Changing goals

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Christopher Pitt

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Dec 10, 2015, 1:21:40 PM12/10/15
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Given the recent discussion on Reddit, I would like to propose we review our stated goals, and adjust them if needed. Our stated primary goal is to find ways for our projects to work together, though it's clear the wider community is interested in applying our recommendations as standards. 

If we collectively decide to shift our focus towards the community, what does that mean? I think it could mean soliciting more community participation when it comes to deciding how standards are defined and when they are acceptable. Giving everybody a vote would be chaos, but perhaps we can poll/discuss things more with the community and refine how the working group operates to allow for more transparency and greater community awareness. 

Some of us may not be concerned with the role this group plays in the greater community, but it's clear we have an influence.

Andrew Carter

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Dec 10, 2015, 5:28:49 PM12/10/15
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Completely agree.

Woody Gilk

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Dec 10, 2015, 6:29:40 PM12/10/15
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Personally I find a lot of the comments in that Reddit thread ill-informed or just plain flamebait. That said, I think it is very clear that the mission of FIG has changed somewhat. While the name says "Framework Interop Group" the truth is that FIG is basically a standards body for modern PHP practices. This is a good thing. It makes PHP more mature and increases the value of the *huge* ecosystem around Composer and Packagist.

So where does that leave the community? Not worse off than before. The truth is that there are 40+ (generally) well-respected members of the community sitting at the table. Just because these people also happen to work on specific projects does not exclude them from the community. That also means that these projects, and FIG as a whole, are representatives of the community and as such must be accountable to it.

My personal feeling is that FIG needs to move out of the shadows a little bit and have a stronger public presence. A public mailing list is actually fairly archaic in these times, as is IRC. I'd like to see, in no particular order:

- an official voting website (ala PHP RFC) where members vote and historical records can be viewed easily
- other "official" channels of communication, such as:
  - a public forum administered by FIG members
  - a Gitter or Slack room
  - more participation from FIG members on Reddit

I think all of these things would help promote communication within FIG and with the community at large.

Regards,

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Navarr Barnier

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Dec 10, 2015, 9:16:16 PM12/10/15
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- an official voting website (ala PHP RFC) where members vote and historical records can be viewed easily

I would absolutely love to see this, as a community member.  Though a lot of problems with these sorts of voting websites is you don't ever really know why they voted that way unless you dig into the mailing list / chat logs.

That aside, This feels like it should be fairly simple to implement into the current PHP-FIG site, since it uses Jekyll?  I haven't paid much attention to it, but I know there's a thread talking about duties of a secretary and keeping voting records up to date through markdown seems like a good idea - unless of course you want to automate the process?  (I am completely unfamiliar with how PHP voting works).

Adam Culp

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Dec 10, 2015, 10:54:54 PM12/10/15
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I'm not really against this idea, but also not for it either. Yes, I think it would be a great idea to get more community feedback and participation in discussions, to ensure we do not overlook something important. However, opening things up to "focus" on community versus "interoperability" could be a very negative thing. Doing so would lead to a community of folks feeling entitled, and hurt when things don't go their way. I see it leading to flame wars and politics, which is something this group has done a decent job of diffusing in the past.

Because you brought this up as a reason for this idea: I think the PSR-6 attention should indicate we take a closer look before finalizing. (I personally was on an island in the Caribbean vacationing, followed by being VERY sick, and was not able to vote. I need to be more diligent to ensure that doesn't happen again.) Further, we should alter the voting rules to not only enforce a quorum, but also enforce that a certain percentage are positive votes for something to carry. The minor amount of +1 votes should not have been accepted.

Back to the topic at hand: Currently we have a voting member, Cal Evans, who votes on behalf of the community. He takes feedback from the community and votes accordingly, or in the absence of feedback he researches to facilitate his vote. To date nobody has stood up to say he has not done an admirable job representing the community.

The purpose of the group is to ensure interoperability between PHP libraries and frameworks, not define "best practices" and/or "standards". (fine line I know) Many of the frameworks and packages in this group, while welcoming community participation and contribution, would not openly welcome the community to impress standards upon them. We already walk a fine line where some libraries and frameworks are resistant of certain PSRs. Changing the focus may simply push them over the edge. If not immediately, it would do so over time as the community voice grew to overpower the package maintainers.

I think that the attention given and value provided by the PSRs from this group, to the point where the wider community is interested in applying them as standards, speaks volumes. But I don't think it means we need to alter focus. If anything it means things are being done right. So, should continue.

I am currently a -1 on this idea.

Regards,
Adam Culp
IBMiToolkit

Chris Tankersley

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Dec 10, 2015, 11:42:26 PM12/10/15
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This would be a -1 from me.

From the get-go, the PSR/FIG group was very clear that they were not deciding standards for the PHP community at large, but rather for projects that want to better work together. Project needs change over time, and having standards in place for projects, be it PSR-3 for logging or PSR-6 for caching, makes it easier to swap out components. However, if you want to write something that isn't PSR compliant, wonderful! Go ahead! Since the PSRs are recommendations for larger projects, individual people are free to do what they want with their own code. 

If the community at large wants to start applying PSRs wholesale, that's awesome too. The more projects that follow PSRs outside of the voting members just means code is easier to share.

