NonSecwitter

  • Posts: 20
Re: Not So Mixed Signals
« Reply #15, on September 4th, 2013, 02:38 AM »
Quote from spoogs on September 4th, 2013, 01:04 AM
Nao give Pete access to whatever private boards you guys use to discuss things (I'm assuming such a thing existed), hash it out there and if you both feel like it, just let us know the outcome.
I disagree. When they started this project they also started a community, and I think they probably realized that. If not immediately, than soon after. They have been here for the community through countless hours of coding, so now the community is attempting to support them.

Again. I'm just a guy who checks in every now and then to see how Wedge is coming along, but I also deal with conflict professionally. All of the support is great. They are both doing a great job of expressing their frustrations with each other. And it seem there has been a small amount of acknowledgement of certain issues, especially from the community. I especially like @Oracle 's last post and his acknowledgement of personality tendencies such as @Nao 's perfectionism and @Arantor 's pioneering, one's need to lead and one
s attention to detail.


Obviously these feelings have been brewing under the surface for a while, and have just come to a rolling boil. It's kind of like microwaving distilled water and throwing a fork in it. You're both great people!

Now, a big question to answer is what each person want, needs, and how they want this played out. I think it's a great idea to write down a list of requirements or agreements if you are going to move forward. Itemize line by line with specific details what needs to happen. Yor relationship isn't dictated by a list of agreements, but it can serve as a reference point.

Nao

  • Dadman with a boy
  • Posts: 16,064
Re: Not So Mixed Signals
« Reply #16, on September 5th, 2013, 12:28 PM »
Quote from Oracle on September 4th, 2013, 12:14 AM
He also mentioned something along the lines that hes wasnt a mind reader implying possibly you need to be somewhat more obtuse with him on any underlying issues. Perhaps you should have spelt things out more bluntly to avoid misunderstanding?
I really, really didn't expect his departure...
I told him that I had trouble keeping up with all his posts, and thus we established that I didn't have to read them, and that if he needed my attention, he'd just @Nao me, which I was trying to get to grips with, and it was starting to work, but... Well, too little too late maybe...? I don't know. It's true, though, that I'm not a very good listener. Autistic tendencies, like a majority of geeks. I can't do more on that-- working on it IRL, but it's already hard as it is to start working on myself on the Internet, too... :geek:
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The pair of you were more than colleagues from what I can muster.
Well, we were fellow victims at sm.org in 2010, then partners in crime for a couple of years, but never got to meet IRL, which is a shame because it probably would have changed how we see each other. (Perhaps resulting in an earlier split, but I doubt it... :P)
I've had partnerships with other people in the past -- most ended in a sour way, but other times it just works well until one of the party decides to go in another direction. For instance, Dragooon left his (our) SMG project to work on his mobile theme while I stayed on it and turned it into Aeva Media -- we remained in excellent terms, and as you can see, he's still around at wedge.org and will get commit access in the near future. Sometimes it takes a bit of effort to simply agree to disagree, and being dramatic about it won't do anything good. I'm okay with Pete leaving, I'm perfectly okay with that. I'm just trying to adjust to a project where suddenly I can break anything I don't like (themes!) without asking for anyone's opinions... :P Still, as I said multiple times, the reason it didn't end quietly is that Pete had angry words with me in public, and I didn't really appreciate that. His later posts were more satisfying, and thus I've left all of this behind me.
I'm still posting here because, well... If anyone has any questions they need me to answer... :P
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although Nao has praised your work on occasion.
I've always praised Pete's work. He's done many things I couldn't/wouldn't have done, ever. We were very, very complementary on so many different things. Unfortunately, sometimes a work relationship can work 95% perfectly, but someone might only want to see the remaining 5%. It's sad, but I guess Pete will eventually understand that he needs to be cooler about these things. Being afraid to commit because of what others will think..? I don't think I've had this kind of feeling for over 15 years... If I'm happy with something, someone else is bound to be happy with it too. I always do things that way. And it works.
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Look its plain as day, Nao is what I would term a perfectionist whereas your preference tends toward pioneering.
I innovate, too[1], but on a smaller scale. I never wished to reinvent the wheel. In fact, from the very first day we started Wedge, we had to find an agreement because, like Pete mentioned, he wanted to do DragonBB and only go with innovations everywhere, while I wanted to fork SMF so that we wouldn't have to spend so much time on silly things like security, handling user permissions, database structure, templates, things like that...
In the end, we did end up rewriting much of it, and it took us over three years, but I'm still positive that if we had started from scratch, the project would have failed soon enough. There are a dozen reasons for that, and suffice to say, we made the right choice. But I can understand that it frustrated Pete all along, so...
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As for the name changes well again you should have been more assertive if it meant that much not just dismiss it for the sake of maintaining harmony.
The name change never was a problem. I was happy to stay with 'Wedge' as long as Pete worked with me on it. The other name was just something I had in mine in case I proceeded with the 'friendly fork', and it came up again when Pete left. But the poll results seemed to indicate a tendency towards keeping the Wedge namesake, so I figured, I'll just change the main logo on the homepage (i.e. picking my favorite out of all recent ones), that'll be another symbol of change. (Of course it's not meant as the final logo, as it's too complicated... It's just there to say, "Wedge is not the same as it was a year ago.")
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Well hindsights a marvelous thing but is it really really, too late? Is Nao able to fully appreciate where your coming from and able to reconcile?
Again-- I have no problems with Pete, at all... I've never lost any respect for the quality of his work, his novel ideas, and his general understanding of everything that matters. I also find him to be funny, smart, unafraid of heavy workloads, and willing to try new things. His advice on so many subjects is just invaluable, and it's one of the things I'll regret the most. But if he ever were to rejoin the project, despite all of the qualities I just listed, he would have to settle on being an advisor and a co-lead developer, but not a decision maker (which wouldn't even be a problem more than a couple of times a year.) Two people is a crowd in the decision room, and one has to take the lead. I'm more focused on the project, and I'll get it to completion. I have a clear idea about what has been done, what should be done and why it's all so good.
Really, if in a few months he offers to help again, of course I'll say yes.
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Well seems to be a failing on Nao's part and time for in depth reflection. What say you?
I've had many failings, but you can't blame me too much here... ;)
 1. Follow_me, footnotes in a forum, strong gallery concepts, infinite scroll, modal alert reinvention, and hundreds of other things...

