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Lead PHP Developer Quits 809

Jasper Bryant-Greene writes "Jani Taskinen, one of the lead developers of the Zend Engine (the engine that powers PHP), as well as a lead developer for the thread safety system and other core components of the PHP project, has quit in a relatively cryptic message to the php-internals mailing list. Jani has been involved with PHP for about 6 years and his loss will undoubtedly be a big blow for the PHP project."
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Lead PHP Developer Quits

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  • Re:Looks like... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by giorgiofr ( 887762 ) on Friday July 28, 2006 @07:57AM (#15797641)
    That message is as fake as they get... I would guess somebody hijacked his mailbox and had a bit of fun :D
  • Re:Hmmmmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AccUser ( 191555 ) <mhg@tao s e . c o.uk> on Friday July 28, 2006 @07:59AM (#15797646) Homepage
    Looks like he is usually unhappy [derickrethans.nl]...
  • by GDI Lord ( 988866 ) on Friday July 28, 2006 @08:10AM (#15797672) Homepage
    Just from reading that it seems like it might have been a difficult, possibly even painful, decision to make, but now that it's made I think he might be feeling relief about getting out of the project. He might even be feeling like a huge weight has been taken off his shoulders. I don't think he'll rejoin the project any time soon.
  • Betrayal ? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28, 2006 @08:18AM (#15797694)
    I'm sure most people (the ones who matter) can understand why. If someone doesn't, I could not care less. Take care.

    Dont know much about PHP and dont know the insides of what happens with the group but judging by the reaction I wonder if I can hazard a guess about what happened. When someone who is obviously a major driving force behind a movement of this kind quits with so much bitterness as to turn his back on his own creation, the best I can gather is he feels theres nothing left worth working/fighting for. Maybe internal politics is causing a serious strain on his ability to function and some of the fights may have wrongly undermined his credibility in the eyes of others. Its sad when people hog the limelight of someone elses hard work and alienate the people who matter for their own personal shortsighted gains. I've seen it happen all to often.
  • Angry Old Men (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28, 2006 @08:43AM (#15797815)
    The impression I'm getting with most of these posts reminds me of the crotchety old man who yells, "You aren't entitled to be happy with your job. Just shut up and be thankful that you have a job."

    Not only is it okay for people to actually pursue happiness, it's also okay, and healthy, for people to express how unhappy and upset they are. Seems that some people on this thread should take note of this.
  • by Vorondil28 ( 864578 ) on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:03AM (#15797940) Journal
    Can anyone corroborate this with logs of their own, or is this just a troll? (Leaning towards troll...)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:09AM (#15797981)
    A Canadian U.N. observer, one of four killed at a UNIFIL position near the southern Lebanese town of Khiyam on Tuesday, sent an e-mail to his former commander, a Canadian retired major-general, Lewis MacKenzie, in which he wrote that Hezbollah fighters were "all over" the U.N. position, Mr. MacKenzie said. Hezbollah troops, not the United Nations, were Israel's target, the deceased observer wrote
  • Re:Shock! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Paradise Pete ( 33184 ) on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:18AM (#15798027) Journal
    The phrase "I could care less" is a sarcastic version of "I couldn't care less." They mean the same thing. Why not worry about something else, like "very unique," or even the absurd dilution of "awesome."
  • Seeds of conflict? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anthony Boyd ( 242971 ) on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:22AM (#15798056) Homepage

    I found these:

    http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=php-dev&m=11329681 6720289&w=2 [theaimsgroup.com]
    http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=php-dev&m=11532555 7711671&w=2 [theaimsgroup.com]
    http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=php-dev&m=11533120 9820157&w=2 [theaimsgroup.com]

    ...which hint at conflict. Maybe one of those blew up in a way he didn't like. However, I don't think those really are the issues. I would guess it's something off-list. It's too bad. I have friends working at Zend. You never want to see someone so useful walk away.

    I must admit that I'm impressed with the mailing list -- Jani said "don't reply" and nobody did. They're either a disciplined bunch, heavily moderated, or Jani's leaving just didn't have much impact.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28, 2006 @10:34AM (#15798557)
    I feel pretty confident that Jani is neither Jewish nor Palestinian and probably not very religious. Honestly, what on earth does this conflict have to do with him? Yet it has consumed him and controlled him. Truly sad.

    Jani has served as a peacekeeper around the globe, the conflict had killed one of his co-workers. Truely sad indeed.

  • Re:Shock! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DarkSarin ( 651985 ) on Friday July 28, 2006 @10:54AM (#15798716) Homepage Journal
    The opposite of unique is what?

    Ubiquitous. Now it makes sense to say that something exists at a certain level of ubiquity--that is it exists in varying degrees of proliferation. For instance, I personally exist at almost zero ubiquity: there is only one of me, and therefore I am highly unique. In dealing with persons, this makes less sense, as every person may said to be unique.

    In dealing with traits, however, it makes much more sense. If you have 1000 people and one trait appears in 900, it may said to be very ubiquitous, and not very unique. If, however, it only exists in 3 people, it will be said that it is not very ubiquitous at all--or fairly unique. What if a trait only appears in 1 in every 1,000,000 people--that would be rather unique (although you would currently expect to find about 6,000 people in the world with the trait).

