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Rails Bigwig Rails on Rails Community 616

Zed Shaw, creator of the popular Mongrel HTTP daemon / library, has decided it was high time to tear into the Ruby/Rails community for many different complaints that he has been collecting over the last few years. "Rails is a Ghetto" is Shaw's self-proclaimed exit strategy from the Rails community. "This is that rant. It is part of my grand exit strategy from the Ruby and Rails community. I don't want to be a 'Ruby guy' anymore, and will probably start getting into more Python, Factor, and Lua in the coming months. I've got about three or four more projects in the works that will use all of those and not much Ruby planned. This rant is full of stories about companies and people who've either pissed in my cheerios somehow or screwed over friends. I can back all of them up from emails, IRC chat logs, or with witnesses. Nothing in here is a lie unless it's really obviously a lie through exaggeration, and there's a lot of my opinion as well."
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Rails Bigwig Rails on Rails Community

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  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @05:38PM (#21887276) Journal
    Before you spend the time reading this, let me point out that this isn't really technically oriented. I was hoping for some massive teardown of Ruby/Rails performance or load handling capabilities but ... yeah, didn't take away much from this other than this 'Zed' character can be quite abrasive.

    Only a fucking tool bag piece of shit would:

    * spend 10-20 minutes calling me names over IRC,
    * not have the balls to say any of that to my face,
    * say I'm a dick for wanting to use a different (established) publish/review model,
    * and then demolish such an important file for a project,
    * keeping everyone stumped and pissed for an hour,
    * therefore proving me right.

    This is exactly what makes Rails a ghetto. A bunch of half-trained former PHP morons who never bother to sit down and really learn the computer science they were too good to study in college. BTW, this is true about Kevin as he's an English major or something stupid (and it shows).

    Hats off to you Kevin, you fucking prick. I'm enjoying my vacation too.
    Ok, this is the summation of his first point. He got into a verbal argument with someone on his team about how patches should be handled. Kevin thought people should be able to submit patches to his workspace while Zed vehemently did not.

    People commonly have disagreements, work them out.

    The fact that this (largely nontechnical) issue is his first point disheartens me and makes me wary of ever working with Zed no matter how brilliant he is. Perhaps this is another example of how non-personal communication (forums/IRC/IMs/e-mail) leads to heated debates over absolutely nothing. I would start to point out that Zed did call Kevin a 'mofo' first before Kevin called him a 'dick' but I would hesitate as name calling and the like is for children.

    It's a wonder Zed gets anything done other than by himself to me.

    As for his complaints about companies, I have to warn him that bad companies are everywhere ... just like bad people. What does any of this have to do with Ruby or Rails? Why are you so certain this is going to die? Because there are some idiots here and there trying to use it?

    I hate to say this but after reading this first part of the rant, I think Zed is just as big (if not half) of the problem of the community being in shambles as any of his targets are.
  • by CmdrTaco (troll) ( 578383 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @05:38PM (#21887282) Homepage
    What a monster faggot.
  • by aftk2 ( 556992 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @05:42PM (#21887322) Homepage Journal
    But for the absolute opposite reason: any community that would have this guy as a prominent member and/or mouthpiece is immature indeed.
  • by Avohir ( 889832 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @05:42PM (#21887326)
    Is there any particular reason this is relevant information other than the fact that a significant developer is leaving and that he evidently has personal issues with some of the other involved parties? I mean some of it is an entertaining read in much the same way an episode of Jerry Springer is, but is there anything really technical or interesting here?
  • Waste of time (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JustShootMe ( 122551 ) * <rmiller@duskglow.com> on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @05:42PM (#21887334) Homepage Journal
    Why did this even make the front page? It had no redeeming value except to prove that "Zed" is a pain to work with and unprofessional.
  • Re:Still no job? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @05:44PM (#21887354)
    What, you don't like profanity laced rants aimed at you and your employees, from someone who obviously believes his and only his opinion matters?

    Based on the writing on his site, I wouldn't hire him for anything. Even if he's a god among programmers, I can hire someone who's 80% as good and causes fewer problems in the workplace, and likely come out ahead due to that.
  • Holy Cow! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @05:48PM (#21887412) Homepage Journal
    Holy cow! I started reading TFA with the idea that there would be some good points in there, but never got to them. What a load of verbal abuse! Excuse me, but I don't fancy reading through that.

