Why did the chicken cross the road?

November 9th, 2008 by Ivo

So what does the PHP community think about why the chicken crossed the road?

Lukas Smith: "We should ignore the chicken for now and make sure that the parse-ability, typeability and ide compatibility of what separates this side from the road from the other side is better than the current separator proposal." *

Zoe Slattery: "To ensure the quality of the chicken once it has crossed the road, the code coverage of /ext/road needs to be at least 80%. The chicken will test || die." *

Chris Shiflett: "The chicken should be more aware of Cross Road Scripting vulnerabilities when crossing the road like that." *

Stefan Esser: "Ze chicken needs to be protected from ze stupid dumbasses that have no clue how to secure ze road. I have demonstrated zeveral vulnerabilities in ze road before, but I was ignored." *

Lorna Mitchell: "We do NOT exlude roosters, but we need to encourage the chicken so that it knows that it is ok to cross the obviously male-dominated road." *

Terry Chay: "Fuck, is crossing the road a design pattern? Shit no, it's not a fucking algorithm either. When I blog about it, I'm, like, the guy that totally killed the fucking chicken." *

Paul M Jones: "I don't care why the chicken crossed the road, but we need to benchmark how fast the chicken crossed the road using all the major frameworks. And Chay is a bully for making it cross the road!" * *

Ivo Jansch: "Why did the chicken cross the road? [jaws]Dumdumdumdum...[/jaws]" *

Cal Evans: "Good morning twitterverse! Today is an AWESOME day for the chicken to cross the road! But if it doesn't cross the road in 60 seconds, I'll move to Holland." * * *

Paul Reinheimer: "The chicken crossed the road because I was on the other side. In my KISS outfit." *

Ligaya Turmelle: "Chicken Darlin!" (smooches chicken) *

Derick Rethans: "I debugged the chicken while it crossed the road. I will speak about the results at works, tek, ipc, phpnw, phpbarcelona, phplondon, phpquebec, froscon, phpvikinger, oscon, dpc, phpnorge and zendcon. Hey, alcohol!" * *

Michelangelo van Dam "50 chickens are marching across the road!" *

Harold Goldberg: "We are The Chicken Company. To cross the road, please enter your Zend user id and password." *

Chris Cornutt: "The chicken has posted an update on its blog today, explaining the reasons for crossing the road. Some of the reasons it mentioned are 'wanting to be on the other side', 'just because' and 'what road?'. Check out the full details in the chicken's post, as well as the community's responses to the crossing of the road here." *

Laura Thomson: "All chicken suck." *

Post your PHP community chicken theories below!

54 Responses to “Why did the chicken cross the road?”

  1. November 09, 2008 at 4:25 pm, Sean Coates said:

    I wish you people would stop talking about that poor chicken and just let it cross the road. It obviously knows how to cross, and all of this whining is a waste of everyone’s time. We’ve got work to do, here!

  2. November 09, 2008 at 4:52 pm, Elizabeth Naramore said:

    Obviously, the chicken was just looking for more beer.

  3. November 09, 2008 at 5:01 pm, Caius Durling said:

    I second Liz’s reasoning. Having met the chicken in a pub last night, I can confirm she was indeed just looking for more beer.

  4. November 09, 2008 at 5:15 pm, Philippe Gamache said:

    No, he was looking for beer AND chick!

  5. November 09, 2008 at 5:32 pm, Beth Tucker Long said:

    Now that the chicken has crossed the road, is the road backwards compatible with all the chickens who have not yet crossed the road?

  6. November 09, 2008 at 6:45 pm, Pierre said:

    Too late, the chicken is gone, what’s about her eggs?

  7. November 09, 2008 at 7:16 pm, Shahar Evron said:

    Obligatory: Because it’s better than crossing the rail(s)

  8. November 09, 2008 at 7:30 pm, daaku said:

    Because it saw the number 6 on the other side…

  9. November 09, 2008 at 7:41 pm, Eli White said:

    What is important is not that the chicken crossed the road. But how fast the chicken did it and how can we make the chicken faster next time? To that end we also need to talk about scalability. How do we get more chickens to cross the road at the same time. Perhaps we need infrastructure improvements such as an overpass.

