A quick Twitter check shows that most tweets recently mentioning PHP-FIG have veered towards the less than impressed end of the spectrum, and I can’t blame those folk who are either disgusted at recent discussions or staking out marshmallows for when the flames rise up again. As I stated in a thread yesterday, I’m currently embarrassed by my association with the group. Whether people like it or not, the conduct of the group casts a shadow on all of its members, and I don’t want its dancing fires of madness reflecting on me.

The list is being overrun by emotionally charged language, derailed threads, personalised attacks, ad-hoc rule enforcement, one-upmanship, and a zero-compromise attitude when debating. In between these, real work is getting done. However, this gets a fraction of the attention, publicity and participation.

If folk want to contribute something useful, Lukas Kahwe Smith is proposing some security related standards (which may go forward as PSR-8 if/when an acceptance vote is organised). Matthew Weier O’Phinney and others are powering through the PSR-7 HTTP messages proposal. There’s other PSRs in progress too! PSR-6 for a caching interface and PSR-5 for a PHPDoc Standard.

The outcome of these “dramas” is to hide all of this good work behind a wall of horse manure. This crap also alienates potential contributors, discourages collaboration, and turns us into a laughing stock on social media. In fact, I’m feeling like I’ve heard something like this before…

There’s an ongoing joke between many people who follow PHP internals development (or used to follow) that it is a toxic kindergarten.

- Anthony Ferrara: http://blog.ircmaxell.com/2013/09/rambling-on-internals.html

Yes, it’s time to invoke Anthony “Sir Clarity” Ferrara. Run ye for yonder hills. Anthony makes a bunch of useful points that apply to PHP-FIG just as they do to PHP Internals so it’s well worth re-reading that article and ruminating on its contents. While closing that article, Anthony makes the most obvious point of all:

…unless people realize and talk about the problems, they can never be solved.

Going back on threads for the past few months, I’ve listed a set of “rules” that people have mentioned or, at least, never objected to. I would ask PHP-FIG members to a) read them, b) make comments if they want, c) suggest additions, d) consider a +1, and e) consider calling out people if they breach them.


Let’s start diverting some of this high energy effort into PSRs…