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Class::DBI mailing list meltdown

by mojotoad (Monsignor)
on Jul 28, 2005 at 18:23 UTC ( #479074=perlnews: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Update: Here is some useful insight into the situation from Schwern, provided below in a post by Smylers.


Has anyone else here been following recent events on the CDBI mailing list?

There was a scuffle of sorts, regarding release timing and the overall relevance of the CPAN, which in my book wasn't such a huge deal as far as mailing list scuffles go.

Then Tony banned someone from the list who was one of the primary participants in that discussion.

Then it got weird when the guy tried to resubscribe and there were some wonky threats of legal action on the part of Tony.

Then a small discussion about the meta-scuffle appeared on the list.

Then Tony pulled the plug on the entire mailing list as well as the archives.

Anyone know what the heck happened? I was watching the list traffic and I'm still not sure.

Tony had this to say in the final message:

Thanks to the recent actions of Sebastian, and various other people both on and off this list, I am closing down the Class::DBI mailing list and wiki.

Class::DBI development will continue, and new releases will be uploaded to CPAN for the time being.

I'd like to thank those of you who helped made Class::DBI useful, and made working on it fun. Hopefully it can return to being so sometime soon.



Update: P.S. Tony, if you happen to be reading this, I've got no particular 'side' to take. I'm just in the 'happy user, usually silent, but currently baffled' camp.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Class::DBI mailing list meltdown
by agrundma (Novice) on Jul 28, 2005 at 18:40 UTC
        Sadly, Tony seems to be objecting to other people sharing this content:

        The wiki is back and in the process of being moved permanently to a new home. Tony says on the home page:

        It is currently in the process of moving to a new location. Any changes you make between now and then may be lost during the move. Details will be made available here when this is ready, and presumably also on the new CdbiMailingList.

        This site was unavailable for a few days in an attempt to prevent it being replicated it elsewhere. Sorry about that. Hopefully we can get on now with a proper handover.

Re: Class::DBI mailing list meltdown
by Your Mother (Bishop) on Jul 28, 2005 at 22:30 UTC

    I like Tony's work and use it every day. I like Tony personally. Taking your ball home when a few kids don't act the way you want is an option but it doesn't make you look good. He broke/404ed many links I've put here and there recommending and advertising how much I like CDBI. There are many more developers out there who are grateful for the work and software than who are critical and whiny.

    I had to fight to convince my last contracting manager that CDBI was a good way to go for a project. It was, and still is, but I probably couldn't convince him of it today if he was privy to the meltdown. Pulling the wiki's plug hurt a lot more "innocents" than it punished "offenders." I am sad.

      You didn't get the point. Why should Tony care your advertising?

        You didn't provide a point, Anonymous, but I'll answer anyway.

        The point is this: developing free software, by definition, makes us amateurs. But when we behave like professionals is when open source shines and becomes a wealth generating resource for everyone involved. Dumping (metaphorically, the info is still there and I'm positive Tony didn't delete it or anything) an archive of publicly contributed knowledge because of a nebulous squabble is unprofessional. Someone who even changes their URI scheme is showing the work/resources to be less than reliable, let alone removing a whole site. If you're asking why a developer should personally care about this kind of situation, this kind of thing makes one less employable and one's fruits less sweet. Letting it get personal means you can't win.

        I've been contacted by 3 recruiters this year who wanted to either hire me or hear my recommendations for hiring someone else. I was on about a dozen hiring committees at the last corporation I was with. It's a long shot, but yes, as small a fish as I am, something as stupid as breaking a bunch of my links could theoretically cost someone a job offer. Though that's not what I am trying to say about the CDBI meltdown; it's just an example of why professionalism always counts.

        I'm sad because I know how Tony feels and I wish Tony knew how many fans he had. I don't expect him to do CDBI for anyone but himself but when you're dogpiled by a bunch hollow critics it's nice to know you have 10 times as many boosters; at least one of whom sent off list-mails to one of the dogpilers trying to get it to stop.

        update: 2 spelling fixes, and point out in case it wasn't clear that I do think Tony was well within rights; just sad about the situation.
Re: Class::DBI mailing list meltdown
by jasonk (Parson) on Jul 28, 2005 at 18:37 UTC

    Tony isn't the first Perl developer to be upset by the fact that he spent hundreds (probably thousands) of hours developing something useful, gave it away to the community for free, and all he got in return was whiny people demanding he do it their way. I probably would have done the same thing once it got to the point where instead of working on the code I had to spend way too much time dealing with people who just wanted to insult me and disrupt the mailing list.

