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Abigail-II and some thoughts

by pg (Canon)
on Sep 26, 2004 at 16:43 UTC ( #393973=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

(I updated the title, per jacques, so it is straight and clear. The original title was "A mixture of art and engineering" as appears on his follow up.)

Abigail-II has been gone for 13 weeks already. I sort of heard this before, but didn't actually know what happened. Yesterday, I thought I would like to find out what happened, so I read the last thread she particiated. Seriously I couldn't figure out why, even the slightest, other than she did talk loudly with red large font ;-)

Then I went to the last thread Abigail (not Abigail-II) participated, again I found it was difficult to understand the erason she quit for the first time.

Maybe the node she talked loudly was down voted? I don't know, as I didn't vote, so I don't see the numbers.

I thought she probably took something too close to her heart, but there was reall nothing to take to her heart, at least to my level of sensitivity.

Abigail's left didn't hurt this community, on the other hand might benefit everyone here, if we learned something from the incident. I learned (or enforced what I learned from my real life and projects) two:

  • Programming is kind of mixture of art and engineering, so it does not go black and white, lots of time it is not about wrong and right, but about the colorful character each author expressed through programming. It is quite normal to see multiple correct solutions to the same problem, even the simplest. To acknowledge that fact does not hurt, but it hurts a project/team, if one insists too much of his/her own solution, especially when this kind of insist come from seniors on the team. After a while, it quickly becomes a one-man project, and clearly set up for failure (might not be this project, but in a long run).
  • Maybe not here, but in real life, team work, personal skill and communication are very important to the success of projects. There are situations where you would rather take someone off a project, if that person prevents others from being successful, whatever how good that person is. On the other hand, strong programmer with pleasant personality does help a team the most.

By the way, in real life, I did notice that people who are lack of confidence tend to talk "loudly", as if that helps make points more than the points themselves.

I do wish Abigail come back one day, even as Abigail-III, but with a little bit improvement, maybe even with the same personality, after all, she did contributed as everyone else does. That's just life.

Update:

jryan sent me a private message: "Abigail is a 6'5 Dutch male; not exactly what you'd call a she...". Hm... there were people saying "she" all the time, I don't know, but if that's the case, I didn't do that intentionally.

By the way, I visited jryan's personal node, he does have some very insightful message related to this topic, very good one.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Free Tech Support is Tiring
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Sep 26, 2004 at 21:10 UTC

    I'm not sure it's worth going into the details of this particular subject again, but if you want to know why some really smart people occasionally leave, consider:

    • It's tedious to answer the same types of questions over and over again.
    • It's often thankless to answer questions well.
    • It's disheartening to see other people rush to post uninformed and, sometimes, completely wrong answers "in the spirit of TIMTOWDI".
    • It's rude for someone who asked for free help tell you that your answer is wrong, inappropriate, or not helpful when you're one of the people who wrote, tested, designed, or documented Perl itself to solve that very problem.

    Sure, no one's forcing people to contribute here. Certainly, everyone's free to leave at any time. Still, there's little sense in investing time and work on the behalf of people who don't listen to you and don't appreciate you.

Re: Abigail-II and some thoughts
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Sep 27, 2004 at 01:58 UTC
    I'd like to point something else out. Every answer provided on this board is free. Yet, if most of us were asked to provide that answer in a working environment, the exact same answer would not be free. And, frankly, I don't feel the need to be as diplomatic in an environment where my time is provided out of love as I would in an environment where I am being paid for my time. And, if you look back at the posts of Abigail, Abigail-II, and merlyn, you will notice the same comment being mentioned.

    I'll use merlyn as an example because I know more about him. He wrote Learning Perl, among other titles. The only name I have that is a good comparison would be Bjorne Strousoup, who created C++. Have you ever heard of a question to a C++ list being answered by Strousoup? I never have. Yet, merlyn answers questions on this, and other, forums day-in and day-out. This is in addition to writing other books, running a very successful consulting firm, and having a life. I cannot imagine Abigail-II to be any different, given his stature (as I know it) within the Perl community.

