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Phil Sturgeon:
T_PAAMAYIM_NEKUDOTAYIM v Sanity
September 10, 2013 @ 09:23:48

Phil Sturgeon shares some of his thoughts about the almost "fear of change" that the PHP project seems to have. He cites the example of the T_PAAMAYIM_NEKUDOTAYIM constant, one that can be confusing for those not familiar with it.

Pretending PHP is perfect would obviously be ridiculous - it has its problems - but a list of issues being compiled gives interested developers a great chance to fix things. One such resource is PHP Sadness brought to you by Eric Wastl, to document valid bugs and freaky shit that PHP does. Whether it be the chicken or the egg, these items are one by one being scratched off as active core-contributors make RFCs and fight the good fight to get them merged.

Sadly it is not always easy to clear these items, or add new features in general. As somebody who has followed internals (and been hearing tales of woe from others) for a while, I've seen so many conversations with truly bizarre, irrelevant and trolly responses coming back from everyone all the way up to Rasmus himself.

For his example, the T_PAAMAYIM_NEKUDOTAYIM token, he goes through some of the history of it and the suggestions it's had for change from various parts of the community. There was a suggestion it be renamed to something more clear but it turned into a "battle of epic proportions." He goes through some of the comments from this (and other) discussion around the token and the confusion it causes, providing some of his own opinions along the way. The post is a good read, especially if you're not involved in the PHP internals world. It gives you a glimpse into what can happen around such a simple suggestion.

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tpaamayimnekudotayim sanity internals mailinglist opinion

Link: http://philsturgeon.co.uk/blog/2013/09/t-paamayim-nekudotayim-v-sanity

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