Comment On It's a Linear Failure Structure

When applying, Rick appreciated Steve's interviewing style. They had a half-hour chat over coffee and he walked out with a job offer. It seemed pleasant and homey, an inviting workplace. After getting hired, Steve proved to be a smart, hands-off boss, who was a pleasure to work for. He was The perfect chief for a ramshackle web shop. [expand full text]
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Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:05 • by fw (unregistered)
I can't get my head around comments

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:06 • by SonicLover (unregistered)
Fir... nah, just kidding.

I'm not extremely code-savvy... could someone explain why the "echo if" line is so bad?

CAPTCHA: aptent - a tent Gary definitely has not been camping under

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:06 • by Tihrd, Not changing this awesome name. (unregistered)
Well? What was the book?

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:06 • by JayT (unregistered)
"Steve treated the entire dev team to a round at the local pub to celebrate"

Sounds like something my manager would do, nothing says "thank you for your efforts" like a pint and maybe a burger...

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:07 • by Severity One
Maybe Steve should have explained to Gary that arrays are like trains of identical cars, or perhaps he should have used the word "choo-choo".

Nah, forget that, he'd probably still be confused.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:08 • by Mike (unregistered)
Needless to say, I won't be purchasing any PHP books with "Gary" as a co-author. (A simple Amazon search reveals a prime candidate to avoid.)

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:10 • by Remusonline (unregistered)
Not good enough for the industry? No problem, your lack of skills will be the basis for our future software engineers!

No wonder why software projects are taking so long these days...

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:11 • by SR (unregistered)
This book?

From the reviews "Then I got confused with inadequate explanation ofarrays"

BTW I have no idea what
echo if (isset($bob +1000)) ;
could possibly be there for. Literally no idea.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:11 • by Severity One
304673 in reply to 304666
SonicLover:
I'm not extremely code-savvy... could someone explain why the "echo if" line is so bad?

If you're not code-savvy, what are you doing here? :)

Anyway, echo what exactly? You could rewrite it as follows:
if( isset( $bob + 1000 )

{
echo;
}

...which doesn't make a lot of sense.

Also, using isset() on an expression is... rather unusual.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:12 • by SR (unregistered)
304674 in reply to 304666
SonicLover:
CAPTCHA: aptent - a tent Gary definitely has not been camping under


Wanna go camping? There's an app for that.

I'll get my coat.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:16 • by java.lang.Chris;
Book credits look great on a CV, but given the poor quality of a lot of IT books they shouldn't be taken at face value. My predecessor had a book credit, as he'd edited one chapter of a book for a newer edition. I wasn't surprised that the book was out of print, having been criticised heavily on Amazon, nor that his chapter was hopelessly incorrect (it was a Sams publication, and I managed to find a free online version to check).

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:16 • by wintermute (unregistered)
304676 in reply to 304666
SonicLover:
Fir... nah, just kidding.

I'm not extremely code-savvy... could someone explain why the "echo if" line is so bad?


Because the isset bombs out with an error when there's more than a simple variable name in there.

Because (even if you get rid of the "+1000", so that it will actually run), it doesn't output anything.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:19 • by TheAnonCoward (unregistered)
The only two real WTF's I can spot here are Gary himself and the fact that he actually co-authored a book that was published on the subject.

The fact that he was sacked is certainly enough to save this story from the true annals of WTFery.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:21 • by Mr H (unregistered)
As a PHP developer I can verify that the statement
echo if (isset($bob +1000)) ;
not only is pointless but also invalid. If the CWTF(Creator of the WTF) was as gifted in php/perl as he claimed he should have been able to write a driver program to traverse the website directory and copy files to a seperate directory. This assumes that there were no WTFs already in the web site creation (absolute paths, URI references, etc.)

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:22 • by Drew (unregistered)
Arrays? Seriously? Can't get your head around arrays?

Recursion, maybe I could excuse. Certain kinds of trees if you haven't messed with them in a while. But arrays?

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:23 • by Tiigon (unregistered)
Obviously Gary is one of those "real coders" who use XML for everything. Arrays are so last year!

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:24 • by Anon (unregistered)
Two syntax errors in a one-liner is a bit too much for such a guru...

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:26 • by Khepra (unregistered)
304682 in reply to 304672
SR:
This book?

From the reviews "Then I got confused with inadequate explanation ofarrays"

BTW I have no idea what
echo if (isset($bob +1000)) ;
could possibly be there for. Literally no idea.


Comments on book:
"I struggled just getting started with running stuff, but blamed myselfrather than the book. Then I got confused with inadequate explanation ofarrays..."

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:28 • by eViLegion (unregistered)
304683 in reply to 304679
How can a programmer fail to understand arrays?