  10. November 09, 2008 at 7:46 pm, Elizabeth Smith said:

    Eh, the chicken was just teaching her offspring – baby chicks are known for wandering off and doing stupid things – a little mentoring and good role models for how to cross the road are sure to help the baby chicks from becoming roadkill.

  11. November 09, 2008 at 7:56 pm, Stefan Priebsch said:

    Just don’t fork the chicken!


  12. November 09, 2008 at 8:17 pm, Stefan Koopmanschap said:

    I’d like to add:

    Felix De Vliegher: Let’s have a look at the community, and see how they think about the chicken crossing the road. Really, the chicken should’ve involved the community long ago.

    Marc Veldman: We should make the chicken cross the road continuously and integrate the testing as well as ensure the chicken is crossing the road according to certain road-crossing standards

    Davey Shafik: Thought: Chicken is the animal Bigbird should be. They have the balance of corporate Vs community spot on, Bigbird should take notes

  13. November 09, 2008 at 8:33 pm, Gareth Heyes said:

    The chicken didn’t cross the road, it was too busy discussing with the other chickens on what to use as a PHP namespace separator.

  14. November 09, 2008 at 9:03 pm, Matthew Weier O'Phinney said:

    Does a unit test exist verifying that the chicken can cross the road?

  15. November 09, 2008 at 9:53 pm, the chicken post - tsuuhou said:

    [...] fun article on why the chicken crossed the [...]

  16. November 09, 2008 at 10:00 pm, Arnaud said:

    There is no chicken.

  17. November 09, 2008 at 10:24 pm, Brian Dailey said:


  18. November 09, 2008 at 11:01 pm, Andrew said:

    The Chicken is a Lie!!

  19. November 09, 2008 at 11:28 pm, Firman Wandayandi said:

    What actually is that chicken thinking? I should fix all these bugs!


  20. November 09, 2008 at 11:29 pm, Paul M. Jones said:

    DHH: If the chicken was on Rails, it wouldn’t have to cross the road! ;-)

  21. November 09, 2008 at 11:31 pm, Kevin Waterson said:

    Look, this whole chicken/road deal is just not working out, the road is too wide and nobody can agree on what sort of chicken it should be. I say, lets just let it go till the next release of chickens.

  22. November 10, 2008 at 5:25 am, me talking out loud said:

    [...] – Ivo got me. And worst part is that I can NOT argue with his assessment of me and my personality. Busted! [...]

  23. November 10, 2008 at 7:57 am, Thorsten said:


  24. November 10, 2008 at 8:52 am, Larry Garfield said:

    Lots of people don’t use objects, like Drupal. Can the chicken still cross the road using just functions? If not, stop being an OOP zealot!

  25. November 10, 2008 at 10:42 am, Richard Heyes said:

    I feel like chicken tonight!

  26. November 10, 2008 at 10:42 am, Sebastian Bergmann said:

    Was it a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle?

  27. November 10, 2008 at 10:49 am, Berry Langerak said:

    Nice one, Ivo.

  28. November 10, 2008 at 10:53 am, Marco said:

    Marco Tabini ate the chicken. Nom nom.

  29. November 10, 2008 at 1:16 pm, Guido von rossum said:

    By atavism: the chicken is afraid of the snake.

  30. November 10, 2008 at 1:39 pm, Guilherme Blanco said:

    Can someone briefly explain me HOW and WHY the chicken (internally, not userland) decided to cross the road?

  31. November 10, 2008 at 2:12 pm, Hendrik said:

    Most possibly the chicken would have been able to go round to reach the other side as well. It would have been far more easy to do that. However, it crossed the road the intended way so the other chickens wouldn’t think it was a bad programer.

  32. November 10, 2008 at 2:32 pm, Steph said:

    Am I going to ruin anyone’s day if I mention cock?

