Recently I sat down to read an email exchange that was a bit disturbing. A user of a competing product had joined the beta list for a product, with the sole intent of tearing it down. What did this accomplish? As you might expect, those on that beta list circled the wagons. It’s amazing how quickly those who use a certain tool can come together, even if they don’t like another, when threatened by an outside force.
Reading this amazing set of responses was quite a feat. Vulgarity, anger, all the best of the worst that humanity has to offer (except prostitution…and I don’t know how they’d pull that off on a mailing list — just saying). There are no valid excuses for what this person did. If you have suggestions, great! Post them, and they’ll be addressed appropriately. Telling a group of developers that the tool they have written or use constantly is crap, speaking down to them like children, and name-calling does nothing to further your cause.
Now, I think there’s a bit more to be said about the person who posted this. From reading their responses, it was quite obvious that they weren’t very fluent in English. That’s not good when addressing a mostly-English crowd. Things can be misunderstood (like telling someone to “shut your rat’s ass up” because you don’t understand what that phrase means), or misconstrued. That being said, these guys might’ve been a bit rough with the gent at first, but he did dig his hole deeper with every response.
I don’t know what the list manager’s solution was (I hope that individual was banned from the list from some of the things they said), but I’m sure it was appropriate.
Some of you, I’m sure, know what I’m talking about here. Feel free to leave me your take.