That being said, I'd much rather not change the focus of the group. We have a community member who sounds like he is being underutilized by the community at large, but Cal's role is to take community feedback he gets and vote appropriately. If anything I'd like to see more people contact him when it comes to the community vote on PSRs.

Others have mentioned it (Woody, to be specific) about opening up multiple avenues for the community to participate, and I'd have to -1 those suggestions. The mailing list is open to all to comment on anything FIG is working on, without needing to be a voting member. Votes are 100% in the open. If anyone in the community wants to start their own PSR they don't have to be a voting member, just have a sponsor. 

I don't have a problem with marketing vote openings or discussions to places like Reddit or Hacker News or whatever, but to make sure everything is seen (and logged and easily searchable) the bulk of those discussions need to happen on the mailing list. While I'm not going to comment on the amount of time I spend on Reddit, that's not where I go for PHP news most of the time. Adding another chat system to keep on on stuff is going to be a chore, be it Slack, Glitter, or a forum. Fragmenting discussions is only going to make it harder to keep track of what is going on.

-Chris

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Woody Gilk

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Dec 11, 2015, 1:36:19 AM12/11/15
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On Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 10:42 PM, Chris Tankersley <ch...@ctankersley.com> wrote:
The mailing list is open to all to comment on anything FIG is working on, without needing to be a voting member. Votes are 100% in the open.

I never said they were not in the open, I said they were hard to find and track who has voted on what over time. A ML does not make a very good historical record, nor does it adequately show what the participation in a vote has been. Considering the number of discussions that have happened recently regarding how many members are not voting or voting +0, it seems perfectly reasonable to suggest a more coherent voting solution.

Dracony

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Dec 11, 2015, 4:15:03 AM12/11/15
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A site to track votes would be awesome yes.
I don't really see much difference between this mailing list and a forum, the UI of google groups is really forum-ish, but if someone would implement it, sure why not.
As for community participatin, afaik FIG has always encouraged that, anyone who is willing can post here and join the discussion. I really don't think it should be our job to convince people to participate and reel them in. Actually afaik PSR-6 discussions had a lot of posts from non voting members

Andrew Carter

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Dec 11, 2015, 4:39:46 AM12/11/15
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PSR-6 is a great example of why community involvement would help this group produce better standards.

Had the community been involved more formally with PSR-6, the vote would probably have been pulled and some of the issues fixed.

Going further, reading Anthony Ferrara's open letter to the FIG I struggle to see why he wasn't listened to then. I was originally sceptical, but after a short conversation with him yesterday it became apparent that everything he was recommending was just good OO design. I can only hope that he finds a sponsor, co-ordinator and the motivation to push his proposal through the group as a PSR-6 replacement soon.

Going further still, many of the projects on here are too inactive to be of any use at all. Some only appear every now and then for a '+0' vote or, worse, a '+1' for a proposal they didn't thoroughly read and test or have the time or skills to investigate properly.

I'm certain that FIG recognising the position it has in the community and taking steps to utilise the wealth of currently untapped knowledge would help it provide better standards for interoperability.

Dracony

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Dec 11, 2015, 5:41:48 AM12/11/15
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The community really had quite some time to complain, I consider a +1 from Stash a very solid approval that PSR-6 is more than adequate. 
Also some reddit posts are literally misleading: https://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/3w41yn/the_caching_library_stash_is_already_changing_the/ (also read the response)

The other important part is that it's the people who are going to actually implement the interfaces decide on them, the whole point of interpolation really is to reach an interface compromise between project vendors. I mean, imagine if somebody like Anthony comes on the mailing list proposingchanges to the PSR, while having no intention to actually code a library implementing those, his proposal gets through and becomes the PSR. Then Robert (the guy behind Stash) looks at it and decides to not implement it, because it doesn't really fit his views. Ultimately as the reuslt you get a shiny new PSR with no implementation.

Imagine you have an opensource project, a small website, and some people barge in and start saying "move this div to the left a bunch of pixels", you'd be frustrated and it might strip all the fun from developing it. This is why I think its important that the standards are defined by the projects themselves. I would even go as far as to allow only relevant projects to vote on  a particular PSR. 


On Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 7:21:40 PM UTC+1, Christopher Pitt wrote:

Andrew Carter

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Dec 11, 2015, 6:09:59 AM12/11/15
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That reddit post you linked was down voted to hell. It doesn't at all represent the view of the vast majority of people on there.


"The community really had quite some time to complain"


Only... no effort was made to keep the community informed about the process.

It's all well and good saying "too late" when it's more by chance that community members are stumbling upon these proposals and providing feedback whilst they are being worked on. It's not even reddit specific either, there are many avenues where feedback should be looked for outside this group.


"I consider a +1 from Stash a very solid approval that PSR-6 is more than adequate."

The whole reason for the debate is that people making assumptions like that without doing their own investigation is not adequate.

Using your own logic, what do you make of the -1 vote from Doctrine? Surely that is a "very solid disapproval that PSR-6 is not adequate"?

Your point on implementation is valid, although I think the community does provide implementations of the PSRs. Although I do not wish to speak on behalf of the Doctrine team, on IRC yesterday it didn't sound like what Anthony was proposing was a million miles away from something that they could work with. It was such a simple interface (good OO design often works out that way...) that it would have been trivial (<100 lines of code) to decorate any of the caching libraries out there at the moment to meet the specification.