    I understand that things have really hurt this guy and made him angry, but I don't think this is the way to go about improving things. It may be a good way for him to vent his frustration, but I would say that if you want people to take you seriously, it's better to write down your criticism in a civil manner, with examples of what you are criticizing and, for even better results, suggestions for how to improve things.

    A long rant that slings abuse at everything and everyone is bound to just hurt people, and that's rarely if ever a Good Thing. As for me, I won't be reading the article any further, so that's _one_ initially interested reader he has lost. And I'm sure I'm not alone.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @05:53PM (#21887462)
    There were some nuggets of information hidden amongst the general whining though.

    Things like having complained to the rails team about its thread safety and having the rails team stubbornly insist that it wasn't possible to make it thread-safe up until the point where someone went off and wrote a better version that was thread-safe. Things like that, if it's true, don't inspire a whole lot of confidence in RoR, regardless of how tactless the critique is.

    Yes, he's got the kind of personality flaws that are, unfortunately, all too common in the tech industry. But I don't think that alone means we should automatically dismiss everything he says.
  • Re:Ruby (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nuzak ( 959558 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @05:54PM (#21887472) Journal
    Apparently so are some of its former developers.

    Clever title, but "Pissy Foul-Mouthed Drama Queen Makes Histrionic Exit from Rails" would have been more accurate. I don't much care for rails either, but I do hope any other project he hops onto doesn't look to him for their public face.
  • by greg_barton ( 5551 ) * <greg_barton@nOsPAM.yahoo.com> on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @05:59PM (#21887556) Homepage Journal
    I'd never heard of Zed Shaw before this story, but he will now be who I think of when the words "self" and "parody" are juxtaposed in my mind. To wit:

    This means that thanks to Larry Flynt I can stab them in the ear verbally, insult them, question their sexual orientation, and say anything that's true and they just have to take it. Their only recourse is to write their pathetic little rebuttals in their stupid little blogs.

    Obligatory pot/kettle/black reference.

    I'll add one more thing to the people reading this: I mean business when I say I'll take anyone on who wants to fight me. You think you can take me, I'll pay to rent a boxing ring and beat your fucking ass legally.

    O....K.... I think that stands by itself.

    But wait! There's more...

    I've been thinking this over ever since I realized that Mongrel and Rails more or less killed my career.

    No, I believe you're doing that...right now...

    Before Mongrel I was building kick ass software for the NYC Dept. of Correction with a tiny team.

    And, based on the "beat your fucking ass" statements above, he'll be utilizing that software as a client at some point.

    After Mongrel I couldn't get a gang of monkeys to rape me, so forget any jobs.

    Seriously, based on reading only a portion of his post, I wouldn't hire this man even if he was a coding god. I don't think his woes are due to his previous co-workers. Textbook example of a serious attitude problem.
  • by Serious Callers Only ( 1022605 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @06:00PM (#21887558)

    I'll add one more thing to the people reading this: I mean business when I say I'll take anyone on who wants to fight me. You think you can take me, I'll pay to rent a boxing ring and beat your fucking ass legally. Remember that I've studied enough martial arts to be deadly even though I'm old, and I don't give a fuck if I kick your mother fucking ass or you kick mine. You don't like what I've said, then write something in reply but fuck you if you think you're gonna talk to me like you can hurt me.

    Over and over again I'd run into these morons who would offer me tiny jobs, no jobs, insult my intelligence, treat me like all I can do is code, and when I didn't fit that mold or wanted to charge them for the privilege they'd cheat me or laugh at me.

    Google was a total riot. They offered me a job twice. I went with it, and they never responded. Probably because the job they were offering me--someone who's been coding for 21 years, 15 professionally--was as a junior system administrator. What the hell does a junior sysadmin do at google? That's probably like mopping the floor at a glory hole in Queens. I told them to review my resume and offer me a real position.

    Perhaps Google read a few paragraphs of Zed's So Fucking Awesome and thought better of asking him to do anything at all. I feel sorry for this guy now because this one post will do more to ruin his career than any minor tantrum in front of a few people (a few of which he describes here). I hear dreamhost [dreamhost.com] is hiring though; his weblog reminds me of theirs.

  • by JCSoRocks ( 1142053 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @06:02PM (#21887576)
    Maybe I'm confused. I thought the little motto up top said "News for Nerds. Stuff that MATTERS." Who cares about this? This is garbage. The article is just like a recap of a bad network teen drama + expletives. Can we get some real news back on the front page please? thanks!