Arantor

  • As powerful as possible, as complex as necessary.
  • Posts: 14,278
Re: Not So Mixed Signals
« Reply #17, on September 5th, 2013, 06:37 PM »
Phew, lots of stuff here. So, let's try and make sense of it all. I'll break it down into the key points that seem to be coming up.

Perfect vs Good
I'm only too aware that perfect can be the enemy of good. My concerns over releasing/not releasing were never about perfect vs good, but good vs unfinished. Let's make this absolutely clear: look back through the logs and tell me how often I tweaked something I'd made. Tell me how often I went and changed things that I wasn't entirely happy with.

Most of my commits were removing things I didn't like or adding new things. Very few were just changing things I wasn't entirely happy with. That's why I made half the number of commits Nao did: I don't tend to commit and iterate, I iterate then commit when I'm happy with it.

I think it's fair to say that I'm not laden with the perfect vs good problem.

The problem I do have is that while my code isn't sacred to me, people just aren't listening to the problem I DO have. If my code is bad enough that it needs more than tiny modifications, it's obviously sub par, so I obviously did a bad job. It's nothing to do with leaving the nuts and bolts to someone else, it's the fact that I constantly have the feeling of turning in B-grade work, even when it's A-grade work, just because it doesn't fit with someone else's sense of coding aesthetics.

Innovators vs Iterators
I wouldn't consider either of us 'better than the other' in terms of innovation.

We've both done things that we have the right to be proud of, and Nao has outlined some of the things he's proud of within Wedge. I'm very proud of the plugin system, and the warning system. I'm proud of the fact that I was able to do some things that I'd never have been able to do in the SMF ecosystem even if I'd been given the keys to the kingdom, like going UTF-8 only.

But to me, none of that is actually innovation. It's all iteration on what was there already.

The plugin system is simply a case of addressing the numerous issues I saw in the current SMF package ecosystem (ensuring hooks have more power, checking hook existence, using it as feature detection, etc.)

The warning system, again, it's a case of addressing issues I saw in the SMF one; the notion of being able to revoke a warning (rather than warning with a negative %), the notion of being able to tie punishments to specific warnings, to be able to have much more gradual punishments, and to tie that lot together to be able to grant punishments that fit the crime better (Bad avatar? Remove the avatar.)

I cannot name a single thing I added to Wedge that I can justifiably call innovative. In some ways that made it harder because I was already working on the premise that I wasn't doing what I wanted, but what needed to be done.