"Imagine you have an opensource project, a small website, and some people barge in and start saying "move this div to the left a bunch of pixels", you'd be frustrated and it might strip all the fun from developing it. This is why I think its important that the standards are defined by the projects themselves."


I'm not even sure what that means and what point your trying to make?

Roman Tsjupa

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Dec 11, 2015, 6:26:39 AM12/11/15
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Just to be clear, I never said I didn't do my own investigation, I'm actually very interested in this PSR since I plan to implement it as a PHPixie component.
It's really not like comments from the community are being ignored, Anthonys' post started a pretty long discussion actually.

The community members who "stumbled upon" PSR-6 just now, probably don't pull much weight in the "caching library" world tbh.

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Andrew Carter

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Dec 11, 2015, 6:42:20 AM12/11/15
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"The community members who "stumbled upon" PSR-6 just now, probably don't pull much weight in the "caching library" world tbh."

Only one of them discovered a couple of significant flaws in the proposal that should have resulted in the vote being pulled.

This is a really dangerous opinion for a member project of this group to have. Just because you're a voting member doesn't mean that you are suddenly levitating above the rest of the community. You maintain a successful open source project - that's where it starts and ends. There are some great developers in this group and there are some great developers that are not in this group or who do not maintain open source projects.

All I'm saying is that the FIG could benefit by reaching out to them... rather than assuming they will come to this mailing list (just to have their opinions largely ignored).

Paul M. Jones

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Dec 11, 2015, 1:25:48 PM12/11/15
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tl;dr: Not in favor of formally changing the mission. Added outreach may be useful, but is added work, and no matter how much we do there will always be clamoring for more. If someone wants to volunteer for that work, they don't need permission to get started right away.

* * *


> On Dec 10, 2015, at 12:21, Christopher Pitt <cgp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Given the recent discussion on Reddit, I would like to propose we review our stated goals, and adjust them if needed. Our stated primary goal is to find ways for our projects to work together, though it's clear the wider community is interested in applying our recommendations as standards.
>
> If we collectively decide to shift our focus towards the community, what does that mean? I think it could mean soliciting more community participation when it comes to deciding how standards are defined and when they are acceptable. Giving everybody a vote would be chaos, but perhaps we can poll/discuss things more with the community and refine how the working group operates to allow for more transparency and greater community awareness.

This will lead only to endless discussion with people who have no "skin in the game" on which to base their opinions. Skin in the game acts as a natural guide both to better decision-making; in the case of the FIG, the people who have skin in the game (as much as is possible, anyway) are the people who have member projects here. As such, the mission best remains one of researching what the member projects do themselves, and attempting to find commonalities between them.


> On Dec 10, 2015, at 17:28, Woody Gilk <woody...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> So where does that leave the community? Not worse off than before. The truth is that there are 40+ (generally) well-respected members of the community sitting at the table. Just because these people also happen to work on specific projects does not exclude them from the community. That also means that these projects, and FIG as a whole, are representatives of the community and as such must be accountable to it.


I assert that the representatives are accountable to *their represented communities* and no others. Certainly I do not speak for Doctrine, or Zend Framework, or any other member project; nor am I accountable to them, nor they to Aura or any of my projects. How then could any project here, or the entirety of the membership. be accountable to the whole world of PHP developers?


> On Dec 11, 2015, at 03:39, Andrew Carter <andrewca...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Had the community been involved more formally with PSR-6, the vote would probably have been pulled and some of the issues fixed.
>
> Going further, reading Anthony Ferrara's open letter to the FIG I struggle to see why he wasn't listened to then.

...

> On Dec 11, 2015, at 05:09, Andrew Carter <andrewca...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> no effort was made to keep the community informed about the process.


...

> On Dec 11, 2015, at 05:42, Andrew Carter <andrewca...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> All I'm saying is that the FIG could benefit by reaching out to them... rather than assuming they will come to this mailing list (just to have their opinions largely ignored).

This line of thought raises an interesting paradox: how is it that FIG activity is not advertised enough in the wider PHP community, and yet at the same time is apparently so well-known that everyone does what it says? (/me shrugs)

Regardless, I am sympathetic to the view that PHP-FIG could do more to advertise the ongoing proposals before it, and their progress through the acceptance process. It's easy to imagine doing more in this regard.

What is difficult is describing what that advertising would actually look like. Would it be sufficient for someone to post on Reddit once a week a reminder that the FIG exists and that it's doing things Reddit readers might be interested in? A semi-monthly summary of activity posted to a FIG blog? More to the point, who would be charged with putting forth the time and effort to do those things? And if they did not, in what way would they be held accountable?

Finally, I opine that no matter how much the FIG does to "reach out to the community" of worldwide PHP developers, there will always be some who say they were not aware, or feel grief at not having been consulted, and so on. There will never be "enough".

Having said all that, I suppose if someone is really interested in doing the work of actively communicating FIG discussions to the wider world, nothing prevents that person from reporting at whatever intervals and in whatever outlets they choose. I cannot imagine that permission is needed, seeing as everything we do is public.