    We're not surrounded, we're in a target-rich environment!

      Some people can be easily offended or intimidated. the moment you put your module on CPAN, is just like the moment you step into the draft office, you should know what might happen to you.

Re: Class::DBI mailing list meltdown
by jonadab (Parson) on Jul 29, 2005 at 11:37 UTC

    Sounds to me like Tony needed to learn the ancient usenet art of killfiling. Seriously, if somebody's so rude and provocative that you don't want to read what he writes anymore, just... don't.

    Not that I'm suggesting you should go around plonking anyone who disagrees with you and publically posting your killfile like some kind of demented Skirvinesque badge of pride, or anything. That's childish. But I am saying that occasionally you'll run into someone who makes himself so odious that you can't deal with him any more. So don't.

Re: Class::DBI mailing list meltdown
by Steve_p (Priest) on Jul 28, 2005 at 22:16 UTC
    Ok, then i have no fsckin idea wtf you are up to...(not that i really + care either) -- sebastian

    OK, so shutting down the mailing-list and the wiki may have been a bit extreme, but I would have kicked someone off of my mailing-list in a heartbeat if I had gotten an email like what is above. There seems to be a lot of "Poor me! Poor me!" going on, but a simple fact remains. Tony donated a lot of time and resources to the Class::DBI community. He's a volunteer! Would you volunteer for the crap that's gone on today? Probably not.

    The above email is from here

      If I am using someone's CPAN module, I am showing him/her my kindness and merciness, and it is ythat person should feel overjoyed not me, to be frank, none of those modules are non-replaceable, or can not be written by myself.

        Come again? So what you're saying is that if I write a module, I should be happy that anyone's using it at all and moreover I should be so happy that I be willing to put up with a shit ton of grief from you and other users. least you've got the arrogance base covered.


        Feel the white light, the light within
        Be your own disciple, fan the sparks of will
        For all of us waiting, your kingdom will come

Re: Class::DBI mailing list meltdown
by cbrandtbuffalo (Deacon) on Jul 29, 2005 at 11:48 UTC
Re: Class::DBI mailing list meltdown
by Anonymous Monk on Jul 28, 2005 at 23:35 UTC

    Some interesting and very good quotes from some of the private discussions about this; if you know the sources of this information, please respect my decision to pull the egos out of the discussion and keep it to yourself. Thanks.

    From one person;

    I totally back Tony on the decision to temporarily unsubscribe Sebastian. Even in a free and open discussion, somebody's got to stop folks from slinging poo.
    However, I don't back any silly legal threats. Tony, can we keep the lawyers out of this? If he keeps trying to subscribe just ignore him. Eventually he'll go away. Don't feed the trolls or the sharks.

    And this extremely well written message:

    Dear fellow list readers,
    I reply to you in private, because I do not think this thread should be continued in public and especially this mailing list should not be polluted any further with this nonsense.
    Sebastian Riedel (not only in the thread in question here) is rather rude, provoking and overly convinced of himself, his ideas and of this Catalyst thing I never took a look at, so I cannot afford any judgement whatsoever.
    Tony might be thought of as rude and not very cooperative by some people as well and I do think he overreacted by threatening criminal prosecution, but I do understand why he banned Sebastian.
    Some examples of provocative statements made by Sebastian taken from the thread in question:
    I read that as "i am god, just trust me, i don't need no fsckin examples..."
    Tony just listens to what Tony wants to hear...
    IMO good frameworks should give the users a helping hand and not patronize them...
    Agreed, use the right tool for the right job, but don't just outlaw MI because you had a bad experience somewhen back in stoneage. ;)
    So some backup from me for Tony, but as I said before, I think he somewhat overreacted. They should both calm down and just settle this matter for good ...
    My 2 cents.

    The above comments are extremely accurate and should be carefully considered by both sides of the argument. It looks to me like in this flamewar, there have been no "winners", only losers.

