Sunday, January 07, 2007

PJE, I Have Little Time For What I Don't Prefer

Phillip J. Eby, I have a lot of respect for a lot of the things you right, including most of your recent posts. Dimwits refuse to learn, assholes yell at you for suggesting it, and good developers can acknowledge and embrace their faults and ignorance. No matter how much I learn I never want to think I have nothing left worth learning.

There are a lot of technologies and solutions I do not use. I'm sure all of them have their good points and their bad points, Zope included. However, I probably won't ever get to know much or anything about them. The time to familiarize myself in any valuable degree with Zope, Django, Turbogears, and mod_python is simply more than I have after using the solutions I actually apply to real usage.

Besides the things I can't find time to learn, even if I know they probably have really interesting aspects, there are definitely things I just won't learn or won't learn any more of. PHP is a good example, and many people know just how I feel about that. Yes, I might fit some of the descriptions PJE defined for people he would not hire. Asked about my worst experiences, I would likely bring up PHP and I don't believe I could have anything good to say about it. Is that ignorant of me, or is it just that bad? Maybe I just saw the limitations and before I learned real merits of the system, I moved on. Regardless, I've not locked myself into having no good answer for the interview question!

Never stop learning is a great rule to live by, but it doesn't mean you can't stop learning about particular things you deem invaluable to your precious time.

2 comments:

Florian said...

Yeah I guess I fall right off the PJE job grid for denying Zope too.

Though I've seen one woman who hated zope and left her job because of it and it's community. Then I was hired to hate the same job until I replaced Zope by something reliable, flexible and enjoyable.

We are passionate because we care. We care about our time and that of others. That is why those who have learned their lesson and did not stop caring like PJE voice their opinion in a clear and understandable way.

PJE said...

PHP has some important strengths as a platform; you don't have to *know the language* to know that:

1. It's widely available and rapidly deployable

2. It has a very low barrier to entry for low-skill personnel

3. There's a large amount of already-written software in it.

Does that mean I want to program in PHP? Not if I can help it, no. The shortcomings (including massive security holes) are well and widely known.

But my wife's store's website uses osCommerce, which is one of the easiest to install and use, most comprehensive low-end open source ecommerce website packages out there. It's written in PHP.

One of *my* business sites also uses Plone, even though I don't particularly like it. I use what gets the overall job done economically, not what I'd like to use if I had time to write the whole thing from scratch in an "ideal" way. Plone won out over a variety of PHP solutions I evaluated, in part for UI reasons and in part because I figured I had a better chance of being able to hack it into shape if I needed to. But there were a *lot* of PHP contenders that outclassed Plone in relevent raw feature counts.

Anyway, yeah, if somebody couldn't name or think up on the spot at least one of the PHP strengths above, they probably wouldn't have been qualified to work for me. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to come up with those, only the lack of bias.

As for Florian's suggestion that I have "stop[ped] caring", I would have to say that I prefer to focus my passion in *positive* directions. Focusing on the negative is what really wastes time and lives. I stopped developing with Zope many years ago; I don't feel a need to carry grudges about its shortcomings indefinitely.

I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.

I am happily employed by the excellent Caktus Group, located in beautiful and friendly Carrboro, NC, where I work with Python, Django, and Javascript.

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