    Not trolling, just asking people to stop putting this kind of junk up front. It's a waste of everyone's time.

  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by andawyr ( 212118 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @06:03PM (#21887596)
    That is truly one bitter individual.

    I mean, there's such a thing as burning bridges, but he's taken it to the next level. I know for a fact that if I ever received a resume from such an individual, it would go straight into the trash.

    As far as I'm concerned, interpersonal skills count for a lot - even if your a genius, in a real environment you'll have to function as part of a team. This guy, well, it seems that he has real difficulties in a team environment. Sure, he may have worked with some individuals that were not up to his standards (would anyone be?), but to say what he said...it's too much.

    Good riddance to him.
  • by synthesizerpatel ( 1210598 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @06:04PM (#21887604)
    The manager who dresses him down saying he can't code, then comes back later and claims he meant someone else. Since he's obviously too busy being angry he completely missed that the manager backtracked to try and protect himself from any lawsuits.
  • What A Maroon! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @06:13PM (#21887690) Journal
    My favorite part is where he brags about having a business degree, except that prior to that he admitted to being homeless for a big chunk of the year.

    This is a classic case of a loser blaming everyone else for his problems. If this idiot didn't know that the world is populated by shitty little startups with no money and big ol' mean corporations that don't pay invoices for 6 weeks then he definitely got into the wrong business.

    Blaming a coding environment for your financial woes is like blaming your car because the subway runs late.
  • Re:Still no job? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rakishi ( 759894 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @06:16PM (#21887716)

    More companies are deathly confounded by "let's get along" managers who believe teamwork and tolerance are more important than actual good work.
    No they value actual good work, the actual good work of the whole company not of one self-centered asshole. Life is about compromises and being able to deal with people different from you, if you can't deal with that reality then the problem is you not the rest of society.

    Zed would have railed against the open secrets that allowed the tiger escape at the San Francisco zoo, and then he'd have been fired or reprimanded for not being politically and socially correct in his approach.
    No if he worked for the zoo he'd have been fired for giving public statements when he did not have the authority to (which can and does cause all sorts of problems for a company).
  • Re:Still no job? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pudge ( 3605 ) * Works for Slashdot <slashdot AT pudge DOT net> on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @06:21PM (#21887774) Homepage Journal
    Couldn't what?

    You are apparently confused. I already did it. He said, fuck you if you think you're gonna talk to me like you can hurt me. So I did precisely that. I have completed my task, my victory is right there for all to see, and I've proven you wrong when you say I couldn't.

  • Re:So what (Score:3, Insightful)

    by colmore ( 56499 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @06:21PM (#21887776) Journal
    Here's a bit of a hint to in-shape nerds everywhere:

    Shut up about martial arts. Martial arts is for pro bodyguards and nerds with inferiority complexes. Are you a pro bodyguard?

    I'm sure it's a nice skill to know, but you're still going to lose a fight against anyone who's been in more than a halfahandful of real ones before, so don't get too cocky.

    Rent a boxing ring? Jeeesus... what a bourgie way to threaten an ass-beating.
  • by Henriok ( 6762 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @06:31PM (#21887876)
    Maybe I'm confused. I thought the little motto up top said "News for Nerds. Stuff that MATTERS." Who cares about this?

    I care. Not so much in the context of Rails, Ruby or Mongrel, but in the context of being an employee in the IT business. Working in teams, working with excentric individuals, stupid bosses, geniuses, hacks, nice but incompetent, obnoxious but blazingly creative, hard working average joes, brilliant slackers. All this is what we all meet every day. It's great to hear these stories, since we all can relate to them, pehaps come to terms with our own failings and forgive the failings in others.

    I feel for Zed, I really do. It seems to me that he's one guy who've been screwed one too many times, and breaking down is just too common under such circumstances. People skills, yeah. He might not have them, but reading a story like this makes me more proficient in that department. So.. I think it matters. It matters a lot. To me. To us all.
  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @06:34PM (#21887912) Homepage Journal

    Personally I can't believe Slashdot published this "article" as news. It's just some guy having an ego-stroking rant.

