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Let me fire up the DeLorean

Found and reported a couple of PHP 5.3 bugs yesterday. That isn’t such a surprise; it’s a new release, after all, and we’re currently in the midst of developing code for the first time against 5.3 here at work. One of them is a crasher, but an obscure one reliant on the new-in-5.3 INI_SCANNER_RAW mode in parse_ini_file and a rather odd configuration file, so as these things go, it’s pretty minor, and scottmac has jumped on it very promptly indeed (thanks!). The response from Jani was interesting, though:

Thanks for not reporting this before release..

Now, Jani does a tremendous amount of work triaging PHP bugs and I — and every other PHP developer (particularly those of us who does this for a living) — owe him a huge debt for that. But frankly, I resent the implication that I’ve somehow sat on a crasher since before 5.3.0 was released and only submitted it now as some sort of weird vendetta against the PHP internals team. Funnily enough, I only found it while I was reducing the other, more trivial bug down to a minimal test case.

I get far worse things implied in my direction when I’m out on a Saturday night in Northbridge, so really, I’m not that fussed. (I’m obviously a bit fussed, though, since I’m writing this.) I do wonder how somebody new to the PHP community would feel, though — my guess is that you could forget about future bug reports in some cases, and that just isn’t a win for anyone.

4 Responses to “Let me fire up the DeLorean”

  1. Michael Kimsal Says:

    *WOW* that’s a horrible attitude. Yes, Jani does a lot of positive things for the PHP community, but probably does just as much damage with just one comment like that. And yes, he may just have been having a bad day, but that’s still plain insulting. :(

  2. Philip Olson Says:

    My guess is this comment expresses frustration towards the situation that most people don’t test RC releases and instead wait for official releases. This is a real problem. Not saying I agree with this particular form of [bad day] comment but am just saying.

  3. Adam Harvey Says:

    @Philip: The RC issue’s a real one, no doubt, and I know that’s been behind initiatives like Ilia’s e-mails to friendly projects when 5.2.x RCs are released. I don’t think there’s an easy answer for that one, though — we actually have been developing against the 5.3.0 RCs at work, since we were fairly comfortable that 5.3.0 would be out before our current project was ready for production anyway, but I’ve worked at companies where management would be extremely uncomfortable with developing against “non-stable” languages (the attitude being “there’s money on the line here, dammit!”), and others where (worse still) developers have been too overworked to test properly against the actual version they’re running, let alone development releases.

    It’s a difficult problem. I think, as a community, we actually deal with it pretty well in general, as the RCs are quite well advertised these days and the PHP RMs seem to have resisted the urge to push things out as “stable” releases before they’re ready, which I’ve certainly seen other open source projects do to improve their testing base. I think the overall quality of 5.3.0 (which I’ve been extremely impressed with through the RCs and into stable) is testament to how well it’s been managed.

  4. Foobar Says:

    > Thanks for not reporting this before release..

    Well he could also really meant it. You should know that 5.3 has been delayed for a long time. I am happy that 5.3 is already out here :-)