On the other hand, some of the stuff Nao added does seem innovative to me, at least in the forum world: footnotes, infinite scroll (it may not be in itself unique but Wedge is the only forum software that has it as a core feature), thoughts etc. so already there's a feeling of inadequacy on my part. And yes, that does suck.

I find it interesting that we seem to feel the same way about each other for this project, that neither of us seems to feel like an innovator and that feels the other is. Your perspective on this will likely be different to mine.

On not being bold with communication
This is always going to be a tough one. Despite my general exterior and persona I give out of being strong voiced, I'm really quite introverted. Anyone who's seen the Crossing Overland videos will know how little I tend to say in person.

Then there's the general attitude of the English that's thoroughly part of me, i.e. the stiff upper lip, the keep calm and carry on attitude.

And to be fair, a lot of the issues that annoyed me didn't annoy me enough individually to do something about them at the time, so I let them go.[1]

Stuff like the autoloader really annoyed me because for the sake of a little extra typing (or, even coming into the 20th Century and using auto complete in various tools), we could have simplified the structure of a bunch of things and made performance gains from not having enormous files whose content was not used perhaps as often as one might expect.

Especially, for example, considering my thoughts around going down the CMS route. In a pure CMS, things like the stats updating that SMF does just aren't as necessary (because they're never called so often), censoring is not needed so often, and things like that. These are things loaded every page that just do not need to be in those situations. So you'd hive them off because that makes sense to do.

Anyway, I'm digressing. My psychological nature is predisposed to avoiding conflict if possible, and every time something came up that I didn't like, I was forced to choose whether it annoyed me enough that I wanted to say something or just say nothing and accept it. The problem was that in the cases where I did speak up, I don't feel I was listened to - even when I went into long and thorough arguments about why I didn't like something.

Short of getting into shouting matches over everything I just accepted that I was wrong most of the time and left it at that, until I just couldn't do that any more.

To the people who said I should have been more forthright in my views, could you honestly go back over my posts and say I wasn't forthright in my views? Could you honestly say that I didn't try hard to be heard?

I understand Nao's reluctance to read every post. But I did it. I read every post on the forum, even the ones I never replied to, and tried to take that on board. It wasn't always successful but I tried it. On the other hand, I suspect that if he had tried to read more posts - not even all of them, but just a general selection of them, he would have a different view of both me and of the userbase.

One of the things I have been unhappy about for some time - and this affects Wedge rather than my interpersonal relationship with Nao - is that Wedge has two different directions in the code. It has a bunch of stuff that users will use either directly or indirectly, and it has a bunch of cool stuff. The problem with the cool stuff is that it directly affects what goes on in the ecosystem.

I sincerely dread the day when Wedge is let loose and designers take one look at it and try to figure out how to make it all work. Templates being piecemeal unlike SMF's monoliths, they'll have to deal with that. The CSS preparser... they'll have to deal with that too but I like to believe they will ultimately find it useful to have that rather than not. But trying to make interesting layouts that aren't just colour changes, while trying to make wireless, infinite scroll, userbox moving all still work... that's a challenge I simply don't envy them having.

What I think that means is that most themes will be simple colour variations.

Superior vs equal vs inferior
I have in the past talked about my office life. Over the 5 years I was in that career path, I had a number of team leaders through various reorganisations, 6 if my recollection is correct, and that's not including the more senior managers that were above my team leaders with whom I tried to ensure I had a good working relationship as well.

Of those team leaders, only two of them were somewhat less than successful. The first of those two was because my team leader and I had different views on the way things should be done. As will probably be clear from conversations here, I have a very strong sense of ethics and about things being done properly, but that I'm willing to compromise over correctness when it is appropriate. My team leader on the other hand, was of the view that compromise was the way forward wherever possible, that closing the deal was most important.

The best example I have is a mortgage deal we were working on.
(click to show/hide)
I should clarify the situation; our department dealt with new mortgages being issued, I worked within the latter part of the process, dealing with solicitors/conveyancers, in making sure all the paperwork was provided and correct and that the company's legal coverage on the mortgaged property would be all solid.

You can imagine that this is the ideal sort of situation for me, really, and in many ways it ways. There were rules, there were places the rules could be bent. And for someone of my tendencies - strong on knowledge retention and doing it properly - this worked out.

Then we had this deal come in that the new sales rep was so keen to push because it was a demonstration of our flexibility. It all centred around two houses that had been knocked through into one but were legally still two properties on the title deeds and how this would get resolved.

