[Seaside] A new critical blog discussing Seaside - This chicken run here

TheSmalltalkBlog at gmx.ch TheSmalltalkBlog at gmx.ch
Sat Apr 18 21:05:08 UTC 2009

Guten Tag Michael,

you have spent an admirable amount of work on clearly showing me the human 
aspects of this situation and I essentially agree with you regarding these 
human aspects. But this whole story has a history where I made other 
experiences and I'm not going to disclose this background. 

I didn't do this out of the blue.

I thought I had already made clear that my goal is only to convince through 
my arguments and via by my social credibility in a small social community. 

Maybe my assumption is wrong but I expect intelligent people to value 
arguments by their weight alone and not by the name behind or the person's 
social credibility. 

See my correspondence with James Robertson, which proves me wrong and which 
shows that even intelligent people go for the human factor first. But this 
fault is not in me but in the wrong priorities that people like James 
Robertson set for themselves. Unfortunately, my previous personal contacts 
with James Robertson were not much different. And I was a lot politer and 
less straightforward then. He was immune to any advise or critics 
especially from a European.

And again: a couple of direct e-mails assured me that I'm absolutely not 
alone with my disgust about the Seaside documentation and technical 
details. Those people don't write here anymore and they would not want to 
oppose to the social majority of this mailing list.

If you carefully follow various posts on this mailing list you will see 
that it very much depends on who is writing about. This is normal on any 
forum, but it doesn't help the technical aspects, which are the subject of 
this mailing list. People with low social standing are immediately put down 
by the local lions if they are asking the wrong question and even more if 
they dare to criticise these lions.

Such a mailing list follows the simple laws of a chicken run. The loudest 
cocks rule the others .... until the dog comes. And I have only been 
barking from the outside! With no interest to get inside.

I am writing to find intelligent and open-minded people who have 
encountered the same problems (not all, but perhaps several) that we have. 
People who have asked themselves why the authors of Seaside put so much 
effort in a mailing list instead of spending at least half of that time for 
documenting their work! If they had done so, Seaside would comprise of at 
least a very thick and comprehensive documentation!

I don't know the answer why they have chosen to go that way and to try to 
replace documentation by a mailing list. Maybe they are just too 
inexperienced, I don't know. Perhaps they want to sell their consultancy as 
a business (not to the mailing list, but to professional users). Again: 
that would be fine for me as long as that is clearly stated. But it is not.

I am really fed up with these social discussions.

The fact is that hardly anybody has looked at or even responded to my 
substantial engineering proposals. Just about two of them were discussed 
and, of course, only those that primarily rely on taste and situation.

The rest is just omitted! I think this speaks very much against the 
interest and perhaps also against the professionality of most regular 
contributors to this list. But I strongly suppose that there are many 
readers who don't regularly contribute but who still are interested in 
reading proposals. As I said, a couple of e-mails prove me right in this 

Did you read my proposals? 
What you think of them? 
Why don't you concentrate on these?
Does the value of my technical arguments depend for you on my social rank 
in this mailing list?

Excuse me, but it seems as though you have missed the subject, amoung us: 
"Thema verfehlt".

Nevertheless, thank you for your engagement but I think it would have been 
more useful for all readers if you had put this time into discussing or 
enhancing my technical proposals on my blog. We're not here to discuss 
social subjects of a chicken run.

