JAWW (beta)

The ward is a factory for the Combine

Monthly Archives: September 2007

on really slow start and fast finish

TGA seems to be repeating my own mistake sniping at Trent, .com forums mod:

I bet Trent is secretly a bit miffed they felt the need to advertise, though.

[other snipes left in the comments to the quoted post — options]

it makes me uncomfortable to comment it since, no doubts, Trent can perfectly speak for himself.

however, at the same time, I honestly feel like there’s an unfairness because all those snipes shot at him (and there’s mea culpa too) are really looking as being uncalled now when all of us had a chance to see him in a moderator’s role for something like more than half a year already. that’s what I’d call a really slow start.

movie frameyou know, coming from Usenet/Fidonet world where mods and other positions most of the part were elected by the more or less democratic way (some even through direct voting), it’s strange for me to see and hard to consider at all mods, appointed by external to the community authority.

nevertheless, I think it’s much more of an importance to see at the .com moderators deeds in the forums particularly (i.e. how do they use their powers), rather than whom they’ve friended / friended by on the Facebook. otherwise it’s totally unjust[ified].

let’s see: Trent doesn’t boot or obtrusively shutting down community members by showing them to the door in the form of “Contact Support” when they’re trying to communicate discussing their Ideas,

nor doesn’t he busily pushing the OP to mark their threads in the Support forum as ‘resolved’ even if their issue is not actually resolved.

nor doesn’t he vent his aggro in OT on noobs and other strange folks who happen to ask for help in desperation, as opposed,  btw, to the many of regular forums posters (and, alas, including myself :-(.

nor even doesn’t he spread false but popular around .com non-technically savvy users (and hence hard to dispel) BS myths about e.g.:

  • “security over features” — as though that’s why no embeds/JS and all that on .com,
  • “Pages are out of blog chronology” — as if that’s why Pages can’t be categorized or searched in WP,
  • allegedly “Global Tags system brings a SEO benefits” — that’s supposed to warrant local cats links hijacking in the post-meta and so it goes on…


but there’s also one more thing which I think is the most important one — it’s a posts or whole threads removal policy, that is to say about a moderation per se: i.e. usage of marking user profile as Bozo; Close/Remove Topics; Delete, Edit, Move user’s Posts, Tags, or even Favorites and other mod. buttons.

while Trent, perhaps, does not spend hundreds of hours covering Matt’s ass1 in the forums, but then I don’t know why, but since the moment he’s left as the only moderator, I’ve noticed that none of my posts get deleted anymore. of course, as bbPress forums software was made so that it works by a rather mean way2 I can not be sure ultimately, but should I believe it’s just a pure coincidence?

before that quite a few of my posts and even whole threads where I posted, promptly got into bbPress moderation (deleted posts) queue. I gather those posts had been probably seen by deleters as such that potentially capable to discover a bit of that so carefully guarded Automattic’s back-end and thus disrupting this time consuming and tiresome but must be very captivating process of keeping it safe and clean.

once in the beginning of this summer my profile was even bozoed — really nasty thing I should tell ya!


the only thing Trent could be possibly blamed for is that he allows other regular posters act as if they were moderators while they are just about mere users, just as well as absolutely peer to them ‘folks’, whom it’s supposed they’re helping out.

but this issue is probably more up to Mark, .com paid happiness engineer’ whom this situation might be convenient to. I dunno, actually, but then not sure why does he bear with such an atmosphere in the forums which is spurning off other .com users: both who need help, and those who could offer it?


movie frameonce being a relatively civil place, .com forums are steadily going into .org model of modus agendi, and it’s no one’s secret what kind of agenda most .org moderators are possessed with (compare them with Trent, please).

also, frankly, it’s much better end up in the ‘no-replies’ list and then finally enjoy by discovering a search/FAQ facility, than get booted receiving unsolicited off-topic free lessons (in place of getting an answer on questioned topic) — it hurts more, although this is exactly what quite a few of forums’ habitués are hanging on there for!


and that’s what I’d call the .com forums’ fast finish.