Its like a baker not getting yeast, or a politician not understanding lies.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:30 • by Crash (unregistered)
304684 in reply to 304672
Let's work from left to right to see what's wrong with this simple one-liner. This is narrated in the voice of the PHP while attempting to run the code.

echo - Okay, we're going to print something to the screen. Got it, we're ready. Let's do this!

if - Wait, what? 'If' doesn't return anything so how can we echo this? Oh boy.

isset - alright, so we're inside a conditional apparently. Let's check if this variable is set...that's not a variable, that's an expression! Who let this moron near a computer? Let's try to evaluate the expression anyway. Alright, $bob plus 1000. I really hope $bob is a number of some kind in order for that expression to work. Let's assume it's correct and $bob is, in fact, an integer - we'll pretend $bob = 1. isset(1+1000)...WTF? see below explanation of isset.

; (semicolon) - The conditional is done...and we have no instructions to execute after it so it does nothing...this was a waste of time.

isset is a PHP construct that tests variables to see if they're set to a value. You can pass it multiple variables, each variable as a parameter. You can't pass it an expression or it will vomit up a parse error.

Captcha: vulputate. Sounds dirty.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:31 • by Robert (unregistered)
I have lost all faith in tech books now

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:34 • by Thg (unregistered)
304688 in reply to 304679
Drew:
Arrays? Seriously? Can't get your head around arrays?

Recursion, maybe I could excuse. Certain kinds of trees if you haven't messed with them in a while. But arrays?


I can't get my head around "else" statements.
Does anyone know of any good online references?

Otherwise, I can give links to online "goto" resources in trade.

goto captcha;
/*NOTREACHED*/

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:34 • by highphilosopher (unregistered)
Unfortunately we tend to hide things in languages. Programmers don't have to use arrays, so the lazy ones won't pick it up. 5-10 years ago a programmer would have said "How can you not know how to do bitwise operations!" yet I find myself explaining it to developers all the time.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:35 • by Your Name (unregistered)
I find it unbelievable that Gary was that bad of a programmer and nobody noticed.

I find it really unbelievable that Steve would hire Gary and not at least check on the quality of his work the first few weeks.

Seriously, before anyone enters the door here for an interview they need to pass a simple programming / debugging test. Candidates also need to bring or be able to show code. We get that stuff out of the way quickly, and then move on to figuring out if someone is a good fit.

Anyone who claims to be an "expert", though, gets seriously grilled.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:38 • by Jonny (unregistered)
It's not like anybody is going to need arrays anyway.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:41 • by Mark Bowytz
304693 in reply to 304684
If I could feature this one twice, I would. Now I have the voice of PHP in my head.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:51 • by jonnyq
I've described PHP as an array-oriented language before...

If you don't understand arrays, then you don't understand PHP at all.

(This isn't a good or bad this... just a very very particular thing about PHP)

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:54 • by Niraj (unregistered)
just by any chance -- http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/0764557440

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 09:59 • by Crash (unregistered)
Guess who's missing from the the updated version of the book...

http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Apache-MySQL-Development-Programmer/dp/0764579665/ref=sr_ob_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270562131&sr=1-1

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:11 • by Socket (unregistered)
I have that book... I feel cheated now.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:11 • by Dave (unregistered)
304698 in reply to 304696
Crash:
Guess who's missing from the the updated version of the book...

http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Apache-MySQL-Development-Programmer/dp/0764579665/ref=sr_ob_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270562131&sr=1-1


I like that he was also photo-shopped out of the cover. Not that they could leave him in there...

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:14 • by Crash (unregistered)
304699 in reply to 304698
Dave:

I like that he was also photo-shopped out of the cover. Not that they could leave him in there...


Priceless, especially since he's the only one that isn't in the new edition so there's no doubt which one he is.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:15 • by Gruntled Postal Worker (unregistered)
304700 in reply to 304695
Niraj:
just by any chance -- http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/0764557440



TDWTF usually anonymizes the articles. Are you sure 'Gary' is really called 'Gary'?

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:15 • by jonsjava
Wow. Gotta say, it must be this guy He seems like a crock. Maybe I'm wrong, but doesn't this seem like a spin on the story:

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/garymailer:

#
Analyst Developer
Aardvark Media

(Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Internet industry)

May 2001 — September 2001 (5 months)

• Identified opportunity and facilitate implementation of improvement of core application for major client.
• Played a major role in the team that developed an innovative Pan-European Extranet for Siemens Communications.
• As part of team identified the business and functional requirements.
• Designed and developed parts of the system that met those requirements within timescale and budget.
• Facilitated regular project reviews both internally and with client, face to face.
#
Analyst Developer
Motion Pixels

(Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Information Technology and Services industry)

August 2000 — February 2001 (7 months)

• Management of ongoing systems development and enhancement of large client website.
• Undertook requirement analysis, systems design and implemented solutions, and provided support for new pieces of development. Including black box and user acceptance testing.
• Identified opportunities for improvements as well as ensuring they were commercially viable.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:20 • by Remy Porter
304702 in reply to 304700
Gruntled Postal Worker:

TDWTF usually anonymizes the articles. Are you sure 'Gary' is really called 'Gary'?


