I received an interesting comment from my contact form the other day. I don’t need to respond to it, as the sender left a clearly false email address as their response address, but I do feel that it poses an interesting question for me.

This is the message in its entirety:

Dude how come your example poll have this amazing format, cool graphics, and when I download and installed yours, looks like SHIT?

I mean, thanks for doing this and all that, but come on, you are showing a FALSE example on your web site.

The example poll referred to is this: an example installation of a free MySQL/PHP polling script available on my website. Now, I find it hard to believe that anybody actually thinks of that example as having “this amazing format, cool graphics,” but that’s not really the point: the question is what a “free script” should be expected to include.

This person obviously expected a fully-realized, designed installation. What I provided was nothing but raw HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and PHP (Hypertext PreProcessing) scripting. No “out of the box” styling at all. This is what I generally desire out of a script: if it has a few hooks for CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and semantic code, that’s great!

I can certainly agree that if you want something you offer to really become a major player in the world of popular downloads, you’ll need to put in a fair amount of work in providing easy template styling, etc. But I hardly think that should be expected for a simple web site add-on.

It leaves me curious: when you download a script, what do you expect of it?