I took the case to the lead and told him why it wasn't going to work out because of the way it was currently registered and that it couldn't physically be fixed. He took the view that it wasn't our problem provided that the lawyers dealing with it signed a declaration that they would get it fixed - apparently that was enough for our protection, since lawyers acting for the lender are required by law to protect the lender's interest.

Unfortunately that's what happened. The leader spoke to the lawyer, got a letter from them, and whatnot. And I said I wouldn't sign it off. There was no way I was putting my name on that case and interestingly enough no-one else would either. In the end it had to be signed off by the director of operations (who is a people manager, essentially, and had no real idea of what it all meant)

And sure enough, this came up during my end of year review as not being flexible and obstructive etc. Fortunately for me, I'd kept note of the case number and knew he would pull it out at the meeting, so about a week before then, I sent an email to the customer services team, who dealt with cases after they'd been funded, to find out what happened to it. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the case had been handed to the litigation team because the security was impaired. I even got them to email me the notes about it and brought it to the meeting. As you can imagine this did not go down well.

The problem was ultimately a clash of ideologies and to a lesser degree a lack of respect. I took his position under consideration but my job description carried the line that my responsibility was to protect the interest of the company to the best of my ability - and that's exactly what I did. The fact I was overruled was not my problem as I'd done everything in my power to protect them.

The second manager was a real piece of work.
(click to show/hide)
By this time I was an auditor with the company. You can imagine how well that worked out for my general anal-retentive attitude.

And at this point my partner worked at the company in the same team, but as a 'probationary' or 'trainee' or something. Anyway, she worked in the same team doing the same job, but for several thousand pounds less a year.

The team leader wasn't impressed that Liz would defer to me more than the others, but the reason for this was never entirely understood: because I was *competent*.

We were given the cases to review prior to funding - so the job I used to do (see the first spoiler) was about getting the paperwork in and reviewing it and passing it to the funding team, then the funding team would review it and press the magic buttons.

And having been a mortgage processor, I knew exactly the sorts of crap that used to go up to the funding team and what the funding team used to kick back to me, haha.

Anyway, there was a list of things that had to be checked that the team had to do for each case. 118 items if memory serves, all yes/no/not applicable questions. So, just check that the system has the right details in it, answer the questions.

Problem 1: what if you notice something wrong that's not in the questions? Answer: You're not supposed to be checking anything other than the list because the list is sacred.

Problem 2: what if you're more conscientious and just check it anyway? Answer: You get blasted for spending more than 10 minutes on it. Yes, we were timed, and managed on that crap.

I frequently used to turn in what clocked up as '4 and a half hours work' because I did it thoroughly, and not just what the team leader's best mates did, which was the minimum possible to get the job done, and that's how the 10 minutes time was arrived at.

It should be of no surprise that come the quarterly review from the lending quality team that cases I approved for funding had the fewest errors in percentage terms. Quarter after quarter this happened. Funny that.

But I messed up the figures for the team leader by looking like I wasn't working hard enough, though the more senior managers all understood what was going on. Trouble is, she was of the understanding that I was trying to undermine her at every opportunity; I wasn't. I just didn't agree with her managing-by-the-numbers and not really caring about little things like quality.

It should be of no surprise that a few months after I was made redundant from the company, that they collapsed entirely, when you have people like that at the management helm.

The problem as you can probably imagine is not that I can't work with managers. The problem is that I can't work with managers who can't understand where I'm coming from.

As I have said on multiple occasions - though I think this is another thing no-one listened to - I have no problem with being disagreed with or even overruled, provided that I have the feeling that what I had to say was taken into account. I don't just say things for the sake of saying them, I say them because I believe they're important to say.

The two managers I reference above rarely listened to what I had to say unless it agreed with what they already thought in the first place. This isn't a respectful setup and I have no time for it. Funny how all the other team leaders understood my points when they were made - even when they didn't agree with me and even when they overruled me, they at least listened and took it on board.

Control versus contribution
There is an interesting problem related to this, but it relates also to the whole lead vs follow debate. I can lead when it's appropriate, I can follow when it's appropriate. Whichever would best get the job done, I suppose.

The problem is when I'm told that I'm a leader but have to act like a follower, like we've had here. In fact, I find this quote from Nao most telling of all:
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But if he ever were to rejoin the project, despite all of the qualities I just listed, he would have to settle on being an advisor and a co-lead developer, but not a decision maker (which wouldn't even be a problem more than a couple of times a year.)
This would merely continue how it's actually been for most of the last year to 18 months, if not longer. It would simply formalise it and make it clear that this is how things would be.