  • by Unoti ( 731964 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @06:45PM (#21888054) Journal
    Definitely. What's the big problem with being a Junior Sysadmin at Google? A true hotshot should be able to move up the hierarchy quickly. Also, earlier in the rant he complains about needing money very badly, and having trouble with clients paying reliably. Sounds like a regular day job is in order, and certainly junior sysadmin at Google is a better idea than cleaning up a glory hole in Queens. I respect the work that Zed's done, and have been impressed with his approaches in the past, but jeez, what a primadonna.
  • by oliderid ( 710055 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @06:49PM (#21888118) Journal
    not getting paid on time... It looks like the central point to me. He mentionned having difficulties to pay his apartment rent (i used to be in such a situation as a freelance and he turns you mad). He mentionned several bad experiences with small companies. Ruby is "trendy" and a niche language. A client paying you on time is rare, I'd say extremely rare (if you find one, do whatever you can to keep it even a low budget, it may save your life). The trick is to have enough clients to keep a continuous clash flow. It is quite hard to get a good clash flow in such a tiny market. If you are a moderatly good salesman (suggested by his writing style) full of testosterons, you are screwed.
  • by Ash Vince ( 602485 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @06:52PM (#21888146) Journal

    I've been known in the past to do some stupid things as far as blogs and stuff go. I don't do them anymore. This guy doesn't appear to have learned that lesson.
    He will as soon as he walk into his office and everyone goes deadly quiet and stares at him. Then as soon as his back is turned they will resume their giggles at the hilarious rant they were reading on slashdot that was seemingly posted by a teenager with chronic anger management issues.

    The lesson will prove even more invaluable whenever he is next looking for work (I predict this to be coming sooner than he expects). All it will take is one person at the company to throw his name into google and then look at the internet archive version of his site and voila: Instant rejection.

    To be honest I feel a little sympathy for him.
  • by devjj ( 956776 ) * on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @07:00PM (#21888224)
    Most complaints about Rails have to do with people, and less with the code itself. Rails isn't perfect, but it isn't trash, either. It's the assholes who talk about it like it's perfect that are the problem. Rails is doing well for a young framework.
  • by keester ( 646050 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @07:04PM (#21888270)
    For something that doesn't matter, it's generating a lot of comments and mod 5s.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @07:13PM (#21888372)
    I don't think this is about rails hype. This is the case of a prima donna who can't understand that his poisonous attitude is to blame for his unemployment, and not the community that gave him an identity as a useful asshole to have around. Meltdown. Move along, nothing to see here.
  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @07:29PM (#21888556) Homepage Journal
    Albert Einstein actually managed to scuttle his initial post-graduate career because he let everybody know how smart he was. (He actually was as smart as he thought he was, but that didn't make anybody like him any better.) That's why he had to go work as a patent clerk. His best work was done after he'd grown up and gotten more sociable — and collaborative.

    Perhaps the Turing machine and Alan's other mathematical achievements occurred in splendid isolation. But what about his work with Enigma? That was a huge project, and I doubt if it got done by him sitting around doing everything himself.

    Ada Augusta, as I recall, never delivered any working systems. Wasn't her fault (the technology just wasn't ready for her), but that excludes her as any kind of teamwork benchmark.
  • by neveragain4181 ( 800519 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @07:47PM (#21888786)
    Turing disliked working with others and most likely had what we'd call today Asperger's syndrome (we do like to label these things). The book 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' is an interesting read (or more directly: http://www.ijpm.org/content/pdf/175/Turing.pdf [ijpm.org])

    ..although when he didn't have to look at people, he did achieve great things as part of the Enigma team.

    Poor Zed looks like he's in the running for plain ol' Bipolar Disorder sans Genius though...
  • A threat would be saying that I *would*, rather than *could*, hurt him, which I absolutely did not do.

    You don't understand why this is threatening? If I "casually" mentioned that I know where you live and that I used to be a firefighter and know how to get away with arson and that I think you're somebody whose family deserves to suffer, you wouldn't think that was threatening?

    (Note: I am entirely non-violent, have never been a firefighter, do not know where you live, and have no idea how to commit arson)

    I understand what you're saying - you said you could hurt him, not that you would. I understood that when I read your post without reading your clumsy explanations.

    What I am saying is that communication between human beings is not precise like code. You did not say that you would hurt him, but the implication was clear. Obviously, I don't think you have any intention of hurting him. It just makes you look like a typically clueless robot-like nerd, that's all. Try that kind of crap in the real world and you get beaten up and/or slapped with restraining orders and/or worse.

