This title might seem like its a bit of overstatement but bear with me for a while - you’ll see what i mean.

Okay, so that idea came to my mind when I was at school few months ago and my friend asked me one simple question - how to get values from forms in PHP?

Normally, I would just tell him to use the $_POST variable and let him figure out the rest, but this time I was quite annoyed with constant interruptions so instead I reacted in a kinda ranty, ‘I’m gonna show him’ way.

And so the monologue started. He didn’t even try to stop me and just watched me roll with everything that I had to say.

I’ve started with simple introduction to $_POST but then I quickly told him why he don’t want to use it in that way, because the value is completely unsafe and that he has to validate it. Buuuut you can’t do it easily in PHP because it has this arcane C like syntax and bunch of useless libs that just wrap around some of most error prone functions ever written. Then I’ve quickly gave him a bit of hope saying that he might use some framework for that which by the way is ridiculous in its own way because you don’t want to pull another pile of source code just for this task. Oh, yeah and even if you would then it all just doesn’t matter because PHP doesn’t support UTF-8 natively. Then I quickly answered to myself that in fact it is supported but not in a cool way that makes it easy to use because you’re still dragging that freaking C lib wrappers behind you and you don’t want that in a scripting language for web! For fks sake! You don’t want your script to break its own legs because some character had funny bits.

Oh yeah, and that form was supposed to log user in which by the way is freaking hard to do by itself because of all the vulns in the web stack like CSRF, XSS and SQL injection and aaaaaghhh! So I’ve told him that he probably should use some framework for that.

And then he asked me if he can fix that in HTML. NO! Of course not, everything that ever comes back from the client should be immediately considered harmful and unsafe. I explained him why he can’t use HTML to protect himself. I mean, he can but it won’t be effective because client can modify the tags to allow other types of data. JavaScript also won’t work because client can modify it too or even turn it off completely. That started its own side-rant by itself because modern web apps use bunch of these rad something.js frameworks that break everything as soon as you turn off even one of them. Heh, they break even if you do not turn them off.

I even explained him quickly why that was the case by setting up quick proxy with nc -l -p 8080 which neatly showed everything that the browser sends to the server including the POST requests.

At that point I was talking mostly by myself for over 30 minutes to few of my friends who came by to see me getting mad at everything.

Suddenly, the school bell rang and it was the end. I didn’t even say everything that I wanted to and I’ve omitted some important points but that doesn’t matter. The rant is over, go home.

That wasn’t the first time that I’ve ranted - I did it few times before on some other things that I happen to know such as the madness of C++ or the landmine called C.

Now its important to note here, I do like (in some cases even love) these technologies. I really do. I enjoy learning about them and poking and tweaking and what not. Same thing with PHP and HTML and all of that fancy new web stuff.

I’m not some angry old guy who just repeats over and over again that back then we didn’t had those things so it was better. Because it wasn’t. Nostalgia is a tricky thing to grasp. One has to be really careful with his memories of the past because if he accally goes back by doing that stuff again he might realize that it wasn’t so good after all.

So yeah, after I’ve repeated that situation in my head for a few times it eventually hit me - that’s it! I might have just discovered passion. Everyone can be a fan of something. He might even be a fanboy if he likes it too much without much of a reason to do so. But the passionate people love everything that’s good about something and at the same time hate it for everything that’s wrong with it.

So yeah, I think I’m passionate about the IT stuff. Funny, isn’t it? Oh, and I realized that I absolutely love rants.

In fact I’ll give you a small tip - open up google, type anything that you like - for example a beacon or Linux or whatnot and just add the word ‘rant’ at the end of it. You can also use phrases such as ‘everything wrong with’ or ‘all of the bad stuff’. Then read everything that came out and try to understand the author point of view. It’s also fun to so because it shows you why something sucks which will allow you to make better decisions.

You might quickly surprise yourself when you notice that you also hate that thing because of something. Hey, you’ve just discovered your own passion :)

Now, I’m not saying that so you can just go on rambling about how everything sucks and how everything is broken. I mean - I know that its true. Everything seems to just barely work and nothing is as cool as it seemed. But most of the time you just can’t do much about it, so don’t just bash out on everything. That will make look sad.