Mit freundlichen Grüssen
Mr. Cucumber

> -------- Original-Nachricht --------
> Datum: Sat, 18 Apr 2009 15:28:33 -0500
> Von: Michael Niessner <michael at niessner.us>
> An: Seaside - general discussion <seaside at lists.squeakfoundation.org>
> Betreff: Re: [Seaside] A new critical blog discussing Seaside
>             Mr. Cucumber,
> You present yourself as someone who values logic and ideas over  
> everything else. As such, I would like you to consider the following.
> A person has a finite amount of time to think about stuff. On average  
> it's about 75-80 years. Since no single person knows everything, they  
> will have to filter which ideas they choose to think about.
> There are a number of different algorithms that could be used for this  
> idea filter. Random selection, fifo, lifo, etc. Attempting to reduce  
> waste (time spent thinking about worthless ideas), most people have  
> settled on what I'll call a credibility filter.
> A credibility filter works by setting a credibility threshold,  
> assigning people a credibility value, and then filtering out any ideas  
> that come from a source that does not meet the credibility threshold.  
> For example, if someone tells me that computers should receive a bath  
> every week. I will assign them a low credibility value, stop listening  
> to them, and begin thinking about something else.
> Often times people will assign complete strangers a credibility value  
> below their credibility threshold. They will only listen to ideas if  
> the stranger has a university degree or some other indicator that  
> person values.
> Other people are more generous and will assign complete strangers a  
> credibility value above their threshold. This is great. These people  
> will think about your idea, until you display that you are no longer  
> credible.
> In general you lose credibility by making statements the other person  
> thinks are false. After enough of these false statements you will  
> eventually fall below that person's threshold and they will ignore  
> anything else you have to say.
> I've been following the seaside mailing list for a few months. I read  
> every post from the past year. I watch people ask questions or post  
> ideas and see prompt responses from people like Lukas Renggli,  
> Stephane Ducasse, Randal Schwartz, Phillipe Marschall, and countless  
> others. In fact, I ask a rather uninformed question and get a response  
> from Philippe within a day. Phillipe 's act was very selfless. He  
> received no compensation from using his time to answer my question.  
> Naturally, I view these people as kind and generous.
> Now I see your post. I start you off above my credibility threshold.  
> You seem think seaside has some implementation issues. Don't know  
> enough about seaside's implementation to disagree with you. Still  
> listening. You think Lukas Renggli doesn't listen to people and  
> immediately dismisses them. Hmm. That's strange I've observed  
> completely the opposite. You lose credibility points. You think Avi  
> Bryant is not open minded. Hmm. That's strange. I've seen Avi speak at  
> multiple ruby conferences and he was very open minded and receptive to  
> ideas that were presented from the audience. Now you've dropped below  
> my threshold. I'm no longer listening. You don't appear to know what  
> you are talking about so thinking about what you have to say is likely  
> a waste of my time.
> If you really want your technical ideas to be considered by people. I  
> strongly suggest that you just post your technical ideas on the  
> mailing list and your blog. Because your ideas related to the open  
> mindness of Avi and Lukas are flat wrong and damage your credibility  
> in the same manner that claiming smalltalk would be a better language  
> if it didn't have blocks or that computers need a bath every week.
> To summarize:
>    1) People don't have unlimited amount of time
>    2) It is logical and pragmatic to filter idea sources by credibility
>    3) Your claims about Lukas and Avi make you look like a fucking idiot
> Michael Niessner
> On Apr 17, 2009, at 2:30 PM, TheSmalltalkBlog at gmx.ch wrote:
> > I would like to point the members of this mailing list to my new  
> > blog on Seaside and Smalltalk: http://thesmalltalkblog.blogspot.com
> >
> > The background is in:
> > 1) the complete absence of documentation in the Seaside library
> > 2) the many violations of proper Smalltalk encapsulation
> > 3) the frequent lack of "good Smalltalk" programing style
> > 4) the many wrong and misleading class names, method names and  
> > instance variable names
> > 5) the extreme ignorance that I had to encounter when offering my  
> > assistance to improve Seaside to Lukas Renggli.
> >
> > I invite everybody to build a little community to document and  
> > improve Seaside, which will save all of us and all future users a  
> > lot of time.
> >
> > There is never ever any excuse for not documentation code! Even in  
> > Smalltalk!
> >
> > I also invite other critical writers to join in to publishing  
> > concrete engineering proposals on my blog in order to improve Seaside.
> >
> >
> > -- 
> > Psssst! Schon vom neuen GMX MultiMessenger gehört? Der kann`s mit  
> > allen: http://www.gmx.net/de/go/multimessenger01
> > _______________________________________________
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> > seaside at lists.squeakfoundation.org
> > http://lists.squeakfoundation.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/seaside
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