    I cannot imagine the consulting fees that either of them command. I know what I can and do command and it isn't small. And, I've only been doing this for less than 10 years.

    What I'm saying is that you're taking Abigail-II to task for being less than diplomatic in his volunteer work. And then you have the nerve to say that this is how he is in real life and to insult him based on that! YOu admittedly have never met him and, I would presume, have never had a conversation with him. Yet, you feel that you have the right to blast out utter BULLSHIT about someone that most of this community has obviously respected. Next time, you might want to think a little before deciding to imitate those who choose to be assholes.

    ------
    We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

    Then there are Damian modules.... *sigh* ... that's not about being less-lazy -- that's about being on some really good drugs -- you know, there is no spoon. - flyingmoose

    I shouldn't have to say this, but any code, unless otherwise stated, is untested

      He is not imitating. Go look over his past Perl Monks Discussions.

      Update: if anyone had any doubt about my opinion, the following PM “conversation” (really train wreck is more like it) might also be enlightening. I am aware that this was supposed to be private chat, but I believe that there is no room for misinterpretation here, and so I feel that my action is justified in the interest of general awareness. If anyone feels I am crossing a line by airing this, downvote at will; I shall stand by my decision.

      • pg says I am extreamly sorry not to reply to your node, but I don't wate my time with people from working class or middle class neighbourhood, enjoy your life, man
      • pg says to cry in public like abigail did, is absolutely the behavior of a loser. I have no mercy towards this kind of troll.
      • /msg pg I'm not going to waste my time replying to your PMs. I know you'll understand :)
      • pg says I would like to thank you in person that u said I was not imitating. ou are right, instead of imitating so called assholes, I am actually fighting against the real assholes, lol.
      • pg says if I pissed you off, that was the plan, any way, have a sweet dream babe, take it easy
      • pg says Seriously I don't see anything worth u coming twice ;-) Don't overuse your tiny brain man, it will burn out. Don't feel being insulted, I am just trying to be considerate, lol
      • pg says oh, so we are now learning from the losers. Ah yah yah... lol
      • pg says was German miserably defeated in the last world war, oh maybe 2? so did one German today, huh? okay I am going to go sleep, too much fun 4 today, I will share this with my mean coworkers tomorrow, especially women, who will think I am cute.
      • /msg pg uh, pissed off? when? :)

      (Bonus note for aspiring trolls: never assume you know anything about someone's nationality. You might just end up looking like a humongous fool.)

      Makeshifts last the longest.

        This is not imitating, but rather very intimadating and intimating. I don't want to know...pg and Aristotle, please keep this to yourselves.

        pg, be nice to your baby brother,okay? now, Aristotle, go wash your hands before eating. My two naughty kids!

      Bjarne Stroustroup was active and helpful on comp.lang.c++ during the cfront era.

      Be well.

    A reply falls below the community's threshold of quality. You may see it by logging in.
Re: Abigail-II and some thoughts
by shenme (Priest) on Sep 26, 2004 at 21:01 UTC
    Observation:
    When I came across the topic of Abigail's leaving the first time, I checked something that perhaps escaped some others. Approx. 45 replies in 3 days, before pulling the rip-cord in a hail of not-very-deserved flak.

    So I was not terribly surprised, though regretful, that Abigail-II had again posted ~40 replies in the last 3 days.

    I guess that I'd like to ask Abigail-N to consider that missionary work to the heathen (shenme say ook!) requires that you keep some emotional and energy reserves. While indeed the depth of your understanding may exceed most sets of 10 (20?) of the rest of us, your physical capabilities do not.

    Next time (and I do hope there'll be a sequel - Abigail Resurrection) take some time between postings, for both yourself and for the thicker of us to "get it".

    Oh, and that goes for the rest of us, too.

    P.S. pg, it is called "burn out". A person can try _too_ hard to be helpful, actually succeeding in helping a great number of people, but at great expense to themselves. I'm _very_ surprised you didn't pick up on this, having said you went back and read the past threads. Perhaps you have been blessed in each of your work environments. I think we must hope you continue to be.

