Don’t be an adversarial programmer

Don’t be an adversarial programmer

From time to time in your programming life you come across people who have a different point of view from your own. Always remember there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Just because you learned one way to do something doesn’t mean it is the only way to do it. At the same time there are principles that exist to keep programmers from creating an unstable environment. Don’t attack another programmer for doing things differently. Learn from their point of view.

Red Sand Media Group

About a year ago a support ticket came into my forum from a person who was having a problem with my Plugin Organizer plugin. When Red Sand Media Group‘s WP Spamshield plugin was active the user was unable to save their plugin settings. I found the code in WP Spamshield that was put in place by Scott Allen (the lead developer at Red Sand Media Group) and told the user to contact him to alert him to the problems his code was causing.

In PHP there are different types of variables. One of those variables is the superglobal $_POST array which is a variable set when PHP is first loaded. This is meant to be the data that is posted to the page and should remain unaltered throughout the execution of the script. If you need to get a value from it you can filter it as it is retrieved. Trying to move through the array rebuilding it’s data without any way to know how it is structured is a recipe for disaster. I explained this to the developers of WP Spamshield and their response was that they had crippled my plugin on purpose and that was the ultimate goal of their code. So in their view the changes they made to the $_POST array were acceptable. Looking through their code further I realized they had entire potions of their plugin that were dedicated to crippling other plugins.

Creating code that circumvents the users intended behavior of their site without their knowledge is not good programming. It causes the user to run in circles trying to figure out why their site is not behaving the way it should. This is Red Sand Media Group‘s entire approach to web site security. They believe users are not smart enough to manage the behavior of their site and should be bypassed. They became hostile with the admins of wordpress.org and refused to stop attacking other developers plugins and crashing sites. So their code was removed from the repository.

Since the incident with them they have been attacking me both publicly and privately because they don’t want to take responsibility for their unethical actions and would rather blame me. They have posted false information online and have even gone so far as to commit perjury by filing bogus DMCA requests to have my site taken down along with hundreds of others. You can go to Sterup Design and see my sites are still up because they had no grounds for filing these claims.


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