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schwern (1528)

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Schwern can destroy CPAN at his whim.

Journal of schwern (1528)

Friday July 29, 2005
02:02 AM

Sebastian Riedel (sri) and the Class::DBI kerfuffle.

[ #25940 ]

You might have seen this or heard something about the CDBI list closing. Sebastian's post is coloring the truth a bit. He's got comments turned off so I can't refute it there so I'll have to do it here.

The thread he points to is not the full story. Its only part of the conversation, for some reason gmane split the thread into pieces. The full thread can be seen here. Sebastian only links to the part of the thread where his comments that got him temporarily booted don't show up. Maybe its a mistake, I dunno, but it sure makes him look innocent.

What got him booted is this and this. Insulting the author and maintainer in less than 15 minutes on their own mailing list has to be some sort of new record. My exact words to Tony were:

On Wed, Jul 27, 2005 at 12:49:34AM +0200, Sebastian Riedel wrote:
> Tony just listens to what Tony wants to hear...

This guy's a dick.  Is he always like this?

Apparently this isn't the first time something like this has happened. Since the comments were directed at Tony and I we made sure there was a third, impartial complaint from someone whose opinion we trust. So Tony unsubscribed him for a week to cool down. Even in a free and open discussion, somebody's got to stop folks from slinging poo.

Now in Tony's mailing list software he can't really ban anyone, he can only unsubscribe them. Sebastian resubscribed. Tony unsubscribed him. Sebastian asked what's going on, Tony told him he'd been temp banned. Sebastian protested his innocence. I do not believe he was unaware that he offended people as I had sent him a personal email about his "god" comment towards me (no reply). Sebastian resubscribed again. Tony unsubscribed him, told him to stop resubscribing without permission. Sebastian ignored his and subscribed yet again. At this point, having no technical way to stop this subscribe/unsubscribe loop and not wanting to waste any more time on it, Tony threatened legal action. Tony also turned on admin confirmation of subscriptions.

At this point Sebastian created a journal on use.perl to post up his side of the story. Comments off. Shortly after Tony received a pile of subscribe requests from various people presumably because of Sebastian's post. This is the straw that broke the camel's back and he shut the list and the wiki down not wanting to bother with the hassle of maintaining them anymore.

Was it right to temp ban Sebastian? Yes. Could Tony have communicated more clearly? Yeah. Is it kosher to threaten legal action over a mailing list dispute? I dunno. I wouldn't have, but I don't have to deal with maintaining a large mailing list. Was Sebastian being a dick? Most certainly. And then he reacted childishly by continuously resubscribing then crafted things to look like he's the victim.

Tony's been feeling used and abused for a while now, taking a lot of flak over his maintainence of Class::DBI, one of the most popular modules on CPAN. He doesn't get paid for it and has decided its no longer worth the hassle. CDBI maintanence will continue, and someone else is going to start up a new list, but Tony isn't going to maintain the community anymore.

I feel for him, not just because he's my friend but because I take this sort of shit, too. Every once in a while someone will tell me about my "obligation" to something or other because so many people use Test::More or MakeMaker to which my reply is ultimately, with various amounts of sugar coating, "fuck you, I don't get paid for this".

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  • ...and someone else is going to start up a new list...

    That someone is me. After some discussion with Tony, he's happy for me to run a new list. Sadly he's said that he doesn't feel able to participate but hopefully there will be enough of us around to help out, and be helped.

    Head over to [] to sign up.


  • So Tony unsubscribed him for a week to cool down.

    I made two rude comments and got temp-banned, no problem, but Tony never told me about it!
    The conversation i posted is really everything.
  • threatening legal action over something so trivial makes me think Tony is behaving like a bit of a dick. There *are* ways of banning people, even if his chosen mailing list software, just like the one I use, doesn't make it easy. For instance, configure the MTA to not communicate with particular servers or netblocks.
    • Yeah I sat there thinking I must be missing something. This bloke is threating legal action because he doesn't like the fact that someone keeps resubscribing to his mailing list? Oh good grief (/me rolls eyes).
  • I really thing the ball is in Sebastian's court to patch things up, if it's still possible. Swallow your pride and make things good again. This is for the good of the community. Gavin.
    Fancy a Just ask!!!
  • Reading the email archives I was reminded of something I saw happen before in another online community of which I was a member. We had a member who was enthusiastic, presumably well-intentioned, but stubborn, and he had an agenda that was not exactly the same as the community's. He thought he was always right, was repetitive, and always wanted to have the last word. In the end, this guy was kicked out. Luckily, it was not as easy to resubscribe, no one threatened to call the police and the community wasn't
  • in situations like this is the gradeschool teacher sends both children to the corner and denies recess for a week. Everyone wants to tattle and tell the teacher how Graham's code is closed or how Tony's an asshole all while maintaining an aura of innocence with a patina of self-righteous indignation without getting painted with the same bush. It doesn't work that way.
  • At this point Sebastian created a journal on use.perl to post up his side of the story.

    And what an eye-opener that turned out to be. Threatening legal action over something as insignificant as resubscribing to a mailing list struck me as being a little, er, bizarre.
  • The biggest issue I have with this whole thing is that the technical discussion that was occurring between Matt S Trout, Schwern, Perrin and a couple others was excellent. The insight that I gained by reading their discussion on multiple inheritance, delegation and plugins, I haven't been able to find anywhere else. By simply ignoring the mail from Sebastian and for the most part Tony I was able to focus on the technical discussion at hand.

    Unfortunately the list has been shutdown and the thread will not

    • I was sad to see it too. Unfortunately, there are real world consequences when people stop being civil and "raise their voices" on mailing lists. Politeness might seem like an antiquated notion to some people, but it is the thing that allows us to disagree without causing a body count, and when it goes out the window, things like this happen.
  • OK, I can understand Tony closing the mailing list. He was taking a fair amount of abuse on the list, and I can understand reaching the breaking point and calling it quits (i.e. closing the mailing list).

    But killing the CDBI Wiki? That just wasn't very cool. The vast majority of the content on the Wiki was created by the CDBI community, not by Tony. I sincerely hope Tony can be persuaded to either bring it back online or at least give the content to someone else for them to host. Has anyone looked into that
  • I note that Sebastian's journal has now been opened for comments.

    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • In these cases (we all ended up in one at least once in our online lives) there comes a point where the right solution is: UNPLUG. Forcibly, if necessary. But unplug it. Do not multiplicate blogs about this. A little bit is ok, but then eventually: UNPLUG.
      Someone has to be "virile" enough to accept of being right without the full recognition of his or her own right.

      Unplug it :-).

      Alberto []