Who cares if you care?
I have had the chance to exchange a few e-mails with one of the web guys, (and his predecessor.) He is a really nice guy. There may (?) be a second coder that pokes about from time to time. That’s about it. I would rather they focus on actual security issues - like password protection - than pointless ego crap like "upvoting your own posts." The man has a feature request list as long as a city block. I say let him worry about securing things that can actually lead to data compromise and information loss, as well as implementing new features.
I don’t care if the code is “pure.” I care that it works, that El Reg remains a great place to comment, with interesting things to read and that my e-mail doesn’t leak out to spammers.
That said, all professionals take pride in their work. I am sure if you actually took your suggestion for how to improve the code, put it into an e-mail and sent it to firstname.lastname@example.org, El Reg’s very small web team would deal with it as quickly as they can. Let the web team know – as a suggestion rather than a complaint – that they overlooked something and they will probably be quite happy to fix it.
Assuming of course that such fixes are within the realm of possibility. (You should hear my roommate rant on that subject!) Tell a sysadmin for a small business they need an HP server-room-in-a-sea-can in order to run their network “properly” and they will probably tell you to jump in a lake. Tell a doctor in a small African town that you need a fully equipped hospital to set a bone “properly” and they will also tell you to go jump in a lake.
Give a suggestion “here is a small change you could make that would not cost you much time, or is a better use of the resources you already have” and you will receive a much better response. In this case; I see that allowing you to upvote yourself can be annoying to some people who really, really care about their upvote/downvote ratios. They types who lie awake at night wondering how much the internet hates or loves them. Perhaps it was even left in for a larf…I don’t know the answer to that and neither do you.
To extend the fact that a feature exists in a manner you personally disapprove of all the way to “well he’s obviously a shitty programmer, his code is impure and the entire website is probably riddled with bugs” is one hell of a leap of logic. Quite the opposite: I think that rather than castigation for a PERCIEVED (but quite possibly not ACUTAL) hole in the coding, we should be thanking these individuals for putting in the hard work that gives us the website we all enjoy.
We might even – were we both concerned with bugs on this site and remotely decent human beings – try something like rallying El Reg’s enormous and technical reader base to do a bug hunt. If you really care about the security and “purity” of the website code that much, then convince the powers that be around here to post an article calling for a complete external security review of the site, with all information being sent in to El Reg. That would – I have no doubts whatsoever – produce a fairly comprehensive list of all the things that the very human programmers have missed.