Not Again ... *sighs*
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Sep 26, 2004 at 17:01 UTC
    Ever heard of summer vacations? Maybe RL catches up to some of us ...

    More importantly, there's a reason (several, actually) why most of the regulars respect the hell out of Abigal-II. It happens to be the same reason we also tend to respect merlyn.

    THEY ARE USUALLY RIGHT

    If anyone's ego can't stand being told, in a firm and generally polite manner, that they are absolutely, 100%, no-questions wrong and that a better course would be X ... screw them.

    Furthermore, Abigail-II has earned his stripes, moreso than any and every other member on this board, with few possible exceptions. He has always been helpful, accepted criticism, and been willing to work with others. Yes, he doesn't suffer fools gladly. And, frankly, I long for the day when my stature in any community is such that I don't have to, either. There are too many stupid people in this world and they waste my time - just like I have wasted others' time when I was have been stupid. And, just like I will waste their time in the future.

    Update: Added wording to appease BrowserUk.

    ------
    We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

    Then there are Damian modules.... *sigh* ... that's not about being less-lazy -- that's about being on some really good drugs -- you know, there is no spoon. - flyingmoose

    I shouldn't have to say this, but any code, unless otherwise stated, is untested

      They are usually right.

      "Amen!" says brother Ovid.

      That's the tough part for many to swallow. While I admit that I have also at times struggled with the style of merlyn or Abigail-II, I always pay attention to what they have to say on technical matters. Even if I don't agree with what they say, I find that they usually have compelling reasons for their insights. It's a shame that some people ignore rich food for thought simply because they don't like the color of the plate it's served on.

      Cheers,
      Ovid

      New address of my CGI Course.

        Being right, does not endow the right to be rude; politeness costs nothing.
        Being unknowing, is not the same as being stupid.
        Expressing a contrary opinion, whether to the individual or the group, is more often a sign of deeper thought than of cantankerous belligerence.
        Do not mistake your goals as the only goals; your opinion as the only opinion; your confidence as correctness. Saying you know better is not the same as explaining you know better.

        Examine what is said, not who speaks.
        "Efficiency is intelligent laziness." -David Dunham
        "Think for yourself!" - Abigail
        "Memory, processor, disk in that order on the hardware side. Algorithm, algorithm, algorithm on the code side." - tachyon
        Yet, people like tye, dragonchild, browseruk, theorbtwo, podmaster and tachyon, leaving off many people, on a daily basis, are quite civil. Some may be more sarcastic or gentle than others, but all in all, they gain a certain respect because they are truely wise. That's why I consider Abigail, just plain smart. He, and perhaps merlin, forget that we are all human and totally miss out on that, which no number of years of perl, will ever help attain.

        Can you respect Oppenheimer for the A-Bomb, of course. He was first a scientist. He did something inovative and cool. But it's because he did something that created such destruction, he becomes controvercial. But abigail and merlyn have yet to kill anyone to my knowledge, but they carry one weapon: their attitudes. Making people feel like poop, regardless of how factual you are, is very demeaning. Some of us out here, have thicker skin. But to the unwise, the lacking of experience and knowledge, their attitudes could easily deter people from persuing perlmonks, perl, programming, or some combination of the three.

        Just food for thought.

        ----
        Then B.I. said, "Hov' remind yourself nobody built like you, you designed yourself"

        And when they're wrong, they can't admit it
      There are too many stupid people in this world and they waste my time...

      No. You waste your own time.

      ...just like I have wasted others' time when I was stupid.

      And you're perfect now?


      Examine what is said, not who speaks.
      "Efficiency is intelligent laziness." -David Dunham
      "Think for yourself!" - Abigail
      "Memory, processor, disk in that order on the hardware side. Algorithm, algorithm, algorithm on the code side." - tachyon
      A reply falls below the community's threshold of quality. You may see it by logging in.
Re: Abigail-II and some thoughts
by Zed_Lopez (Chaplain) on Sep 27, 2004 at 05:05 UTC

    I just want to say I'd be very happy if Abigail returned to the monastery. If you go back and read some of Abigail's 4089 posts, you'll see someone who put a huge amount of effort into helping people (and unless you're very expert, you'll probably learn a lot about Perl and programming, too.)