Ironically, had Nao outlined to me on day one that this is how he wanted to work, I could probably have made that work. It was always stated that we were equals and yet we never really acted as equals.

Two people may be a crowd when it comes to a decision, but saying that one has to take the lead is not right. One took the lead in the absence of decision and just carried on with what he wanted to do despite the opposition.

I find it interesting that it's cited as being in the region 'a couple of times a year'. There are at least a couple of examples from just the last month or two where this was an issue.

On where we came from, and maybe where we're going
I do like being told how what I think is bullshit especially from people who weren't there, who weren't part of the discussions that were held at the time.

One of the really big problems is that I don't think we ever really expressed much of a unified vision. It was all about preserving the SMF legacy and iterating on it to make it better. Right now Wedge is where SMF should be, what SMF should have become in the intervening time. SMF and Wedge have had 3 years to work on things, and in that three years we've made great strides in improving what SMF was. Right now, Wedge kicks SMF 2.1 to the kerb in a lot of places.

Nao always made it clear that he wanted to push towards what Noisen is, essentially a form of localised social network. I was largely fine with that to start with because a forum is, essentially, a specific subset of the social network thing anyway, but increasingly I've been feeling that Wedge won't realise its true potential if it continues to think of itself as a forum software first and foremost.

SMF's problem is that it's 'just a forum', Wedge's is that it's 'primarily a forum', and that pure forums are finding it very hard to compete these days because most people use Facebook and Google+ for what used to be pure forums. That in order for the software to grow and thrive, the forum must essentially be deprecated from the main feature to a core feature of something bigger. And that did not sit well, as per the various posts on the subject, especially when I outlined the notion of Wedge being able to run with the forum disabled.

The problem is that we're at a crossroads. I don't see how we can meaningfully take the software in both directions, and as has become clear I'm #2 on the totem pole, so unless Nao wants to back off from going towards the Noisen type route and dive in head first with the CMS approach, there's no way the unified vision can work.

I would almost go as far as to say that we're not on common ground so much any more. We're no longer refugees from a battleground, nor strangers in a strange land. The only common ground really is the idea of a forum and I want to make that second fiddle to something else anyway.

On forking and name changes
Just in case it wasn't entirely clear what was going on, Nao suggested that we might get to a point where we would fork, I'd take 'Wedge' and he'd take the other, under the new banner but that we'd still share code back and forth. The trouble is, as I said at the time, that just wouldn't work - there would be changes very quickly that would make that sort of thing just not work out very well. I've been there, I've seen it happen - heck, I doubt there's anything much that SMF 2.1, ElkArte and Wedge can all share in these days even though they are all descendants of the same 2.0 codebase.

On hashing this out in public or private
It just sort of happened that it came out in public. Though in all honesty I'm not sure doing it privately would have made much of a difference to the end result, though the road would have been different.

Nao and I would have talked, I'd probably have been suckered in to staying longer, getting more resentful and eventually just disappearing, only no-one but Nao would have known what was going on. I don't like cloak and dagger politics and I think the comment about this being a community is right.

In a normal community if one of the leaders leaves abruptly without any communication, it's a major failure especially if it's not even clear why they left. If one of the leaders leaves abruptly with some communication, maybe something can be salvaged. Mind you, I'm still concerned at the number of people participating in this thread who appear to be misinterpreting what I'm saying as the reasons I'm fed up.

Cause and effect
Some people have opined that my general state of depression may be caused by this situation, or it caused this situation. I'm not sure which it is, but most likely I was already depressed under the surface and this brought it to a head.

The bottom line
I see people that are essentially asking me to step up and just accept it. I doubt any of those people really understand what my problem is, because I feel that if they did, they would actually understand why that isn't going to happen.

What I do note is that there has been a lot more honesty since I stepped down than there was before I did so. Both Nao and I have, in this thread and elswhere, made it clear that we have the ways we work, and that we're not entirely happy about changing how we work to suit others because it works for us.

The problem I have is that I can't keep adapting my work style to the way this project is run. I can't deal with submitting work only to have it dissected. That has implications beyond me and Wedge and I'll have to deal with those.[2] To the comments about me just learning to deal with it, I'm sorry but those are very naive and perhaps ill-informed. This is not just something you 'deal with'.

I consider what I do to be art, with all the pretentiousness that goes with it. I'm not paid to make Wedge, so I don't owe anything to anyone. More importantly, that means as far as I'm concerned no-one has the right to demand I make anything in certain ways.

