really tell
>> what's in the next two versions of php from now
>
> That's never going to happen. We don't have paid developers that we can
> assign tasks to. We have volunteers who work on things they need or find
> fun to work on. We can't possibly provide a solid road map two (I assume
> you mean major) versions out.

Hi,

That doesn't seem entirely correct, see this recent message:
http://www.mail-archive.com/[email protected]/msg66339.html

I am quoting it here:
Michael Wallner Wed, 31 Jul 2013 14:15:24 -0700:
> Some of you might already know [1] that I've been hired as a full-time
> PHP core developer by SmugMug. I'll officially start tomorrow.
> [...]
> I hope that I can do a great job for all of us who need and love to
> use PHP. I hope that you will bear with me while I get used to all
> that stuff again I missed all the years busy with other things. I
> hope that I can contribute to existing, prospective and yet unknown
> projects within the PHP community in a meaningful and constructive
> way.
>
> Talk to me if something about me or PHP bugs you. Talk to me if you
> need help with your endeavour making PHP better. Talk to me even if
> you can't stand my attitude.

Have you talked to Michael yet and see if he could work on some bugs
and/or feature requests lacking developers?

Cheers,

Pascal


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Lester Caine
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 02:00PM
Florin Patan wrote:
> That said, maybe after 5.6 release it would be a good time to have a
> meeting and talk about future PHP versions and how we get there? I can
> suggest Berlin as a place to do it, there's plenty of activity here,
> lots of startups using PHP and a pretty nice city.

You see that I think is taking the core far too much further than I'm even
interested in, so I end up managing a PHP5.4 freeze along side a PHP5.5/6 system
which contains considerable incompatible changes, so I need two versions of the
third party libraries and then you add PHP6 into the mix.

"Ask the audience" seems an ideal solution, but I fear that not enough people
will respond.

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Michael Wallner
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 05:00PM
On 12 September 2013 13:43, Pascal Chevrel <[email protected]> wrote:
> Le 12/09/2013 04:46, Rasmus Lerdorf a écrit :
>
>> On 09/11/2013 05:34 PM, Florin Patan wrote:
>>>
>>> - lack of a clear roadmap: as I said earlier, can someone really tell
>>> what's in the next two versions of php from now
>>
>>
>> That's never going to happen. We don't have paid developers that we can
>> assign tasks to. We have volunteers who work on things they need or find
>> fun to work on. We can't possibly provide a solid road map two (I assume
>> you mean major) versions out.
>
>
> Hi,
>
> That doesn't seem entirely correct, see this recent message:
> http://www.mail-archive.com/[email protected]/msg66339.html
>
....
>
> Have you talked to Michael yet and see if he could work on some bugs and/or
> feature requests lacking developers?

I'm too much of a donkey to drive PHP alone, but thank you for your
confidence :)

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Pascal Chevrel
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 05:00PM
Le 12/09/2013 16:52, Michael Wallner a écrit :
>>
>> Have you talked to Michael yet and see if he could work on some bugs and/or
>> feature requests lacking developers?
>
> I'm too much of a donkey to drive PHP alone, but thank you for your
> confidence :)
>

You're welcome ;)

I wasn't thinking of putting you in charge of the whole project though,
I was also interested in knowing how you guys talk and meet outside of
this list and how people with C skills and time can work with people
with RFCs and ideas to make magic happen.

Cheers

pascal

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Pierre Joye
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 08:50PM
hi Derick,

On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 3:19 PM, Derick Rethans <[email protected]> wrote:
> On Wed, 11 Sep 2013, Daniel Basten wrote:
>
>> cite: "I hope this is a joke."
>>
>> i guess that is the stuff they where talking about.
>
> Not following etiquette is one of the things that annoys people. And you
> just violated list etiquette it by top-replying.

Well, as it is right, I would really appreciate if you could simply
post this reminder privately and with some smile and in a more
friendly way. I have seen them so many times as your only reply to
real good posts or answers. That's true to all kind of one liner reply
too btw. especially for long posts or questions. Thanks.


Cheers,
--
Pierre

@pierrejoye | http://www.libgd.org

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Pierre Joye
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 12, 2013 11:40PM
hi Florin,

On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 12:44 PM, Florin Patan <[email protected]> wrote:

> This morning I read something that's not fun:
> https://twitter.com/ircmaxell/status/376027280562073600
>
> Yet another good contributor leaves this community (not the whole PHP
> community) because of the way things are done here.

For what Anthony said he did not leave.


> It's true that this is an open source project and everyone can join
> and leave whenever he/she wants but like Anthony says, this project
> needs more leadership, more vision and definitely a better management.
> Someone said that there's no one coming forward or trying to change
> things, I may not be the right person to do this but at least maybe
> I'll wake up someone who can take action and change things.
>
> Here's some facts:
> - a couple of months ago named parameters was a taboo subject, I know
> because I've asked for it and everyone went silent, now we have a RFC
> discussing it
> - we had a RFC for autoloading functions but people just can't
> understand how to provide feedback and at the end of the day it
> resulted in a contributor leaving because of the murkiness here

I do not agree here. I read and re read this thread again and all I
can see is one developer trying to get and provide all information to
make an informed decision. The mistake was to discuss in a circular
way for way too long. I, for one. should have interrupted this
discussion, post my thoughts or opinion as well and ask to update the
RFC accordingly.

