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Herman J. Radtke III

PHP core is out of control

The current state of PHP is pretty chaotic. While there are plenty of people involved the development and maintenance of PHP, there is no leadership and little direction. Most developers are isolated from one another developing whatever they feel like developing. The lack of strong leadership allows for little improvement in the way PHP is developed and used.

Things get done in open-source projects when people have the need to scratch an itch. In order to facilitate more activity within PHP core, trunk we opened for general development. However, that does not mean every itch that is scratched should be added to PHP. PHP just added lahmda functions and namespaces in 5.3 and now we have traits, strict typing and maybe even annotations in 5.4. Namespaces have not even seen serious adoption yet. There are a ton of open bugs yet to be fixed. Most people don't find bugs as enjoyable to work on as new features, but this work needs to be done.

The lack of leadership and standards is driving myself, and many others, nuts. A lot of important decisions appear to be made behind closed doors. Some veteran core developers seem to make arbitrary decisions about things that affect a lot of people. All of this is allowed to happen because there are very few meaningful standards in the PHP development process. Only recently have there been RFC's written for major projects. Real and transparent standards need to be written for the development process too.

I realize that PHP is an open-source project that is community driven. Anyone volunteering there time does not want to spend it dealing with politics. However, the politics are unavoidable. I rely on PHP for my job and I try to contribute back as much as I can. However, if PHP maintains its present course, maybe I will invest my time and effort into another language, like Python.