For disclaimer's sake, any resemblance to real PHP authors is purely coincidental. And hilarious.

Seriously, though, Gary is an absurdly common name, so I wouldn't go drawing any conclusions. The names could have just as easily been flipped around, and you'd all be hunting for an author named Steve.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:25 • by jonsjava
Forgot to mention: his CV looks like a bad movie sequel, "Fired in 60 Seconds":

Left after 2 years
Left after 7 months
Left after 5 months
Left after 8 months
Left after 2 months
Left after 5 months
Left after 1 month
Left after 7 months
Left after 2 years, 8 months (getting nitpicky now)
Left after 11 months
And last, but not least:

2 years, 7 months
That makes 11 jobs in 10.9 years.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:28 • by Crash (unregistered)
304704 in reply to 304702
Remy Porter:

For disclaimer's sake, any resemblance to real PHP authors is purely coincidental. And hilarious.

Seriously, though, Gary is an absurdly common name, so I wouldn't go drawing any conclusions. The names could have just as easily been flipped around, and you'd all be hunting for an author named Steve.


We're the internet. We'll find you a Steve to mock as well, if you want - just give us a bit.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:31 • by grzlbrmft (unregistered)
304705 in reply to 304704
Crash:
We're the internet. We'll find you a Steve to mock as well, if you want - just give us a bit.


I'd like to have a Nepomuk, please.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:38 • by anon (unregistered)
304707 in reply to 304700
Gruntled Postal Worker:
Niraj:
just by any chance -- http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/0764557440



TDWTF usually anonymizes the articles. Are you sure 'Gary' is really called 'Gary'?


Let's hope so, then we can work out which firm he worked for:
-- http://uk.linkedin.com/in/garymailer

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:39 • by jonsjava
304708 in reply to 304705
grzlbrmft:
I'd like to have a Nepomuk, please.


As requested:
hxxp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Johann_Nepomuk_Geiger

Warning: This one is kinda raunchy

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:40 • by JoeB (unregistered)
Believing that Gary is actually THAT Gary, I find it amusing that the review of the book has an Array topic, and the first (as claimed here - could not check) does not.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:42 • by Xero
304710 in reply to 304672
Did you notice Gary isn't listed in the newer version of the book.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:43 • by Russ (unregistered)
304712 in reply to 304686
Robert:
I have lost all faith in tech books now


I was there a LONG time ago. More often than not, books are the result of those who can't do anything else.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:44 • by grzlbrmft (unregistered)
304713 in reply to 304708
jonsjava:

As requested:
hxxp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Johann_Nepomuk_Geiger
Warning: This one is kinda raunchy


That's not so bad. I like his style.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:45 • by Anonymous Coward (unregistered)
I wonder if this is the book in question:

http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-PHP-Apache-MySQL-Development/dp/0764557440/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1270564714&sr=8-2-fkmr1

It's the only PHP book Amazon threw up that had someone named 'Gary' in the list of authors. And, also, I find it highly suspect that the most recent edition is missing a particular author:

http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Apache-MySQL-Development-Programmer/dp/0764579665/ref=dp_ob_image_bk

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:49 • by Remy Porter
304715 in reply to 304704
Crash:

We're the internet. We'll find you a Steve to mock as well, if you want - just give us a bit.


Please do. The Gary hunt is getting a bit out of hand.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 10:53 • by Skilldrick (unregistered)
I think Remy is getting really worried about the anonymisation in this article now...

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 11:00 • by Doug (unregistered)
304718 in reply to 304684
Crash:
Let's work from left to right to see what's wrong with this simple one-liner. This is narrated in the voice of the PHP while attempting to run the code.

echo - Okay, we're going to print something to the screen. Got it, we're ready. Let's do this!

if - Wait, what? 'If' doesn't return anything so how can we echo this? Oh boy.

...


I don't do PHP, but PERL uses this construct all the time:

print if (condition);

But, since this is PERL("timtowtdi"), this is functionally the same as:

if (condition) { print; }

Gary probably just got his languages mixed up.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 11:02 • by JamesQMurphy
304719 in reply to 304712
Russ:
Robert:
I have lost all faith in tech books now


I was there a LONG time ago. More often than not, books are the result of those who can't do anything else.


That is particularly true when it comes to Wrox books. Irish Girl could author one.

Re: It's a Linear Failure Structure

2010-04-06 11:07 • by Nobody (unregistered)
If that first linked book is any indication of Gary's involvement... the one-star review certainly seals the deal, IMO.

Worst book of all time, sorry guys and gals but whoever wrote and edited this book should buy a book themselves "Learn to Write and Edit by DUMMIES". To many typo's and script errors which did not work!

Actually I would give the book a 5 star rating if they changed the name to Trouble Shooting Script Errors, Test Your Skills!
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