    What a poor image you project for your employer!
  • by Ayanami Rei ( 621112 ) * <rayanami@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @07:55PM (#21888860) Journal
    This story is already flamebait enough as it is to add fuel to the fire in responding to ACs and trolls.
    A metadiscussion of the story and the community is warranted and slashdot staffer's feelings about the subject are certainly interesting but this all seems childish...

    If you're not doing it for the "lulz" then you should just stop.
    If you are doing it for the "lulz" you need to work on your counter-trolling techniques. We expect a more seasoned ZING from the ones with the slashdot icon next to their names.
  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @07:56PM (#21888874) Homepage Journal

    A true hotshot should be able to move up the hierarchy quickly.
    I've had some interaction with Google, and I get the impression that they have a lot of hotshots and almost no hierarchy. So unless you're hired as an Official Google Genius, you're never going to become one. Really, the only way to do it is to graduate from a good school and/or have a graduate degree and/or do some original computer science that's really impressive. Self-trained "practical" programmers need not apply.

  • by misleb ( 129952 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @07:57PM (#21888880)

    The fact that this (largely nontechnical) issue is his first point disheartens me and makes me wary of ever working with Zed no matter how brilliant he is.

    My sentiments exactly. He blames Ruby on Rails for ruining his career. I wonder if maybe it was the notoriety Zed gained by doing Rails related work that led to his career decline. It let people see what a "character" he can be. I'd certainly never heard of him before getting into Rails. If you read the documentation for his projects you can see that it is rather... unprofessional. He laces just about everything he writes with profanity. Not nearly as bad as this rant, but not exactly professional either.

    I almost feel bad for him that this senseless rant made it to Slashdot. Who's going to hire him now?

  • by Master of Transhuman ( 597628 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @08:05PM (#21888932) Homepage
    Personally, I prefer to either IED the fucker or snipe him from a hundred yards with a Dragunov or a Marine Remington 700.

    I mean, as Dick Marcinko says, never give a sucker an even break.

    Why ever expose yourself to retaliation of any kind?

    It's far better to be an assassin than a brawler.

    Of course, the martial arts do come in handy since shit happens.
  • by mangu ( 126918 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @08:31PM (#21889202)

    Between outrageous claims and a far too religion-like mindset I just kept my distance waiting for the hype to go away again

    I've lost count of the mod points I've lost here when I said exactly that about the Ruby community as a whole, not only the Rails bunch.

    My pet rant against the Ruby guys is that they use multi-sillable (usually invented) words to describe their own favorite Ruby features, yet when one asks for a specific example where that feature would make a program better in any way, i.e. simpler, or more powerful, or more efficient, etc, they are unable to answer.

    For the time, I think Zed Shaw made the right decision, go to Python. Ruby is Lisp with Perl syntax. The time you spend making up for this or that shortcoming Python has in relation to Ruby is amply compensated by the time you save with the simpler and more regular syntax. I had my share of generic "end" statements which you must match with several different ways to start a block when I did Fortran a quarter of a century ago.

  • by rewt66 ( 738525 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @08:54PM (#21889424)
    What I was trying to say is that, when you're an established company, with an existing codebase and talent that knows how to develop software using language X, language Y has to be a big win before it's worth moving. It doesn't matter whether you should have used Y rather than X in the first place. It doesn't even matter that Y is better. Y has to be a lot better.
  • Re:Ruby (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SirSlud ( 67381 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @09:02PM (#21889528) Homepage
    I'm wondering what kind of person hangs his dirty laundry in a public place, and a good chunk of it revolves around his inability to find work.

    You know what I think makes a good coder? Somebody who can work with the way things are, not they way they think they should be.

    I don't doubt there are some massive tools in the Ruby community, but there are some massive tools in life. What kind of person wastes so much of their energy and life fighting elements that they clearly can't change? It's a waste of a brain, and to wit, maybe not as brilliant a brain as it imagines itself to be.

    What kind of thankless nitwit turns down a junior job at Google and bemoans giving cut rate deals to nobodies under the condition that the money is payed ASAP?

    Eat some humble pie, kiddo, and get a hobby that doesn't involve trying to be awesome. Maybe, like .. programming for somebody at a company? What a thankless twit .. the best revenge is to live well, not to program for 21 years before dropping a missive that sounds like it was written by a 21 year old to be dropped on XBoxLive voice chat at 3am.