Would Van Gogh have painted the Sunflowers paintings if he knew Gauguin would come along and touch up the paintings afterwards? Would he, perhaps, have painted them differently? Would he, instead, perhaps have considered trying to paint and repaint them if he knew they would be scrutinised and tried to paint them perfectly before handing them over?

This is what we're talking about. The people that talk about perfection in code don't understand that this is an artform. It is not something that can be turned on and off, I am not a trained monkey at a keyboard. It happens when it happens because it happens, just like any other art. Novels are literary art, paintings are visual art, code is its own art. I may not necessarily be good at it in some respects but that doesn't change that I consider it art and I don't like it being tampered with. There are times I've specifically pointed out flaws where I didn't know how to do it any better and times I've specifically outlined that things should be looked at. I doubt many people here understood what it takes to put that into writing.

See, what people don't always remember is that the commit log is to all practical purposes, permanent. I'm going on record, in public, and for all purposes that matter, permanently saying "This isn't very good but it's the best I can do, I'm sorry". I'm flat out admitting I'm putting in sub-par code because I'm not good enough to do it any better.

The thing is I've been doing bits of this stuff for years - I was writing JavaScript in 2000. I'm still not any better at it now, and here we are 13 years on. Make of that what you will.


Anyway, now we're getting to the heart of the matter. In the preceding posts it's very clear that I have never entirely been a project leader for this project, that I've been a 'co leader' but without the power to back it up, and note that it isn't me saying that. I don't feel I've been lied to, but I feel like what I've felt has been backed up by the posts above, like I had suspicions waiting to be confirmed.

Yes, I still have a place in my heart for forums. It's why I haven't just disappeared entirely. The problem is that it's now perfectly clear that a reunion of the two of us for Wedge just won't be possible. As much fun as we had, the reality is that I cannot be part of this situation any more. You can't give me the title of leader and not the power that goes with it, and there's no chance in hell that I'd be a "contributor" knowing what will happen - that will just be a continuation of what brought us to this point, and I can't be a part of that.

I must admit I didn't appreciate the comment about how you feel you deserve to be told about what I'm going on to do. By the same logic, if I'd gone to contribute to *any* other software that's even remotely a competitor to Wedge, that logic suggests I should tell you. If I'd gone to write XenForo plugins, or IPB plugins or even to phpBB, I get the feeling that you'd expect me to tell you about it. Here's the thing, that's what equals might do, but I'm not your equal and I've never been your equal. Just as when I left one job for another, I didn't bother to tell my employer where I went, because it was none of their business any longer. I left, and in any normal respect that would have left me free to work on whatever I wanted to work on. The fact I mentioned it at all is a courtesy, certainly not an expectation. The fact I'm working on it in private is because after everything that's happened, I CAN'T TRUST ANYONE AS A CONTRIBUTOR.

I actually can't trust anyone to work with any more at the code level. The only people I trust are those who provide me assets (e.g. textures, models) and I make them work in my code, because they don't write any code and I don't have to worry about it overlapping. And yes, I'm well aware that this is my problem to 'deal' with.

The saddest part is that even when I disentangle myself, baring myself in a way I just do NOT do normally, being more honest with myself than I have been for a very long time, too many people still don't get it.
 1. Accepting good vs perfect, anyone?
 2. Ultimately it means I need to consider whether I work in open source software at all because the same problem is prevalent there in general.
When we unite against a common enemy that attacks our ethos, it nurtures group solidarity. Trolls are sensational, yes, but we keep everyone honest. | Game Memorial