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Woody Gilk

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Dec 11, 2015, 1:39:11 PM12/11/15
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On Fri, Dec 11, 2015 at 12:25 PM, Paul M. Jones <pmjo...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Dec 10, 2015, at 17:28, Woody Gilk <woody...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> So where does that leave the community? Not worse off than before. The truth is that there are 40+ (generally) well-respected members of the community sitting at the table. Just because these people also happen to work on specific projects does not exclude them from the community. That also means that these projects, and FIG as a whole, are representatives of the community and as such must be accountable to it.


I assert that the representatives are accountable to *their represented communities* and no others. Certainly I do not speak for Doctrine, or Zend Framework, or any other member project; nor am I accountable to them, nor they to Aura or any of my projects. How then could any project here, or the entirety of the membership. be accountable to the whole world of PHP developers?

That assumes that the standards the FIG produces are only used by their represented communities, which we all know is not the case. Without exception, the PSRs produced by FIG are used beyond their individual frameworks. In this case, is Cal the only person responsible for the community at large, excluding members of framework communities?

Chris Tankersley

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Dec 11, 2015, 1:52:00 PM12/11/15
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As I understand it, yes. He represents those that have no other representation. For example, I myself would feel comfortable going to Zend Framework, Aura, or Drupal as my representative as I use those projects quite heavily. Very few developers live and work in a vacuum and should have some project to reach out to. For those ones that don't, Cal fills that role.
 
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Paul M. Jones

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Dec 11, 2015, 1:57:06 PM12/11/15
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> On Dec 11, 2015, at 12:38, Woody Gilk <woody...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On Fri, Dec 11, 2015 at 12:25 PM, Paul M. Jones <pmjo...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> On Dec 10, 2015, at 17:28, Woody Gilk <woody...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> So where does that leave the community? Not worse off than before. The truth is that there are 40+ (generally) well-respected members of the community sitting at the table. Just because these people also happen to work on specific projects does not exclude them from the community. That also means that these projects, and FIG as a whole, are representatives of the community and as such must be accountable to it.
>>
>> I assert that the representatives are accountable to *their represented communities* and no others. Certainly I do not speak for Doctrine, or Zend Framework, or any other member project; nor am I accountable to them, nor they to Aura or any of my projects. How then could any project here, or the entirety of the membership. be accountable to the whole world of PHP developers?
>
> That assumes that the standards the FIG produces are only used by their represented communities, which we all know is not the case. Without exception, the PSRs produced by FIG are used beyond their individual frameworks.

It assumes only that the representatives have no control over other projects. If the individuals or groups from the wider community choose to adopt, or ignore, the products of this group PSRs, that's their choice.

I will go so far as to presume that a non-FIG-member's choice to adopt is based on the idea that the FIG members are seeking their own best interests, and using FIG choices as a proxy for their own decision-making. But that is a different thing than saying "FIG members are accountable to people they do not know, that do not use their projects, and therefore do not represent."

Andrew Carter

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Dec 11, 2015, 2:03:11 PM12/11/15
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"This line of thought raises an interesting paradox: how is it that FIG activity is not advertised enough in the wider PHP community, and yet at the same time is apparently so well-known that everyone does what it says? (/me shrugs)"

Point taken.

The fault is as much on the wider PHP community for not getting involved sooner in the development of standards that they use a lot.

I still hold the opinion that more formal representation of the PHP community in this group (maybe similar to PHP internals) would improve the quality of the standards produced.

Anthony Ferrara

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Dec 11, 2015, 3:15:19 PM12/11/15
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Paul,

>> If we collectively decide to shift our focus towards the community, what does that mean? I think it could mean soliciting more community participation when it comes to deciding how standards are defined and when they are acceptable. Giving everybody a vote would be chaos, but perhaps we can poll/discuss things more with the community and refine how the working group operates to allow for more transparency and greater community awareness.
>
> This will lead only to endless discussion with people who have no "skin in the game" on which to base their opinions. Skin in the game acts as a natural guide both to better decision-making; in the case of the FIG, the people who have skin in the game (as much as is possible, anyway) are the people who have member projects here. As such, the mission best remains one of researching what the member projects do themselves, and attempting to find commonalities between them.

I don't see why process has to change at all here. What's being
discussed isn't "We intend to dictate how everyone does things". The
discussion is around an extremely minor tweak to the goals to
recognize that your audience isn't just yourselves.

And be realistic, it's not. The recommendations that you make have
broader application and impact than just the member projects here. At
bare minimum, it affects the users and sub-projects (which don't
always have representation). But typically it will affect far broader
people than that (considering non-framework users still use
libraries).

And to say "no skin in the game", I'm sorry, but we all have skin in
the game. What this group is doing here affects everyone who uses PHP.
I'm not saying everyone should be a voting member just because, but
please realize that more than just the voting body here has skin in
the game.

> As such, the mission best remains one of researching what the member projects do themselves, and attempting to find commonalities between them.

Which is totally fine. Nothing wrong with that. The part that many of
us are objecting to is the fact that you limit the audience of
prospective users to member projects. Nobody's saying you should make
standards that you don't yourself need. What we're saying is that when
you are creating a standard you should think about the impact to
non-member projects and other developers as well. Because that's the
reality of what you're doing.