  1. in other places, this very process of mistakenly understood moderators duties, for some reason, was also jesuitically described (to me personally as well) as “we’re just trying to help folks out”.

    that and another boot camping on .com forums always makes me reminiscent of Ken Kesey’s  “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest“. do you remember a Big Nurse? there are plenty of them on .com forums anytime you visit it.

     back to the post 

  2. neither mod. name, nor a timestamp is provided to the moderated end-user, so you never know which one of the forums PTB has Bozoed your account, or is in charge for a particular Posts, Tags, or even Favorites of yours that got Deleted, Edited, or Moved. and you can only guess when exactly they’ve made it.

     back to the post 

SandBox 1.0 went South on .com

judging by the fact my sidebar has suddenly gone south (to the bottom of the page), I suppose the Sandbox theme which is currently in use on this blog is finally getting actively upgraded by the staff up to the new version in this very moment.

sandbox-theme — "A WordPress theme rich with powerful, dynamic semantic class selectors".

Sandbox 1.0.x is for WordPress 2.3.x and beyond. This version includes the new tagging features built in to WordPress 2.3 and is much lighter than the previous version.

I dunno how about that said "new tagging features built in" but so far my category links in the post-meta are still pointing into notorious Global Tags.

why all my hosts are running PHP 4?

Collin is puzzled:

So, if PHP is currently at 5.2.4 then why the hell are all my hosts still running 4.4.2 or 4.4.3? Am I using shit hosts or are all hosting companies this slow to respond??

the short answer because PHP sucks, the longer one is really simple as well:

  • there are too many well-known PHP4 apps (including those that power control panels of hosting providers themselves) which will be borked on PHP5 without a serious code redone to workaround PHP5 backward incompatible changes.
  • it’s too much of a maintenance hassle for web hosts to reliably run both PHP4 and PHP5 on a shared hosting.

    the only path PHP.net offers is a "Migrating from PHP 4 to PHP 5" appendix document with quite a few of "User Contributed Notes", but you won’t find any documentation neither provided nor merely approved by the PHP.net on how to reliably run both PHP4 and PHP5 on a same box.

in a year I expect the fun times:

PHP 4 end of life announcement

PHP 4 will be discontinued.

The PHP development team hereby announces that support for PHP 4 will continue until the end of this year only. After 2007-12-31 there will be no more releases of PHP 4.4. We will continue to make critical security fixes available on a case-by-case basis until 2008-08-08.

see also:
click on the image to see the Secunia Vulnerability Report for PHP 4.4.x
Impact graph

also, in the comments to the same Collin’s post cited above, Trent links to just an exciting PHP 4/5 speed comparison "test" by Barry of Automattic Inc. who found "php5 was 33 % slower than php4!":

Here are the results of a simple apache bench test of a phpinfo page.

[snip: test results here]

From these preliminary tests, php 5.2.2 seems about 33% slower than php 4.4.6. Surprising…

surprising? not at all, never seen such a meaningless test to measure a PHP performance:

  • hello, ApacheBench is "a command line computer program for measuring the performance of HTTP web servers, in particular the Apache HTTP Server", not that for measuring the performance of PHP itself.

    of course, first of all httpd had to be thrown out of the loop and the performance of PHP should be measured using the CLI.

  • let alone phpinfo() outputs different stuff on different versions of PHP, will anyone ever be calling this particular function in a production environment like so many times Barry did in his "test"?

can’t imagine any more pointless test than measuring the speed of phpinfo() by the Apache Benchmark tool "to see if upgrading to php 5 is something we want to do on WordPress.com". admittedly, I haven’t profiled WP but phpinfo() is definitely not something like a WP bottleneck!

(nor I suppose an echo() — hat tip to Matt ;-)

so, "your Category is your Tag" — not anymore… very soon

have you noticed recent changes in the post-meta section and the bottom-bar “Tags” list links on the .com news blog?

instead of pointing to the Collective Links Farm Kolkhoz (aka Global Tags, wordpress.com/tag/bla-bla), now they link to their own internal local categories (wordpress.com/categories/bla-bla).

ETA: not anymore back again

also, yesterday in the forums a secretive remark that “something is changing very soon…” has been made by one of staffers.

is that staff have decided to give up with passing away PR8 links to the Tag Communitysm, they were building so obstinately, or just have heard their primary customer who told them to “Give Us Real Tags on WordPress.com!”?

or they merely have finally got pissed off by the fact they can’t find their own related posts on their own blog by clicking on ’random tags’ anywhere on a post page?

and, yes I know, all that’s simply caused by real tags which are being introduced in WP 2.3, so I’m not holding my breath about abusive behavior of my local Category/Tag/whatever they’ll be called links in the post-meta section will change anytime soon, despite I’m supposed to be assured it’s on the list.