Nao

  • Dadman with a boy
  • Posts: 16,064
Re: Not So Mixed Signals
« Reply #18, on September 5th, 2013, 10:54 PM »
Forgot to mention... Yes, I suppose a signed CLA would be nice, but I fear we're going to start wondering what to put in the CLA, ah ah... :lol:
Quote from Arantor on September 5th, 2013, 06:37 PM
Perfect vs Good
Most of my commits were removing things I didn't like or adding new things. Very few were just changing things I wasn't entirely happy with. That's why I made half the number of commits Nao did: I don't tend to commit and iterate, I iterate then commit when I'm happy with it.
And early on, we determined that we'd check each other's commits as thoroughly as we could... Whenever I made a mistake, you were there to point it out, for which I believe I was grateful..? Part of not being my own boss was that it took a load off me, and I was grateful that you'd check my commits. In exchange, I always checked yours of course... Except for the few times where you committed some huge changes, such as adding the plugin system. Or when Dragooon added his notification system -- it was a huge thing, but as it was UI stuff as well, I took it upon myself to make it as good as possible. I don't know... It just feels natural, to me, that if I can help, I should. I just didn't know you didn't consider it help but, something like an insult, IIUC..?
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If my code is bad enough that it needs more than tiny modifications, it's obviously sub par, so I obviously did a bad job.
Course not!
If anything, you *started* so many things. As I explained, I'm really not good at starting them, I'm only good at building upon them.
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Innovators vs Iterators
On the other hand, some of the stuff Nao added does seem innovative to me, at least in the forum world: footnotes, infinite scroll (it may not be in itself unique but Wedge is the only forum software that has it as a core feature), thoughts etc. so already there's a feeling of inadequacy on my part. And yes, that does suck.
You're so mistaken about that... :-/ You really did your part, and did it great. You did all of the things that I suck at (coding things 'because they need to be done' rather than 'because I want to do them', managing the growing community, doing tech watch on important matters...)
If I'm spending time answering your post, it's not to draw you back into it -- it's to at the very least pay a frigging homage to the work you did on Wedge for the last three years; everything you did shall be remembered, and it just won't be the same anymore. There are some things that will be done in a less adequate way, but it'll just have to be. I'm okay with that. I just wanted to say thanks for all the fish, that's all. And good luck on your game.
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On not being bold with communication
This is always going to be a tough one. Despite my general exterior and persona I give out of being strong voiced, I'm really quite introverted. Anyone who's seen the Crossing Overland videos will know how little I tend to say in person.
In my case, it's a bit of a mixed bag... It all depends on what you're talking about with me. I can be annoyingly quiet (usually meaning I'm close to taking my phone from my pocket and playing a game of Scrabble, like I always do in these awkward moments... Yes, I'm the awkward moment all by myself), or if you get met started on pop culture -- movies, TV, anime, obscure music, games, whatever -- you'll just regret you did, because I just can't shut up. I'm a living iMDb, I'm a walking Wikipedia, everything I learn online I need to share it with everybody. Milady learned a long time ago how to just ignore these moments, but her friends, not so much... ;)
I guess I'm quite the same online as I'm IRL, but your mileage may vary.
Anyway, it's unrelated to the point...
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Stuff like the autoloader really annoyed me because for the sake of a little extra typing (or, even coming into the 20th Century and using auto complete in various tools), we could have simplified the structure of a bunch of things and made performance gains from not having enormous files whose content was not used perhaps as often as one might expect.
I really don't know where performance can be gained; first of all, the fact that you claim to have increased performance just after you started work on your private project-- it implies that the changes weren't that many, and yet, I had a look at some of the basic files, and I really don't know how much data you can take out of them, and apart from the notification system which I understand you wanted to load dynamically (and I've never been against the idea), I really don't see what can be improved in that respect, so... I dunno.
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Anyway, I'm digressing. My psychological nature is predisposed to avoiding conflict if possible, and every time something came up that I didn't like, I was forced to choose whether it annoyed me enough that I wanted to say something or just say nothing and accept it. The problem was that in the cases where I did speak up, I don't feel I was listened to - even when I went into long and thorough arguments about why I didn't like something.
I'm sorry that you felt that way; I try to listen to what you have to say, but this year perhaps I failed doing a good job at it. I did what I could, but it probably wasn't enough, or even 'my best'.
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I sincerely dread the day when Wedge is let loose and designers take one look at it and try to figure out how to make it all work. Templates being piecemeal unlike SMF's monoliths, they'll have to deal with that.
And they'll learn to love it.. ;)
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The CSS preparser... they'll have to deal with that too but I like to believe they will ultimately find it useful to have that rather than not.