    Cripes, I can hear folks tremble at the thought of him becoming more active in some of the other communities.
  • by An Onerous Coward ( 222037 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @10:37PM (#21890274) Homepage
    If the "reputation economy" ever manifests, the currency is going to need some sort of expiration date.

    Google is never going to let this guy live it down. I don't know if the new state of affairs will be more or less fair than the old one where people could avoid punishment by simply moving, but it will definitely be unfair in a very different way.
  • Round and round (Score:5, Insightful)

    by localman ( 111171 ) on Thursday January 03, 2008 @12:12AM (#21890894) Homepage
    I don't want to be a 'Ruby guy' anymore

    I'm sorry, but I feel the same thing with every new programming language and/or paradigm. It's just a bunch of busy work to learn a new syntax, find all the best-of-breed libraries, and work around the unforeseen limitations. In the end, you're not more than a negligible amount better than before, and you've wasted a year of your life.

    Are there still people out there who believe in the silver bullet? I mean, I understand there are always new people coming into the practice, but I believe we can mature as a group. Nobody advocates GOTO any more, maybe we can stop advocating the endless language churn? It seems like an enormous waste of time.

    I mean, follow your bliss, if you've got great ideas, implement them. I've written redundant libraries because I wanted to see how it would be done. Explore, enjoy. But understand that since LISP we've been able to do whatever we wanted to do, so it's all just hand waving at this point.

    More power to Ruby. Rails. Python. Whatever. I'm still hacking Perl at the moment and I don't see any compelling reason to switch. I can do what I need to do. I'm sure that your language of choice cuts the mustard too. When the next 10 Super Languages Of The Future (tm) come out in the next decade, I'll enjoy reading about them and watching as they run into their own particular issues because...

    Effective Software Design Is Hard.

  • by digitig ( 1056110 ) on Thursday January 03, 2008 @07:39AM (#21892818)
    If I had mod points I'd give you an insightful. I wouldn't hire the guy even to code, because I reckon he'd poison the team. He sees somebody describing open repositories and closed repositories as "polar opposites" as being a personal attack? Heck, he seems to see everything as a personal attack. Actually, he seems to tick pretty much all the boxes for paranoid personality disorder http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoid_personality_disorder [wikipedia.org] (assuming the contrary indications such as schizophrenia or a history of substance abuse are not present). I hope he sorts out his issues -- not least because I'm nervous about him coming over to the Python community!
  • by HvitRavn ( 813950 ) on Thursday January 03, 2008 @10:05AM (#21893824)
    Personally, I find it slightly creepy to change the behaviour of a class this way. Duck typing looks cool, but it kinda breaks down if you expect a duck and get an atomic bomb instead. Your particular problem could easily have been solved with method overloading (given a less ducky language), which I personally would prefer if only for the peace of mind.
  • by FooBarWidget ( 556006 ) on Thursday January 03, 2008 @11:46AM (#21895034)
    I agree. I've had correspondence with Zed in the past: I was asking him some questions about Rails's support for process forking (I was working on improving Ruby/Rails copy-on-write support [plan99.net]), because as the Mongrel author he probably knows some gotchas. What I got in return was a series of very offensive emails. I did my best to stay polite, but every single email I got back seemed to be full of hate and rantings about Rails and Ruby.

    No doubt that the guy's brilliant, but I wouldn't want someone like him as my colleague/employee/business partner/etc.
  • by misleb ( 129952 ) on Thursday January 03, 2008 @12:23PM (#21895734)
    My experience with technically brilliant people is quite the opposite. Every single one that I have met personally, without exception, has been humble, easy going, and perhaps somewhat withdrawn and shy. That's not to say that they incapable of heated discussions, but they tend to be emotionally stable. The noisy ones... the guys that like to talk shit are usually all talk. There are some examples online (maybe Zed is one?) of the shit talking genius, but my experience is that it is the exception that proves the rule.

    Anyway, It seems clear from Zed's work history (as he describes it anyway) that SOMEONE was able to get some good work out of him and keep his attitude in check at some point. So I guess it is possible, but you never know. He could have been more stable back then and has only more recently gone over the edge. His recent shenanigan's make him pretty high risk to even the most confident and competent manager. Zed's gone well beyond "abrasive" or "emotionally unstable." Even a great manager would be wise to take a pass on such a candidate. If you happen to find yourself with such a person on a team, sure, make the best of it. But to knowly take on such a explosive element is just not smart when it is (again, in my experience) the exception.


"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva