On the Importance of Documentation Updates

Published on September 20, 2012

Even though the site aggravated me at first, I still occasionally troll Stack Overflow. One of the leading problems I see in questions pertaining to PHP & MySQL, is people’s use of the MySQL extension in PHP. This extension, it turns out, is being deprecated. But does the documentation reflect this fact? Yes and no.

Certain function pages, such as mysql_real_escape_string, have big red boxes at the top indicating that the extension is being deprecated. “Don’t use this”, they seem to shout. Other function pages, however, such as the mysql_result page, don’t have these warnings. Likewise, the top-level MySQL Drivers and Plugins page lists the MySQL extension first, with no indication whatsoever that the extension is being deprecated.

At the very least, every single documentation page that deals with the MySQL extension in any form or fashion, needs to include information about its intended deprecation. Otherwise, thousands upon thousands of programmers will write code using a plugin that is quickly nearing it’s end-of-life. Which, based on what I see at Stack Overflow, already seems to be the case.

One Comment

ed

I’ll second that. I’ve recently started to look into adding extensions to Firefox. I gotta admit, I believe I’ve found Stack Overflow much more relevant than MDN as far as timeliness. I think the extension tutorial which gets top hits from Google is based on Firefox 1. I think I’m finally in the right decade now with regards to extensions and XPCOM, which is actually how I’ve stumbled on your site today. Nice job on the toolbar tutorial by the way. Wish I found it sooner.

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