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Three Lists I Never Want to See Again

Dear Reader,

Lists are all the rave these days for bloggers. The reason is obvious, they require very little thought or research to create. So, in keeping with the current trend, here is my list of three lists never want to see again.

3: 5,000 PHP classes and tutorials

Please, write about either classes or tutorials, doing both together means that all you did was put PHP into google, scraped the first 5,000 links and published. Seriously, classes and tutorials are not related, they are separate categories. Why would you feel the need to combine these? Even if you did, it’s already been done to death. I think we can safely say that until after the Mayan calendar ends and he sun explodes, we don’t need another list of PHP classes or tutorials. If you really want to keep up with the latest good tutorials in PHP, check out sites like Those guys do a great job of finding the best and they never feel the need to give me a list of the Top X.

2: 50 new PHP tricks you didn’t know, didn’t want to know, and will get you fired if you ever use them on the job

Yes there are a lot of ways to do things in PHP, some of them are good, some of them are bad. Some of them are so incredibly bad that recommending them should automatically trigger an Internet worm that formats your hard drive. My favorite tip in bad category is people “discovering” that IF statements don’t have to have curly braces. People, there is a reason we don’t tell new programmers this, it’s a bad idea!

1: Top PHP Frameworks

Look, I know a new PHP framework is born every 12.3 seconds but seriously, there are only a handful of them that will gain enough of a community to become viable. Of those, most change less than once a quarter, even though it feels like they tag a new release nightly. It’s great that you have discovered that PHP has frameworks and googled to find all of them. However, since google has 15,000,000 hits on the search term php frameworks it is safe to assume that you aren’t the first to discover them.


I love the blogosphere. I can find opinions from people I respect and new ideas from friends I’ve not yet met. Whenever I see a list though, I think “someone needed a post and didn’t know what to write”.

If you are using a new PHP class, CMS, framework, or have a new technique you want to share, share it. Write a blog post and tell me how or why it solved your problem; bonus points if you describe the problem that it solved. You are not adding to the conversation is you are just recapping what others have said.

Until next time,

13 thoughts on “Three Lists I Never Want to See Again

  1. Bravo Cal :)

    You forgot to say that we should use the ternary operator when a pesky if-else just takes up too many keystrokes!

  2. @alex,

    Actually, I like the ternary but only when used properly. Now the new 5.3 ternary short circuit I think is kinda stupid. :)


  3. I guess this means I should ask you to write an article on the Top 50 PHP Tip Roundups?


    But what am I supposed to put on my blog if I can’t just farm links off Google?! I’ll be ruined!

  4. There’s also a ton of unofficial mirrors for the php documentation. I never really saw the point since is fast, reliable, multilingual and up-to-date. Maybe I’m missing something.

  5. @anna

    Hi! Sorry I didn’t make it to PHPQUebec this year. I heard it was awesome as always.

    Yes, there are a lot of mirrors, official and unofficial. When I was running DevZone, I put the manual there as a convenience AND because it gave me even more pages for Google to index. I suspect others do the same. :)

    Yeah, um…no? :)

    I’ve read your blog, you don’t have any worries. :)

    Thanks all for the comments!

  6. LOL, fun post. However regarding your sub point about lists, I think that lists are all the rave in the blogosphere NOT because they are easy to write, but because they are easy to read. Watch which blog posts go viral sometime, the majority of them will be lists of some sort. This is because they are easy to read and usually fun or informative. During a busy day at work, this is often exactly the kind of post that allows people to take a two minute break…

  7. @Paul,

    Yes, they are easy to read but as @Tibo points out, things on the web live long past their expiration date. Even new ones, especially when talking about technical issues, I still see a lot of poorly researched list recommending things that are clearly not best practices.

    When it comes to technical issues, easy to write/easy to read should take a back seat to well researched and in-depth.

    @Damien, I would love to start an Internet meme one day. Could this be the one? :)

    Thanks all for the comments,

  8. Another downside of lists in general is that people tend to believe that everything they need to know is in the list. Even if the list is half a year old… Imo lists should at least have either explanation of the points listed or humor.

  9. And now I’m expecting a whole host of blog posts titlerd “3 lists I never want to see again” which copy and paste this =P

  10. Hehe, nice post. I actually think the world would stop spinning if no one was around to blog about the top php frameworks :P

  11. Pingback: Cal Evan’s Blog: Three Lists I Never Want to See Again : WebNetiques, LLC : Website Developers in Minneapolis, MN

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