Today's lesson: Know your opponent

225px-Rasmus_Lerdorf_croppedI’m a big believer in open source development. The bazaar development model allows quality ideas to float to the top, albeit in sometimes contentious ways. The Linux kernel, the Apache httpd web server, and the PHP programming language are all developed in the open, and anyone is allowed to participate in their development. Filing bug reports is as important as writing the actual code. It helps, though, to have some sense of understanding of who you might be dealing with when you engage in a pissing match in a bug report.

PHP bug #50696 seems fairly straightforward: some PHP internals were changed, which changed the way the number_format function works. The person who submitted the bug report raises some legitimate concern about this behavior change. What follows is a rather funny exchange between the original bug reporter and the PHP developer who took on the bug. In this case, it was Rasmus Lerdorf, the guy who invented PHP to begin with.

Oh how I wish I had someone to escalate to.

Hopefully you’ve had a better day than either of these two!