>> On Dec 10, 2015, at 17:28, Woody Gilk <woody...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> So where does that leave the community? Not worse off than before. The truth is that there are 40+ (generally) well-respected members of the community sitting at the table. Just because these people also happen to work on specific projects does not exclude them from the community. That also means that these projects, and FIG as a whole, are representatives of the community and as such must be accountable to it.
>
>
> I assert that the representatives are accountable to *their represented communities* and no others. Certainly I do not speak for Doctrine, or Zend Framework, or any other member project; nor am I accountable to them, nor they to Aura or any of my projects. How then could any project here, or the entirety of the membership. be accountable to the whole world of PHP developers?

Because the standards you make impacts the whole world of PHP
developers. Again, we're not saying that you should try to solve
everyone's needs. What we're saying is that you should recognize when
you're discussing the needs your trying to solve effect a lot more
than just yourselves.

Take for example the PSR-7 discussion. There was a lot of
cross-collaboration external to member projects. There was discussion
all across the community to build a generic standard that serves
generic needs, not just those of a few frameworks. There was active
engagement and recognition that the standard would impact non-member
projects.

That hasn't happened on all proposals. It hasn't happened on most
proposals. My suggestion is to alter the goals so that that's explicit
and is a bar with which all voting members measure proposals.

Should you be accountable to the whole world of PHP developers? Yes.
Because you already are *responsible* for impacting the whole world of
PHP developers. Responsibility without accountability leads to a ton
of friction. Which is exactly what you're seeing here today.

>> On Dec 11, 2015, at 03:39, Andrew Carter <andrewca...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Had the community been involved more formally with PSR-6, the vote would probably have been pulled and some of the issues fixed.
>>
>> Going further, reading Anthony Ferrara's open letter to the FIG I struggle to see why he wasn't listened to then.
>
> ...
>
>> On Dec 11, 2015, at 05:09, Andrew Carter <andrewca...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> no effort was made to keep the community informed about the process.
>
>
> ...
>
>> On Dec 11, 2015, at 05:42, Andrew Carter <andrewca...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> All I'm saying is that the FIG could benefit by reaching out to them... rather than assuming they will come to this mailing list (just to have their opinions largely ignored).
>
> This line of thought raises an interesting paradox: how is it that FIG activity is not advertised enough in the wider PHP community, and yet at the same time is apparently so well-known that everyone does what it says? (/me shrugs)

That's not a paradox.

The reason people implement PSR standards is because either they do so
by proxy (monolog uses PSR-3, so they start using it), by convention
(composer uses PSR-4 in examples, so they do) or by influence (ZF3
using PSR-7 inspires others to use PSR-7).

The point about activity isn't that FIG isn't advertised enough. It's
that general contribution isn't encouraged most of the time. Because
your goals are internally-facing, it creates a strong wall that many
individuals simply don't cross. If instead FIG was proactive towards
reaching out and asking non-member-projects and other communities to
help and collaborate, then you'll get far more collaboration.


> Finally, I opine that no matter how much the FIG does to "reach out to the community" of worldwide PHP developers, there will always be some who say they were not aware, or feel grief at not having been consulted, and so on. There will never be "enough".

I think you're blurring the point by saying this. Every standards body
is going to do things someone doesn't like. That's the nature of the
beast. The concern that some of us are raising however is that there's
a wall that's put up that denies you any responsibility towards the
outside world.

The simple fact that you have a community representative should show
that the walls aren't as tall as they are made out to be here. Yet at
every turn the FIG reiterates that it only targets its member projects
and actively shuns including others in the audience for the standards
that it makes.

What I'm asking, is simply that FIG officially acknowledges its
responsibility to the larger communities. That responsibility is
already there, it's just actively ignored. And that's why it's a major
issue (to some of us at least).

Anthony

Ben Ramsey

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Dec 11, 2015, 10:02:10 PM12/11/15
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> The simple fact that you have a community representative should show
> that the walls aren't as tall as they are made out to be here. Yet at
> every turn the FIG reiterates that it only targets its member projects
> and actively shuns including others in the audience for the standards
> that it makes.
>
> What I'm asking, is simply that FIG officially acknowledges its
> responsibility to the larger communities. That responsibility is
> already there, it's just actively ignored. And that's why it's a major
> issue (to some of us at least).

I find this conversation very interesting, especially given the early history of the group.

Like Anthony says, I don’t think the process needs to change, but I do think the group needs to acknowledge its increasingly important role in the community. While it claims its goal is only to serve its member frameworks, etc., the community looks to FIG for guidance and standards.

And I think that’s a good thing. I think FIG has helped drive forward a lot of interest in and adoption of coding standards, among other things.

I mentioned the early history of the group as being relevant, and I’m reminded of similar conversations taking place on the early mailing list. This group’s mailing list began on php.net as the php-standards mailing list, long before the PHP language specification project began using that list.

In one of those early messages, Brian Moon wrote[^1]:

> If you "live" on php.net, you are not, despite how much you say you
> are, simply a group of people that want to work together, outsiders be
> damned. New, naive users will see you as THE PHP STANDARDS GROUP. The
> choice is to embrace that title or move away from php.net and become
> irrelevant to the community.

Shortly thereafter, there was a thread about removing the list[^2], and then the list later moved to the current Google Group.