    Thus anyone who thinks that unique is a binary condition has made a rather simple logical mistake that should be corrected.
  • by gay358 ( 770596 ) on Friday July 28, 2006 @10:56AM (#15798734)
    Not true. Arab countries have promised peace for Israel on the condition on withdrawing behind borders that were before 1967 war, which is an offer Israel has refused. So don't pretend that all arabs want to kill all jews.
  • Re:Ironic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Eric S. Smith ( 162 ) on Friday July 28, 2006 @11:24AM (#15798972) Homepage
    Ironic that a former "peacekeeper" says "Nuke"... Very lame, regardless of the reason.
    You'd probably say much the same thing if someone dropped a laser-guided bomb on your colleague's head.

    And since he hasn't actually killed anyone in his frustration and rage, he's still miles behind the bomb-flingers of the world in the lameness department.

  • by CrankyOldBastard ( 945508 ) on Friday July 28, 2006 @12:01PM (#15799355)
    Actually, most Muslims follow the Koran, which instructs them to care for and protect Jews and Christians
    Comparing all Arabs to the Wahabists is like saying all Americans are like those mid-west bible thumping fundies, or that GW is a typical American.

    You should also keep in mind that for most of the history of Palestine post Roman occupation apart from the period around the crusades, Jews and Arabs have lived reasonably successfully together in the Middle East, up until The foundation of the modern state of Israel. Yes, there were incidents of anti-semitism, but these were not the norm for about 1600 years.
  • by aevans ( 933829 ) on Friday July 28, 2006 @02:28PM (#15800732) Homepage
    What about all the Palestinian Jews, and all the Jews from around the Middle East that have been driven out of their countries and found refuge in Israel?
  • by mkavanagh2 ( 776662 ) on Friday July 28, 2006 @03:31PM (#15801261)
    A partial quote of the log from a trusted member of the PHP community with a timestamp not included in my quote.

    http://news.php.net/php.internals/25044 [php.net]

    I hope this settles any speculation about who is or is not a Mossad agent fabricating stories to destroy the internet.
  • by Rob Kaper ( 5960 ) on Friday July 28, 2006 @03:34PM (#15801294) Homepage
    Obviously the part before 'hehehe' is cut, but 'hell yeah' might be meant as irony.

    I suppose we'll find out sooner or later, I doubt Jani will be silent on the issue much longer. Absence of a response isn't proof he did say and mean it, but it would certainly be very foolish in any other case.

    If we follow Occam's razor then surely he would deny the words if the logs aren't true while if they are he would apologise for a sad, emotional rant. I suspect returning from his decision that he cannot work on PHP as long as Israeli Zend backs it is rather impossible at this point, but that decision in itself is respectable even for people like me who disagree with the logic (or even viewpoint) behind it. It is his right not to want to work with Israelis, but for his own sake I hope he tries to do some damage control.

    And I think his PHP contributions are not the most notable background here. He's a UN peacekeeper and has in fact been stationed in Lebanon. If you think the PHP team is not going to be happy about this publicity, think of how the UN should feel when there own forces make such emotional hateful rants in public after a "friendly" fire incident - as bad as that incident may be. That might also be why he has no priority to defend himself towards the open source world, he's probably doing all he can by now to keep his job and avoid an official investigation. Or maybe he's preparing a libel case (or would IRC/Slashdot constitute slander?).
  • by singingjim ( 957822 ) on Friday July 28, 2006 @04:18PM (#15801626)
    Follow up emails from other folks mentioned he was ranting about the blown up UN post and one of the other guys was talking about quitting because PHP was backed by some Israeli company. Stupid politics. I understand having principles, but unless a relative was blowed up as well, then he should quit crying and get back to work. It's not as if Israel decided to invade on a whim and I doubt they blew up the UN post on purpose.
  • PHP will be stronger (Score:1, Interesting)

    by gravy.jones ( 969410 ) on Friday July 28, 2006 @04:33PM (#15801744) Homepage
    When people leave with notes like that, it says one thing loud and clear "EGO EGO EGO". PHP will rebound and maybe they won't get someone as bright to take his place but they **will get someone**. As long as that person can play well with others and shares in the vision instead of wanting to rewrite the vision, then the whole project will continue and people will keep using that strange language that powers the ether between client and server.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28, 2006 @05:12PM (#15802061)
    Not after the Israelis killed his buddy you mean?
  • Re:Come on guys.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xenophon Fenderson, ( 1469 ) <xenophon+slashdot@irtnog.org> on Friday July 28, 2006 @06:42PM (#15802709) Homepage

    Even with the posted IRC logs, this may not be the entire story. I haven't scrolled through enough of the 600+ comments yet, and I can't verify the legitimacy of the quotation. But let's assume it's valid. The guy is supposed to be in Afghanistan right now. That means he is taking preventative medication for malaria. At least one of the anti-malarial drugs typically administered by the U.S. military in Afghanistan, mefloquine (a.k.a. Lariam), occasionally causes mental problems [fda.gov]. It's rare - usually, mefloquine just causes an upset stomach or insomnia - but it's possible that the degree of this fellow's reaction is induced by the medication. If he lost close friends in the attack, it's also conceivable that he was so overcome that his comments on IRC were made in the heat of the moment, especially given the following (very low-key) email. It's probably better to give the fellow the benefit of the doubt, concentrate on his positive contributions, and move on.

  • by try_anything ( 880404 ) on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:30PM (#15803383)
    When people stopped preaching to other people ("do it, it's good for you") and started thinking about their own butts ("screw good for me, I'd rather be and look successful.") It's the difference between meddling idealism and self-centered pleasure-seeking.

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe