Farewell, buy why did you go?

First of all a warning, this is not a PHP post, but instead purely an opinion piece. I am using my God given right as an owner of a blog to spout off about any situation, no matter how little I know about it.

Recently, Jani Taskinen publicly decided to disassociate himself from the PHP project. An individual is certainly able to choose how they allocate their time, particularly when it is a volunteer effort, I and respect his decision as much as I respect and value the efforts he has put into PHP over the years.

I have never met Mr. Taskinen in person, nor have I communicated directly with him via email. Where I have seen him most is from his tireless efforts on the bugs.php.net site (and his efforts to “bogus” as many bugs as possible 😉 ). I have no direct knowledge of why he quit and can only speculate from this post by Andrei.

The situation presented is tragic. I read a rumor that not only has Jani performed the same UN Peacekeeper job, but knew some of the people killed in the bombing. If this is the case, certainly my condolences go out to Jani Taskinen, and to all the families of the UN Peace Keepers affected. For that matter, to the Israelis and the Hezbollah who have died in this conflict as well. The world would be a much better place if we could all figure out how to resolve our differences without resorting to killing each other.

What I don’t understand is the logic which motivates a person to take retribution on individuals or groups where there is no clear association to the source of the incident causing this frustration. In this case the retribution is withholding valuable time and efforts from a project, which is influenced by individuals at a company, which reside in a country, whose military is the source of the incident (ignoring further analysis of why the military is acting at that point). Again, I don’t know the details or personal issues in this matter, but from my perspective this seems a pretty tenuous connection. To take the hyperbole to the furthest extent is this not the same logic which terrorists use to rationalize attacks on civilian populations in retribution for actions of a government they dislike? Or even furthers, should we all not go and live in isolated cave, because members of the human race are capable of acts of brutality?

This logic also seem to typify the fallacy of Zend == PHP. Usually I see this kind of an assumption on message boards or mailing lists, but I assumed it usually will only annoy an internals developer. To be sure Zend has significant influence on PHP, but they are not PHP in and of themselves.

Perhaps there are many other facts I am aware of in this situation. Perhaps Zeev and Andi are not geek programmers, but are instead using that as a cover for their true positions as top secret operatives of Mossad, and indeed they both selected the target and pushed the button to launch this attack. I don’t see this as realistic, so I guess I have to fall back to my earlier analysis.

Again, this is not any sort of an attack on Mr. Taskinen, I thank him for his contributions and many efforts to help PHP over the years, and I wish him luck in all his future endeavors. This is just questioning some reasoning which does not seem to be logical to me, and has been turning over in my head for the past few days. Perhaps in the end it was not a logical decision but an emotional one, which seems perhaps probably given the tragedy of the situation.