Even though the group has moved away from php.net, it has by no means “become irrelevant to the community.” On the contrary, its relevance has only increased, and I think it’s good to acknowledge this.

-Ben


[^1]: http://grokbase.com/t/php/php-standards/0962tgww81/good-day-and-good-will-to-this-group
[^2]: http://grokbase.com/t/php/php-standards/0962ttvmqn/removal-of-this-list

Mike van Riel

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Dec 12, 2015, 9:05:52 AM12/12/15
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For what its worth: when I look at PSRs and bylaws that we discuss I personally tend to take into account how this will benefit everyone working with it. Since this group is a framework interoperability group that more or less, directly or indirectly, means that we try to come up with recommendations that benefit each other but also the consumers of our frameworks. As such I consider our influence and accountability to at the least include the communities that we, as members, represent.

So I agree with Anthony and Ben that no process changes are necessary, and by extension I agree with Paul that we need not reach out more since I think the efforts of PHP-FIG are known enough; I do think we should take into account that what we discuss (not even what we decide but even just what we discuss) can or will cause a Ripple Effect, or even to some extend a Butterfly Effect.

Also, if representatives represent their community, that means that by having a community representative we serve the greater community just as much as our own communities.
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Michael Cullum

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Dec 12, 2015, 10:31:42 AM12/12/15
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Andrew,

What do you mean by 'more formal representation of the PHP community'?

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Andrew Carter

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Dec 12, 2015, 11:08:27 AM12/12/15
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@Michael

Currently Cal is the representative of the "community at large" - however, unless you knew the group very well (or Cal personally) you probably wouldn't approach him with your view on any of the votes that are taking place. One of the first pages I looked at when I got interested in the FIG group was the "Get Involved" page (http://www.php-fig.org/get-involved/) -  and it makes no mention of this community position.

I've been reading this mailing list for some time and I've only recently realised that I should probably communicate to Cal any opinions that I feel are important, but haven't been otherwise listened to.

I know Cal makes many efforts to reach out to the community (and takes his role as representative very seriously) so I think a formal process in the by-laws would help the community realise how Cal can help them. There are also many questions as to what would happen to the "community at large" position if Cal ever moved on (for whatever reason) - and these could be answered and discussed at the same time.

Woody Gilk

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Dec 12, 2015, 11:09:46 AM12/12/15
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On Fri, Dec 11, 2015 at 1:03 PM, Andrew Carter <andrewca...@gmail.com> wrote:
The fault is as much on the wider PHP community for not getting involved sooner in the development of standards that they use a lot.

It seems like some members think that community cannot get involved except through member projects, which leads to an inherent conflict:

As a community member I want to participate but I must do so through a framework representative. If I have no obvious choice I must rely on Cal to represent my interests.

The problem here is that the more PSRs are produced and the larger the Composer ecosystem gets, the less likely it will be that I have a clear representative. I think PSR-7 is a great example of this, because it suddenly released the community from being beholden to frameworks. Just look at the huge number of small projects that are using PSR-7 interfaces to build interesting stuff that is not tied to any framework.

Ultimately, this means that the distinction of "my representative" gets more and more vague the more PSRs are adopted and used throughout the community. I see this as slowly making Cal more responsible for more people over time and everyone else less responsible.

Roman Tsjupa

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Dec 12, 2015, 11:58:01 AM12/12/15
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Actually Woody, don't you still work on the Ohanzee components? I know a lot of people who still Kohana actually, so you might consider getting Ohanzee on FIG maybe ?

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Woody Gilk

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Dec 12, 2015, 12:03:47 PM12/12/15
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Ohanzee is effectively dead. It was being sponsored (indirectly) by my previous employer but that is no longer the case.

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Roman Tsjupa

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Dec 12, 2015, 12:14:07 PM12/12/15
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Ah, damn, sorry to hear that. It's a huge pity Kohana couldn't become a source of income for you, the following was huge.

Regarding the community topic, imho most decisions are reached through consensus anyway. The biggest reason PSR-6 took so long was eternal debates in many cases involving non-voting members, just look at how much discussion Anthonys post raised.

Well we could also represent the community by relying on some external poll and count the result of it as a community vote.

Michael Cullum

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Dec 12, 2015, 1:54:45 PM12/12/15
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Dracony,

I entirely disagree with the public polling method deciding how the community representative should vote.

We all know as PHP developers that there are no fail-safe ways to ensure that once person can only vote once so it would be highly susceptible to being 'rigged'. 

Furthermore I think it's perfectly valid to leave the final vote up to Cal who can make a judgement call as it's not always as simple as 'majority wins'.

A couple of big names could make a tweet saying vote +1 on this poll for my brand new PSR and get 700 +1s. Then five community members with much smaller public profiles could raise entirely valid issues that are more than worthy of a -1 vote. As evidence of this, in the case of PSR-6, a community member who works on a caching library and has 200 twitter followers pointed out a couple of major issues including the fact that it broke one of our bylaws, something that has the potential to cause Cal to vote -1, despite perhaps he might have heard from a number of other people that they were in support of the spec.

That puts a lot of trust in Cal to make the right calls on behalf of the community, but isn't that the same with any representative of anything? And I know I personally trust Cal to make those calls better than anyone else who comes to mind.