Re: A mixture of art and engineering
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Sep 26, 2004 at 16:55 UTC

    What is your point? You heard that Abigail left, read the threads and didn't understand why he would, and are now making some random point vaguely related to those incidents. What are you trying to achieve?

    Makeshifts last the longest.

      Agreed. This is pointless. The title of the node is deceiving.
Re: Not Again(Not Again(Not Again)) a.s.o.
by pelagic (Priest) on Oct 01, 2004 at 16:02 UTC
    Heck where is my Button to
    ignore node if ([merlyn] answering [sporty] or [sporty] answering [mer +lyn]);
    ... found it ;))

    pelagic
Re: Abigail-II (See "criticism" and "civility" posts from 2000)
by Russ (Deacon) on Sep 27, 2004 at 18:52 UTC
    See In defense of criticism and In defense of civility. This issue has been wrangled around here for a long, long time.

    Experts, if you cannot resist posting in large, colored fonts, do not act surprised when the community reacts negatively. It has happened before, by a well-known, loved and respected member. The community responded with loud disapproval then, and we did it again this time. Experts, please don't do that.

    Monastery dwellers (in other words, everyone), put on a thicker skin and re-read before you respond to a flame. It stirs up our little village and may deprive you of contributions (both given or received) to Perl wisdom and experience when someone leaves in a huff over some perceived slight.

    Let's try to keep the Monastery a safe and pleasant place...

Re: Abigail-II and some thoughts
by bassplayer (Monsignor) on Sep 27, 2004 at 13:38 UTC
    It appears that Abigail-II is some kind of heavy metal album sequel, and Abigail-III is a fishing boat in the Caribbean. Not any less relevant than some other discussions about this appreciated monk.

    bassplayer

Re: Abigail-II and some thoughts
by DaWolf (Curate) on Sep 28, 2004 at 16:47 UTC
    Honestly I've had some difficult time with her/him. As someone else posted here being right isn't an excuse to be rude.

    Many people here come to learn. Many people here don't have the same background as the 'major' monks. That said it wouldn't hurt to take it easy on the replies. What is obvious for several monks isn't to others (and the others are probably a larger group).

    Posting a text in large colored fonts is clearly a sign of a child mind, a really stupid, egocentric and rude way to say something.

    One thing is certain: if he/she/whatever left, good for he/she/whatever. It's his/her decision, I really don't care (and I'm not being rude here, but I can't care for someone I don't have the slightest idea on who he/she is).

    So, making a node out of this is really (as others posted as well) useless.

    Best regards and no offense to anyone intended,
Re: Abigail-II and some thoughts
by samtregar (Abbot) on Sep 26, 2004 at 20:02 UTC
    I do wish Abigail come back one day, even as Abigail-III, but with a little bit improvement

    Do you think you could go away and come back with some improvements? I suggest you study grammar and sensitivity. Your post is the most obnoxious and poorly written thing I've read in a long time.

    -sam

Re: Abigail-II and some thoughts
by Anonymous Monk on Sep 26, 2004 at 21:20 UTC

    Go away from my window
    Leave at your own chosen speed
    I'm not the one you want, babe
    I'm not the one you need
    You say you're lookin' for someone
    Who's never weak but always strong
    To protect you and defend you
    Whether you are right or wrong
    Someone to open each and every door

    CHORUS:
    But it ain't me babe
    No, no, no, it ain't me babe
    It ain't me you're lookin' for, babe

    Go lightly from the ledge, babe
    Go lightly on the ground
    I'm not the one you want, babe
    I'll only let you down
    You say you're lookin' for someone
    Who'll promise never to part
    Someone to close his eyes to you
    Someone to close his heart
    Someone to die for you and more

    REPEAT CHORUS

    You say you're lookin' for someone
    To pick you up each time you fall
    To gather flowers constantly
    And to come each time you call
    And will love you for your life
    And nothin' more

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