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PHP and SQL Help

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I'm finding it increasingly frustrating to try to help people with PHP and SQL programming. It's to the point I might just say "fuck it" and avoid the PHP forum period. There are too many copy/paste poseurs just grabbing horrible code -- which dominates the search engines -- and having the faintest fucking idea what to do after copying and pasting it. These programming morons have absolutely no concept of logic, common sense, or debugging. They don't show any inclination of giving thought to how all the parts in a web application fit together. I think the barrier for entry to PHP is so low, and the amount of bad information so prevalent, it's just a losing battle.

14 Comments On This Entry

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05 July 2012 - 04:28 AM
I know exactly what you mean man. I see the same stuff when looking over forums for other languages but find that the PHP forums have much more of the copy/paste help questions where the poster has no idea how to program or how PHP works. What is worse is they have no real interest in learning, they just want whatever crappy code they have to work.

I don't blame you if you say fuck it and ignore the forum all together, if it's really bugging you then you shouldn't force yourself to deal with it as it will only get worse. I will say that it would be a loss to the forum if you did stop posting, you have a particular way of dealing with lazy people that can be as entertaining as it is effective :).

Do what you think is best man, better you ignore one forum then keep active getting more and more annoyed until you leave D.I.C altogether.


05 July 2012 - 09:54 AM
This is happening everywhere with all the languages. Thanks to thinks like which are attempting to make the masses believe that coding is easy as pie and that everyone can do it. Problem is, coding is like chemistry... you don't want everyone mixing chemicals or you are going to get things like houses blowing up, people making drugs and someone posting the formula to make deadly recipes which some 9yr old is going to try to make.

But the flood gates are open and the real programmers job is turning into one of advisers rather than teachers. I hate it too and I think it is eating at the core of technology. Yeah we may have a ton of computers in our lives in the next 30-50 years but we are going to have a lot of junk software running them.

Once you try to build good software that works with junk software, your program too is going to turn to junk software. This goes for PHP or .NET or Java. All of them are being attacked at one level or another by cut and paste kiddies and the "this is good enough" generation.

Sad times coming in the software industry. All we can do is build software that is skeptical of others and insulates itself from everything.


05 July 2012 - 09:57 AM
For instance, take a look at this website. I can't even edit my last post because the edit link throws an error. It has been this way for years. Really? Where is the level of professionalism? Fix the damn link Chris!


05 July 2012 - 10:23 AM


Problem is, coding is like chemistry...

I totally agree here. A lot of people compare coding to math, which there is a certain amount of math involved. Coding is more like chemistry though with the problem solving. That's what people don't get. Things like "Is this correct?" or "check my code" are retarded, because people can run things themselves.


05 July 2012 - 11:58 AM
I won't blame the lame tutorials that exist on the web but the new programmers themselves. Bottom line is they're just lazy and doing things the right way seems too hard. Take for instance using the mysql_* functions over PDO. PDO seems too hard so I'll just stick to what I know after all it works. No ambition or want to learn more. I learned from the same lame tutorials that exist today but then I found out there's usually a more secure and better way of doing things so what's the loss in learning the "better" way? No matter how many elite tutorials you place on the web you can't change the fact that a lot of people are lazy and want results right away. We just need to see who's willing to take that extra step from who that just wants to have it working.


05 July 2012 - 02:31 PM
If you aren't interested enough to learn more about programing then you shouldn't be programing; you should be doing something else that you're more interested in.


05 July 2012 - 02:32 PM
Are we getting too hard on newbies?
When I began,
1. Search engine gives w3schools (it teaches mysql_ functions and stuff and I went with it. @codeprada For a long time I didn't know "PDO" existed). Later I learn that this site isn't even affiliated by W3C.
2. It took me some time to understand the purpose of different web technologies and few trivial concepts (client,server,html,css,js,php? Information Overload!!!).
I think this frustration leads newbies to copy-paste code, thinking that, even without getting the bigger picture, someone could explain the code to them and they can understand everything (symptoms of the XY problem?).
Among them there might be some who are genuinely trying, except that their approach to learning might be wrong (or the person is a little slow).


05 July 2012 - 03:41 PM
I've had the same feeling for a while now, and I find myself answering questions less often. If they don't want to write a coherent, thoughtful question then why waste time with them?