On the wider point here, I think that more community input is important, and Cal's role should be more publicised (This has already been raised and is something that was going to be worked on when the new secretaries are in place) so that he is more visible and people feel that he is more approachable. But in the same way, I'm not sure what other action points we can take out of this other than what has already been said which is raising the awareness of Cal's role and posting review stages and the like onto hacker news, reddit and other sites of a similar nature.

We cannot force the community to become more active within the FIG, we are struggling to have our own members particularly active within the FIG (See the recent topic on the number of ML posts this year for more evidence of this). We also have to consider what we actually want from all of this. Do we want more community members to shout their opinion at us, or do we want to try and find more voices who make in depth points like Andrew, Aaron and others did for PSR-6? Aaron read the PSR-6 specification and thought it was in a state that was ready to implement and therefore went to do so and it was only at that point (implementing it) he discovered a couple of issues with it. Andrew identified them earlier on but only because he cared about the topic and looked into the detail of the specification. We want people who will look into the depth of things, analyse the specifications and, if they have concerns, provide good reasoning on the mailing list and to Cal as to why they are issues. We don't want more drive-by opinions from people who aren't particularly experienced in the area being discussed.

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Lukas Kahwe Smith

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Dec 12, 2015, 2:19:52 PM12/12/15
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> On 12 Dec 2015, at 19:54, Michael Cullum <m...@michaelcullum.com> wrote:
>
> Dracony,
>
> I entirely disagree with the public polling method deciding how the community representative should vote.
>
> We all know as PHP developers that there are no fail-safe ways to ensure that once person can only vote once so it would be highly susceptible to being 'rigged'.
>
> Furthermore I think it's perfectly valid to leave the final vote up to Cal who can make a judgement call as it's not always as simple as 'majority wins'.
>
> A couple of big names could make a tweet saying vote +1 on this poll for my brand new PSR and get 700 +1s. Then five community members with much smaller public profiles could raise entirely valid issues that are more than worthy of a -1 vote. As evidence of this, in the case of PSR-6, a community member who works on a caching library and has 200 twitter followers pointed out a couple of major issues including the fact that it broke one of our bylaws, something that has the potential to cause Cal to vote -1, despite perhaps he might have heard from a number of other people that they were in support of the spec.
>
> That puts a lot of trust in Cal to make the right calls on behalf of the community, but isn't that the same with any representative of anything? And I know I personally trust Cal to make those calls better than anyone else who comes to mind.
>
> On the wider point here, I think that more community input is important, and Cal's role should be more publicised (This has already been raised and is something that was going to be worked on when the new secretaries are in place) so that he is more visible and people feel that he is more approachable. But in the same way, I'm not sure what other action points we can take out of this other than what has already been said which is raising the awareness of Cal's role and posting review stages and the like onto hacker news, reddit and other sites of a similar nature.
>
> We cannot force the community to become more active within the FIG, we are struggling to have our own members particularly active within the FIG (See the recent topic on the number of ML posts this year for more evidence of this). We also have to consider what we actually want from all of this. Do we want more community members to shout their opinion at us, or do we want to try and find more voices who make in depth points like Andrew, Aaron and others did for PSR-6? Aaron read the PSR-6 specification and thought it was in a state that was ready to implement and therefore went to do so and it was only at that point (implementing it) he discovered a couple of issues with it. Andrew identified them earlier on but only because he cared about the topic and looked into the detail of the specification. We want people who will look into the depth of things, analyse the specifications and, if they have concerns, provide good reasoning on the mailing list and to Cal as to why they are issues. We don't want more drive-by opinions from people who aren't particularly experienced in the area being discussed.

What I wonder is if this special “community” vote is even still needed. We have tons of members, plenty of visibility and so I feel like the community has lots of ways to make themselves represented ..

regards,
Lukas Kahwe Smith
sm...@pooteeweet.org



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Woody Gilk

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Dec 12, 2015, 2:27:37 PM12/12/15
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Oh Kohana has been and continues to get me jobs. Both my current and former jobs were for products built on Kohana. :)


For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.
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Cal Evans

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Dec 12, 2015, 2:51:24 PM12/12/15
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What I wonder is if this special “community” vote is even still needed. We have tons of members, plenty of visibility and so I feel like the community has lots of ways to make themselves represented ..

I do no, as I always have, serve at the pleasure of the FIG. I made this clear the last time my representation came up (a few years back) both publicly and privately, but it bears repeating. When this group feels that my representation no longer forwards the goals of this group, I will resign without animosity or ill will. :)

That having been said, weighing on on the subject of this thread, I am against  changing the goals of this group.

I appreciate my good friend Ben Ramsey weighing in with a bit of history earlier in the thread. I was the first FIG member to be voted in and I remember the early days of us being on PHP.NET. I remember very clearly the community letting us know in no uncertain terms that they did not want a standards body. 

I am proud of the work this group does and am honored to play my part in it. However, the group is now and I feel always should be focused on finding ways that the large frameworks and projects can work together. To the extent that the community takes these proposed standards to heart, that is a bonus.

As for my participation and how I vote. I am always open to hearing opinions from community members who want to express them. I prefer that they do it on the list so that everyone can see them, but if they feel it necessary to contact me privately, I don't think finding my contact information is difficult. I am not at all opposed to someone submitting a PR for the Community entry with my email address. (It's not like it isn't out there a hundred places anyhow.) :) I weigh the opinions given to me, along with my own judgment and the advice given to me by other learned people I trust before voting. This, I feel, is the best way for me to represent the community at large. 