    To try to balance the argument, I looked through all of Tony's posts over the last two weeks and pulled out the most inflammatory. This was hard, it seems that Tony in true British fashion managed to hold his cool pretty much until right near the end. Nonetheless, I came up with the below; included under "fair use" provisions of international copyright law;

    Thanks to the recent actions of Sebastian, and various other people both on and off this list, I am closing down the Class::DBI mailing list and wiki.
    Sebastian was told he was temporarily banned from the list... if he (continues to attempt to subscribe), I shall have little option but to proceed with reporting this matter to the Police.
    You obviously have no understanding of how I develop Class::DBI, then. I'd prefer it if you didn't extrapolate your requests from such a broken mental model.

    In any case, this issue has been dragged on for far too long in too many forums; please everyone just move along and work on code in your own respective corners.

      I really do have to take exception to this:
      it seems that Tony in true British fashion managed to hold his cool pretty much until right near the end.
      for Tony ain't British. He's one of them foreign johnnies from Northern Ireland.

        If Tony is a Briton, I will never use his module. period.

Re: Class::DBI mailing list meltdown
by cbrandtbuffalo (Deacon) on Jul 28, 2005 at 20:00 UTC
    I'm still scratching my head a bit as well. The strange thing is that usually people view a spirited mailing list as a sign that a module is healthy! :-)

    I know the cdbi mailing list was quite active and there seemed to be a strong community around it. This was certainly aided by the fact that Tony was on the list and an active participant. I hope things will blow over and the community can continue to contribute to such an excellent module.

    Until then, I'm glad there are some copies of the wiki and list content out there because there is a ton of useful info in there.

      Before even the question of whether the mailing list is 'spirited' or not, the presence of a mailing list as well as a Wiki are very good signs that a module (and developer) is healthy and trustworthy.

      As it would appear now, using the Class::DBI modules in one's own work looks like a scary decision to make.

      Can someone at least reassure me that the existing copies of CDBI and kin on CPAN can't be destroyed?

        Er, wait. Is the module still on CPAN? Of course it is. I don't see any problem here, if the module was working fine for you in the morning I don't see how it is suddenly going to become crap just because the current maintainer realized that he didn't want to offer these services for free and resourced out of his own pocket (or his companies pocket.)

        By your definition more than half of CPAN suddenly becomes scary, I maintain modules that I am not the original author of, but I take the patches and I take the criticism, but I don't provide a Wiki or a mailling list.

        Contribute, do something, don't whine online.


Re: Class::DBI mailing list meltdown
by Smylers (Pilgrim) on Jul 29, 2005 at 10:55 UTC
    Has anyone else here been following recent events on the CDBI mailing list?

    Yes, Schwern has. his journal entry on the matter is informative and insightful.


What I find most disturbing is ...
by systems (Pilgrim) on Aug 07, 2005 at 07:16 UTC
    This Sebastian is a lead or the lead developer of catalyst, nowadays one of the most celebrated Perl applications. It is sad to see things like this happens.

    I also kind of read a few about this story, and if I understood correctly, the main debate point on which those two experts disagreed was "Multiple Inheritance Vs. Delegation", I tried to search the mailing list myself but I failed to find any useful postthat will elaborate each developer point of view on the topic, and you know, I would really like to learn what they thought, without the rants, the flames and the insults.

    Anyway, I am sure I will come accross the same debate elsewhere, and hopefully the discussion will be amongst experienced developers
Re: Class::DBI mailing list meltdown
by Anonymous Monk on Jul 29, 2005 at 11:11 UTC
    wonky threats of legal action on the part of Tony.
    Wonky? No, Tony was being harassed.
      It may very well be that he was being harassed -- if that is the case, then that behavior should certainly not be tolerated. But from the outside, as an average joe user, it wasn't that apparent to me.


Re: Class::DBI mailing list meltdown
by Anonymous Monk on Jul 29, 2005 at 11:15 UTC
    This is why the list should have been maintained someplace more neutral ... too bad
Re: Class::DBI mailing list meltdown
by Anonymous Monk on Jul 29, 2005 at 07:29 UTC

    Class:DBI is a stupid idea from the begining, and performance is the panelty.

    Now as of CPAN, it is no more than some evil communism ideologogy.

      Of course you meant to actually back up this ridiculous statement at some point.


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