> - we have a bunch of RFCs waiting for feedback and being trolled to
> infinity by people with their own agendas

There are controversial RFCs, why we need to discussions, drafts, etc.
before voting. But we suffer from the circular discussions problem way
too often. I can take part of the blame as I did not participate nor
followed enough discussions to avoid this problem.


> - having a RFC to make a language change requires to have a patch
> which if you don't know C and internals you got no chance of doing.

Well, I cannot help here. Unless I have time and needs for the given
RFC. That's how things work in 99.999% of all OSS projects I
contribute to. It is by no mean a way to block something, but simply a
fact that we have to live with.

> And if you do know C, PHP internals will drain the soul out of you
> before doing something

We have to improve that, not sure how right now but have some ideas
(RFCs, voting process, release process goals were to solve this exact
problem or part of it).

> - there's no clear objective for what PHP has / will have / will not
> have / will not ever have.

true, I don't think it will ever have a master plan.

> - there were patches proposed by Facebook, and others, that are / were
> rejected, delayed or ignored. Who heard of Facebook anyway, they have
> just one website with a billion users probably running on a a couple
> of Galaxy Note 3 and 2-3 iPhone 6 as a load balancers, my cat can do
> better I tell you.

Which patch from Facebook have been ignored or rejected? I can't
remember any of them.

That being said, I really do not think a patch is better or should be
accepted because <big company XYZ> proposes it.

Facebook is huge but their needs barely matches the needs of our
users. Tey do have great ideas, but they have to propose them like any
other contributors.



> Then there's that 'little' community of framework developers called
> FIG which tried to do some standardization in the way things are done
> in userland but guess what. It took 2 years or so for anyone here to
> actually think we might really want to add PSR-0 to core. And people
> here still have issues with that because it's not in the PHP 'open
> spirit' (of the internals). Granted, FIG could do much better but hey,
> they follow the example set here by you.

There was a RFC (autoloaded thing if I remember correctly), it got
rejected. We must accepted this decision. Not happy with our choice?
Well, back to the roots, be a contributor and you can vote. I know it
sounds weird to point it this way, but at the end of day this is how
we can change PHP.


> For me this PHP 'open spirit' is just a way of saying: I don't want to
> have my head full of real issues so I'll just ignore them and let
> others handle them.

Not for me. But I do not participate in discussions where I have no
clue or don't see what to discuss but say yes or no. I then simply
wait for the votes.

> Look at other languages. Take GO for example, which is done by the
> other big noobs on the market called Google.
>
> If you want, you can actually start and contribute to the language in
> less that a week from learning the language!

I gave many talks about php, how to contribute, etc. My personal
record is 4 new contributions during my talk (less than 45 minutes).
To contribute does not mean you have to know C, there are many other
ways, many of them do not even involve internals discussions.

>
> And I know what you'll say:
> - yet another one making some smoke, lets ignore him;

I do not consider what you say as "smoke", but the tone is not the one
I would have used, not while trying to solve a "tone" problem on this
list, in my humble opinion.

> - who cares about you complaining, PHP is still the most spread
> language for servers

Right, but I do care about complains, as long as they are actually
valid and constructive.

> - PHP releases very often with new things for developers that they
> want / use / need.

Indeed, and recent huge changes in how we work allow that. is it bad?

> But you really expect this to continue forever? If so you are plain
> ignorant and you shouldn't be part of this.

No, but what do you actually propose?

>
> So, either you care about PHP and wake up or leave and let others take over.

No thanks, I won't leave. But again, what is your solution?

>
> Or better yet, ask someone like Facebook to take over and that's it.
> Maybe they'll be interested in doing that since they had to rewrite
> HHVM two times to get more performance out of PHP.

Over my dead body. The day a commercial company actually own PHP, I
will leave, without any delay.

> If you don't like Facebook, let Microsoft take over if they are
> interested. They have contributors here, they have some programming
> languages under their belt.

Be sure I will ask them this week, it happens I'm at their HQ these days ;-)


> But please, stop with these:
> - nah, today is not a good day for this patch/ thread
> - we have a leader already
> - we have people contributing

We do. Maybe we need even more to create a balance.

I would also suggest you to look at the NEWS file or release notes for
the 5.4 and 5.5. Almost all major new features have been done by new
contributors! If that's not a sign that things have change, even only
a little bit, then I have no idea what I am doing here.

> - look ma' charts are growing, we are still ahead of others
> - I'll just be against everything today as I didn't had enough sugar
> in my coffee
> attitudes as it's really not productive for developers and companies
> that are still using PHP.

As I agree on many of the points in this post, I can't and never will
agree on his tone. This is exactly what creates issues with new
contributors, or between core developers.

Cheers,
--
Pierre

@pierrejoye | http://www.libgd.org

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David Soria Parra
Re: [PHP-DEV] Wake up
September 14, 2013 04:20PM
Florin Patan <[email protected]> schrieb:
> - lack of clear documentation about the internals: you really can't
> tell me that the docs out there are clear because I did a bunch of
> searching for them and I'm pretty good at finding stuff

You are welcome to improve the documentation and make it easier for
people to get into internals.

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