As I stated in a not-to-distant email, I do not actively participate in the technical discussions unless I see that something is going off the rails, or unless the conversion terns pursonal. Then I do my best to step in and redirect the passion back to the topic at hand. I feel that this is the best way for me to both represent the community and to further the goals of the group.

Some have raised the question of additional community representatives. I am against this idea. I am an anomaly in this group as I do NOT have a project. If the focus of this group were to set standards for everyone, I would agree that more community representation would be beneficial. However, that was not why it was formed and that is not it's current focus.  

It is a great source of pride for me that I am allowed to be a part of this group. That having been said, I would rather tender my resignation than watch as the focus of this group changed to something I don't really think the community wants.

Cheers!
=C=




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Ben Ramsey

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Dec 12, 2015, 6:26:02 PM12/12/15
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It is a great source of pride for me that I am allowed to be a part of this group. That having been said, I would rather tender my resignation than watch as the focus of this group changed to something I don't really think the community wants.

I certainly hope that's not what happens here. I think you're doing a great job of taking opinions under advisement and casting votes as a representative of the Community. I've only recently begun taking advantage of this, as I'm allowing myself to focus more attention on the discussions on this list.

I think the website does a good job of telling folks where they may get involved, but it doesn't do a good job calling attention to the fact that the general Community (outside of the member projects) has a representative. Whether or not this would cause Cal to become inundated with requests, I don't know, and maybe that's a good reason not to call attention to it.

Are most folks aware that they may contact anyone from the members page who "represents" their interests and share concerns or proposals with them? Or is that something the group wants to shy away from, preferring "cold" posts to the mailing list instead?

-Ben

Matthew Weier O'Phinney

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Dec 15, 2015, 2:24:01 PM12/15/15
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On Fri, Dec 11, 2015 at 12:35 AM, Woody Gilk <woody...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> On Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 10:42 PM, Chris Tankersley <ch...@ctankersley.com>
> wrote:
>>
>> The mailing list is open to all to comment on anything FIG is working on,
>> without needing to be a voting member. Votes are 100% in the open.
>
>
> I never said they were not in the open, I said they were hard to find and
> track who has voted on what over time. A ML does not make a very good
> historical record, nor does it adequately show what the participation in a
> vote has been.

Playing devil's advocate and pointing out something really obvious
here: you can search in groups and gmail for:

- subject:[VOTE]
- from:<email or name>

which is more than the site search of most websites can accommodate.

My point is: I'm not against having a website record this information,
but saying the ML is a poor historical record is a bit fallacious.

> Considering the number of discussions that have happened
> recently regarding how many members are not voting or voting +0, it seems
> perfectly reasonable to suggest a more coherent voting solution.
>
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Woody Gilk

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Dec 15, 2015, 2:42:32 PM12/15/15
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On Tue, Dec 15, 2015 at 1:23 PM, Matthew Weier O'Phinney <mweiero...@gmail.com> wrote:
Playing devil's advocate and pointing out something really obvious
here: you can search in groups and gmail for:

- subject:[VOTE]
- from:<email or name>

Can you permalink to these results? Can you capture them at a specific point in time? How do you filter them by a specific proposal?

Matthew Weier O'Phinney

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Dec 15, 2015, 4:17:01 PM12/15/15
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You can include the full subject of the voting thread, which will give
you the votes for that proposal. Each thread has a permalink.

As an example:

- I just put in the following search criteria within the php-fig
google group: subject:"[VOTE][Accept] PSR-6"
- Which gives me this URI I can link to for the search:
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/php-fig/subject$3A%22%5BVOTE%5D%5BAccept%5D$20PSR-6%22
- And I can go into the thread in that result, click the gear for the
first mail in the thread, and get the following permalink:
https://groups.google.com/d/msg/php-fig/dSw5IhpKJ1g/O9wpqizWAwAJ

Voilá; a link to a specific voting thread.

So, yes:

- I can permalink to the results.
- I can capture them at a specific point in time (I can grab a
permalink for any individual message in a thread)
- I can filter by a specific proposal (though I may have to do a
little work to find the exact subject used; most coordinators use the
same subject prefix for this very purpose, however!)

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Korvin Szanto

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Dec 15, 2015, 4:23:37 PM12/15/15
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The drawback to what you are suggesting is that mailing list members only have history starting from the moment that they joined the list. People in the concrete5 community joining to see what my involvement is probably won't find gmail search very helpful.


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Matthew Weier O'Phinney

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Dec 15, 2015, 5:22:21 PM12/15/15
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On Tue, Dec 15, 2015 at 3:23 PM, Korvin Szanto <korvin...@gmail.com> wrote:
> The drawback to what you are suggesting is that mailing list members only
> have history starting from the moment that they joined the list. People in
> the concrete5 community joining to see what my involvement is probably won't
> find gmail search very helpful.

The google group is public; anybody can search the entire history at any time.
> https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/php-fig/CANeXGWWUOABvuKWeJRdw52twXOsd7Z0AyFcCpQOC2DRqb6JiBQ%40mail.gmail.com.
>
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