  33. November 10, 2008 at 5:01 pm, Harro said:

    You need to be more specific, right now I don’t know what the road is made of, what’s on each side of the road or where the road is. Not to mention the unknown internal state of the chicken !

    Be specific !

  34. November 10, 2008 at 7:55 pm, Sebs said:

    For fucking gods sake ;)
    Chuck Norris made the chicken cross the road. So no hoaxes.
    Chuck Norris can revert the patch too.

  35. November 10, 2008 at 8:02 pm, Simon (erf) said:

    We need a 53 page business case to determine if the chicken actually needs to cross the road

  36. November 10, 2008 at 8:25 pm, Stefan said:

    If the chicken crosses the road, it will cross it from south-east to north-west anyway.

  37. November 10, 2008 at 8:37 pm, Daniel Cousineau said:

    The question is not why the chicken crossed the road, it’s why did it have to be a chicken in the first place? Was a chicken really the best choice to be crossing the road with? While obviously a chicken is the best tool for food production, perhaps a bicycle would have been best used to cross the road with.

  38. November 11, 2008 at 1:36 am, Simon H said:

    JBoss developers the world over: “Please standby for 30-40 minutes downtime across all transport infrastructure in the area while we release a minor update to the location of the chicken”.

  39. November 11, 2008 at 3:14 am, Juxecl said:

    The chicken was escaping from the crowd of people arguing about what colour it should be.

    p.s. only one person actually had paint and a paintbrush in hand.

  40. November 11, 2008 at 1:13 pm, beki said:

    The chicken crossed the road to get a fresh cup of tasty java.

  41. November 11, 2008 at 2:22 pm, Yashi said:

    Haaha! The chicken is more for fun drinking and to quite large the crack smoking! java loves him return programming! It makes food.

  42. November 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm, Nick said:

    It’s not important

    The Real Question is what came first the Chicken or the Road

  43. November 11, 2008 at 6:50 pm, Alton Crossley said:

    This is clearly issue avoidance, nobody wants to answer the question at hand.

  44. November 12, 2008 at 9:09 am, cereal_girl said:

    function roadkill()
    if ($chicken!==$menu)
    return $whoCares;

  45. November 13, 2008 at 6:12 pm, EllisGL said:

    Was the chicken supposed to cross the road? Was this a malfunction of the fence that enclosed it’s pen to allow it to get to the road. Which road did it cross? Where was it coming from? What was on the other side? Which direction did it go afterwords? Was it really a chicken, or was it another type of foul?

  46. November 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm, Rob Graham said:

    Are we even sure the chicken should be aware of the other side of the road? Have we not just introduced some high coupling here?

  47. November 19, 2008 at 10:01 am, zoe slattery said:

    lol! only just found this. Maybe we can remove surplus parts of the chicken to improve it’s test coverage?

  48. December 05, 2008 at 12:28 pm, a_sha said:

    We are The Chicken Company. To cross the road, please enter your Zend user id and password… hehe this one’s cool…

  49. January 11, 2009 at 6:44 pm, Ivo's Blog - jansch.nl » Blog Archive » 2008 in retrospect said:

    [...] month, I think that is a good frequency to stick to in 2009. The most successful post has been the Chicken post with over 40 [...]

  50. July 08, 2009 at 8:42 am, 2008 in retrospect – techPortal said:

    [...] month, I think that is a good frequency to stick to in 2009. The most successful post has been the Chicken post with over 40 [...]

  51. September 02, 2009 at 3:56 pm, Tweets that mention Ivo's Blog - jansch.nl said:

    [...] this page was mentioned by DragonBe (@dragonbe), Cal Evans (@calevans), Tarique Sani (@tariquesani), naderman (@naderman), Jan Lehnardt (@janl) and others. [...]

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  54. March 17, 2011 at 10:22 pm, John said:

    $chicken = new Chicken();
    } catch(Exception $chickenfailedtocrossroadexception) {
    //Where did the chicken go?
    echo $chickenfailedtocrossroadexception->getTrace();