A failed lynching? What do you think about the PHP-FIG vs Paul Jones débâcle?

Those of you who know of Paul M. Jones, know that he’s a blogger, excellent coder, and a brilliant writer. He’s also a very active and dedicated member of the PHP-FIG, and contributes to all discussions regularly. You might also know that he likes to say what he means and no, not in the Trump kind of way. The latter character trait is how he ended up stepping on some people’s toes, and in this world full of Lucys, that’s something that can end someone’s career.

I’ll have more to say on this topic in a personal blog post soon, but as someone who is deeply involved with the PHP community, and as someone who wants more people to join our ranks and learn the language, I can honestly say that the actions of the group left me disappointed and sad. It’s not that I don’t think that someone who is being unkind should be reprimanded or talked to, or that I think that everyone should tolerate every kind of abuse and just shrug it off - it’s that the evidence of this being a setup from the start is clearly there if you just follow the thread and read the arguments of both sides, as well as take into account their references to the “incidents” and correspondence before the debate and the kickvote went fully public.

The kick vote, luckily, failed (or seems to be failing right now, again proving that only the loudest are the extremists, and everyone else has a normal perception of the world), but even so - I’m not sure I’d want to remain a part of such a group if I were in Paul’s shoes. The fact that he took it all in stride without raising his voice or trying to character assassinate anyone (which cannot be said for the other side), and still intends to contribute to the FIG’s discussions and proposals, in my opinon shows more character than the opposition can demonstrate if combined, and ultimately proves his dedication to the betterment of PHP as a language and a community more than anything else.

As I said, I’ll have more to say on this in a personal blog post - but as someone with a voice in a relatively large part of the community, I had to voice my opinion about the matter here as well, because it affects us all. How do you feel about the situation? Have you kept up with it and absorbed all the details? How would you have dealt with it, if you were on either side?

I think I would have to side with Paul on most things however he does like to provoke.

I think he needs to pick his battles a little better. Let the community CoC thing pass. If you don’t agree just don’t follow it. Worst case someone picks him up on it and he is in the same situation as he is in now.

You know this is what concerns me most about .NET opening a lot of its source to public. All of that debating and “discussion” that was once behind closed doors will now be more public. They will have to deal with these type of scenarios and contributors, and when it ends badly, everyone will go to “Big Bad Microsoft is pushing the kiddies around.”

I personally don’t follow PHP around too closely. I used to use the language a lot, and now I hardly dive into it. But this is hardly an issue with PHP alone, just about every open source language out there has this problem and will continue to do so. It is very much a social and political problem, some people really enjoy politics, others, we don’t. And as such, those of us who do not, should find a role where we can blissfully contribute to a project we care about and be able to ignore the cruft that goes on within it. If you can’t do that, maybe its time to move on to a new project/community.

I really hate to tell people to turn a blind eye, but if you are one who gets torn up on issues like this, you need to find a way to personally deal with your thoughts on the matter or learn to let it go.

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Calling it a “lynching”, given the actual history of violence (in this country at least, and I know you’re not American (right?)), seems… inappropriate, to put it mildly. Perhaps a bit hyperbolic, since no one actually, you know, died here, no?

The PHP community is so toxic right now, it’s hard to tell what’s going on, although I do think the resistance to the Code of Conduct was extremely overblown.

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