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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Saying PHP is "pretty awful" without actually talking about any specific issues with it is just the kind of thing I mean. It adds nothing useful to the discussion and creates an environment of insults and flame wars. If you want to talk about things that bother you in PHP, go ahead, but you'll get better results if you do it in a way that's less insulting and more constructive.

    Maybe my attitude about this comes partly from going to conferences and meeting the developers who work on these things. There are people behind these projects. They're not a faceless mob. Rasmus is a smart guy, and fun to talk to. Ditto for the MySQL guys. Insulting these people is not in anyone's best interest. It certainly isn't going to convince them to see things your way.

    P.S. It's "Harkins"
    • I sat on this comment for a couple of days because I didn’t know quite where to start with the response.

      1. Would you object if I called bash a pretty awful programming language? Do I really have to list all the specific problems that make it unfit for a very large domain of problems, every time I want to say it’s unfit for them? Assuming you wouldn’t: why is bash fair game but PHP sancrosanct?

      2. My motivation is not to fix PHP. It is plenty successful despite all the naysayers anyway, but

      • I know there are people behind these projects. I generally don’t attack developers; I hope they are mature enough to be able to tell critcism of their work apart from criticism of their person.

        I've never met a developer who wouldn't be upset by someone calling their code awful.

        But in the case of PHP specifically, I have multiple anecdotes

        Good. Those sound much more reasonable than a blanket statement.

        Saying something really general like "PHP is pretty awful" looks like denial of the things that are g
        • I guess this comes to down to a difference in points of view.

          I assume, on principle, that my code is generally awful… :-) Sometimes I know it’s not, in which case someone else’s calling it awful just makes me shrug; unless I know it’s a sharp programmer in which case I ask. (Even then I’d be hard pressed to ever use an epithet like “beautiful” – the best thing I have to say about any particularly good piece of code I wrote is that it’s “simple