05 July 2012 - 04:32 PM


Are we getting too hard on newbies?

From a team perspective, we've gotten complaints on both sides. The newbies complain that the experts can be too harsh, and the experts complain about the newbie help vampire epidemic as well as newbie rudeness. My feelings are that if you're going down the wrong path after being told such, and with advice offered on how to improve; if one continues to go down on the wrong path, it's at their own peril, so to speak. I think our Experts, for the most part, are very good about being patient and providing helpful, detailed responses. I think the complaints are fair when someone being helped (newbie or not) refuses to take the time to attack the problem again based on the advice, especially when they get adamant and rude.


05 July 2012 - 04:33 PM
That being said, most of us remember what it was like to be new to programming. We remember the shitty intro classes, as well as being stuck on a simple problem. Everyone who helps out here does so on a volunteer basis b/c we want to help others learn. I think that's the most important point to remember at the end of the day.


05 July 2012 - 06:49 PM
You all make great points. There wasn't an Internet to speak of when I learned programming. I'm basically self-taught; I've taken three programming classes, Applesoft BASIC in HS in 1984-85, Pascal in 1992 (I had already been programming in Pascal for a while at that point, and just took it as a "gut" elective), and a 6-week Unix/C/C++ Programming course at a local polytechnic that I took before I got into the field so I could get the certificate and my foot in the door. The vast majority of the time, I had no one to whom I could ask questions. I had one book on Pascal Data Structures I got from a friend (who abandoned CS in school) and lots of trial and error. And all that trial and error? It leads to the great excitement of finally breaking through and building something people actually paid for (shareware, way back when).

Maybe I expect too much by thinking everyone is like us. People now just want instant gratification -- something that "works" -- and they don't want to think about how to get from point A to point B. The journey is the best part of learning. If you skip that, you're really missing out.

In the end, this post was just borne out of the frustration of seeing more of the same in PHP -- on multiple help sites -- day, after day, after day. I see posts on some other websites from people who have hundreds of posts over nearly a decade (all in PHP forums) with basic, BASIC PHP problems easily solved with minimal debugging. WTF? How can you work with a language for so long and not even be able to do basic debugging? Example: 900 posts since 2001; the earlier one in his list of posts is 2004, and it's PHP. That's EIGHT FUCKING YEARS of developing with a language, and having no actual understanding of it. That's simply ridiculous.

Anyway...I guess when you think about it, it's really a problem as old as the Internet (and Usenet specifically) itself, and I was just in a whiny bitch of a mood this morning :)


05 July 2012 - 06:56 PM
And I just want to say that you pros in PHP, I'd mention you all but I might leave one out, so I'll just leave it at "you know who you are" certainly includes everyone commenting here and more.

You're all AWESOME! I'm amazed at the great work in explaining these things. I don't generally have the time -- or patience -- to put in a good answer to many of these questions, and you all provide in depth explanations that are beyond the call of duty. And I learn from you all each and every day as well.

I -- and the rest of the team and the users -- thank you for the great effort!


06 July 2012 - 06:00 AM
In all honesty, I've been hanging around StackOverflow more and more *shiver* just for the simple fact that (most of the) questions asked there do not consist of Wut r echo?! etc. like they do most of the time here.

It's nothing against DIC of course, just the quality of the people that seem to be attracted here for some unknown reason. Of course I'm still checking back here a lot and will post an answer to some threads every now and then, but I'm always trying to explain the problem rather than just give them the solution, and of course the OP seems to skip over that and go straight for the person that gave them C/P code. It's kindof tiring.


06 July 2012 - 06:13 AM


Are we getting too hard on newbies?

If a person has 1 post then it's understandable they probably haven't been told there's a better way of doing things so there should be a lot more patience and leniency with them. On the flip side, we have some users that constantly post the same low quality code over and over again until it's just annoying. Personally I can't find the energy to say what I said in their last thread all over again.

To me there's nothing wrong with a newbie learning from W3Schools because programming must start from somewhere. With that said you must also mature and learn better ways of doing things plus outgrow sites like w3schools.


Everyone who helps out here does so on a volunteer basis b/c we want to help others learn. I think that's the most important point to remember at the end of the day.

I enjoy helping those that love to learn but that race is becoming more and more rare each day. (think I butchered the English language there lol)
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