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Zed’s Rant: Rails is Hate?

Zed Shaw is ranting about Rails. The effects are palpable. People are talking about the post. I’ve seen no less than a dozen tweets on Twitter in the last hour or so, and it has been by far the vast majority of the tweets about Rails.

The post is clearly consistent with a theme of healthy and vigorous commentary that Zed generates about the ethics and behavior of folks in our world, the industry and on the Internet. His position can be summed up as follows: don’t do anything on the Internet you wouldn’t do in person.

Zed practices what he preaches: his real-life persona is the same as his Internet persona. It’s unapologetically in your face, wall-to-wall polemics.

Zed’s style definitely gets more attention than any feeble musings pretty much anyone might write on this topic. This is bad, since it further reinforces and supports his thesis that our world is filled with people who can’t be bothered to think critically about much of anything, at least without something like his fiery delivery to get your attention.

Ironically, he lambasts even Dave Thomas in his post. Dave delivered an emotional address in the last Rails conference in Portland that asserted the Rails community is what is important about the Rails phenomena, not the technology. But hate and love are both part of life, and whatever it takes to get people thinking and talking about this subject may be worth the risk of collateral damage. Zed proves it takes short sentences with one syllable words, generously sprinkled with expletives.

I love that people are talking about Zed’s post, and pray that people really read it. I hate that it takes this kind of delivery to get people to talk about the subject, and pray readers do more than just say “Wow, he’s mad” or “Wow, Zed’s leaving Rails.” That would truly make his exit pointless.

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6 Responses to “Zed’s Rant: Rails is Hate?”

  1. on 02 Jan 2008 at 8:20 pm Rich Manalang

    Hey Lou! Hope you had a good holiday. I totally agree with your analysis of Zed’s actions. Though it was entertaining to read his rant, I do wonder how the Rails community is going to react to it. As with any community that gets large, it begins to mimic the diversity of real life.

  2. on 02 Jan 2008 at 8:29 pm Lou

    Thanks, Rich. Yes we had a great holiday!

    Zed is a man on a mission, for sure.

  3. on 04 Jan 2008 at 4:31 pm Joe Grossberg

    I work on a large Rails dev team (around 20 RoR coders) and reactions here ran the gamut.

  4. on 04 Jan 2008 at 4:58 pm Lou

    I think it helps to put the comments in the context of the things that Zed has been very vocally and consistently passionate about: namely bad behavior on the Internet, or rather, the tendency to have very different Internet and personal personae. He’s not real keen on the disingenuous.

    I think if you look at what he’s saying in the totality of his public statements, these statements are completely consistent with what I believe are his heartfelt beliefs, and have a lot less to do with Rails per se, than egregious Internet behavior he has very publicly and consistently criticized in his prior statements. (See Utu) for more.)

    I have seen him speak publicly, but don’t know him personally. I strongly suspect a lot if his delivery is to further reinforce, through dark parody, what he thinks is wrong with a lot of the stuff we see in chat rooms, email and blogs.

    He’s consistent, publicly in person as well as his Internet communications, in direct contrast to many of the communications he sees from many others. The “over-the-top” delivery is deliberately and ironically something you would normally only see from a lurker hiding behind a cloak of anonymity.

  5. on 04 Jan 2008 at 6:30 pm Joe Grossberg

    Ah, interesting. I hadn’t thought about it from the “If I’m so wrong to be negative, dismissive, hard to work with, etc. then why are *you* behaving like this?” angle.

    P.S. I did not get an email (I checked my Junk folder), but that is fine with me. Email sucks.

  6. on 16 Jan 2009 at 9:27 pm Ruby, Rails, Mongrel.

    […] Ok … so with all the hoopla (good or bad) regarding Zed in the RoR community it seems like a few folks will be creating an alternative to Mongrel. This seems like mostly personal issue and not an issue with mongrel/mongrel_cluster itself. However, what I have been thinking someone (possibly myself) should fork mongrel and make mongrel connect via AJP rather than proxy. This should improve performance and bring mongrel one step closer to a looking like a servlet container like Tomcat, Jetty or Resin. To that end, Resin can run PHP code, so maybe the way to go would be to take an already existing container and make it RoR compatible. Down the road maybe Rails will include its own container build in, Rails being both the framework and container. With yml configs and an all-in-one type of installation setting up deployments should be a breeze. At any rate there is certainly some work to be done to bring Rails to the same level that Java webapps now have. Anyone got any ideas? […]

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