80% of the job can be done using regular CSS files; I mean, you can very well include an external CSS file and be happy with using brackets in it. Or you can modify the 'main' files, and in that case you're already in an environment where the Wess syntax is being used, and you just adapt to it. I'll be honest, even I make some mistakes in my code from time to time -- just earlier today, I was yelling at my @if test not working and being included as such (in plain view) in the compiled CSS, when I realized it wasn't a bug in the parser, but rather I simply forgot to add the @endif, which as an instruction contradicts the nested structure of Wess files, but is needed because an @if block can contain un-indented code and thus must be treated separately. There are some hiccups from time to time, but overall I think all of this is for the best...
I could possibly tweak Wess to allow for brackets to be used in addition to the Wess syntax within the same file, but I never felt the urge to do it, really.
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But trying to make interesting layouts that aren't just colour changes, while trying to make wireless, infinite scroll, userbox moving all still work... that's a challenge I simply don't envy them having.
Since I'll eventually be removing the theme system (as discussed elsewhere-- this is a good example of something I always wanted to do but I was certain you'd be against the idea so I never even took the time to discuss it, so you see, you're not the only one who's afraid of their partner's reaction ;)), this will be a different story altogether.
I'll probably create a couple more skins which, like Warm, will attempt to show how much power the skin system currently holds. Yes, I really think it's possible to do pretty much everything skin-less themes could do.
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What I think that means is that most themes will be simple colour variations.
That's a risk I'm willing to take... :^^;:
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Superior vs equal vs inferior
The two managers I reference above rarely listened to what I had to say unless it agreed with what they already thought in the first place. This isn't a respectful setup and I have no time for it. Funny how all the other team leaders understood my points when they were made - even when they didn't agree with me and even when they overruled me, they at least listened and took it on board.
It's easier to listen when you're meeting face-to-face. I always have a problem with online communication... :-/
That's why I was disappointed never having the opportunity to meet you IRL, I guess. Or even communicate over Hangouts or something...
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Control versus contribution
Ironically, had Nao outlined to me on day one that this is how he wanted to work, I could probably have made that work. It was always stated that we were equals and yet we never really acted as equals.
I think the reason it worked flawlessly over the first couple of years is that (1) we still thought we had time to release Wedge so we just set aside a lot of the uneasy discussions we might have wanted to have, and (2) we were both involved at the same level, and neither of us had yet to experience a breakdown or anything related. Life happens.
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Two people may be a crowd when it comes to a decision, but saying that one has to take the lead is not right. One took the lead in the absence of decision and just carried on with what he wanted to do despite the opposition.
And was that a bad thing to do...? Realistically, I mean..?
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On where we came from, and maybe where we're going
Nao always made it clear that he wanted to push towards what Noisen is, essentially a form of localised social network.
Technically, for those who don't know of the story... My idea of my contributions to Wedge was to integrate into it every single thing I'd developed on SMF for myself, i.e. Aeva Media and Noisen features. AeMe was easy, it was just a mod, but I never really got around to overhauling it, and that's a mistake I made. Noisen was more complicated. I made a huge (800KB..?) patch file of all differences between vanilla SMF and Noisen, and then proceeded to apply all of these features, one by one, to Wedge. It turned out, halfway into it, that many features couldn't be integrated as such, either because the codebase had already become too different, or because the code became unneeded because of internal improvements, or simply because it was a lot to do. The most important thing to me was integrating the privacy system, and I think I did all of it over the years... I mean, it was mainly about adding some code to all MySQL queries involving the topic table, but it was still a bitch. Over the years, I moved away from my desire to adapt Noisen into Wedge, but I still have plans to use Wedge over there, because Wedge rocks, and I'm willing to lose all of the Noisen features I didn't integrate into it, at least for a time.
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SMF's problem is that it's 'just a forum', Wedge's is that it's 'primarily a forum', and that pure forums are finding it very hard to compete these days because most people use Facebook and Google+ for what used to be pure forums.
Not everyone. For instance, Milady isn't on Facebook... Not only she's not on it, but she hates the idea of even opening an account over there to keep in touch with her friends. (I've friended everyone in her circle, so that I can at least tell her when something big happens to them, but even then she'd rather call them to get some news...) And yet, she's registered on plenty of forums. Why?

Because Facebook and forums are a different entity altogether. That's what I felt ever since the beginning, and it hasn't changed. In fact, I'm of an even stronger opinion about it, and that's possibly the reason I've become more philosophical about possibly 'stealing' some Facebook features for Wedge. I would never have done that before, because I hated Facebook for being the site that "made what I wanted to do with Noisen" before Noisen did.
I started work on Noisen in 2007 and stopped it around 2009 after Facebook became popular in France. Back when I started Noisen, the place to be was Myspace, and I implemented tons of things to show that Myspace sucked. I wasn't the only one to think that, and I don't own a patent on my ideas, so obviously people at Facebook had the same ideas as I did, but more man-power to apply them, congrats to them for at least making a decent social network that tried to innovate for many years, and managed to do it most of the time.

Back to the topic... My girlfriend is registered on many forums that discuss RL issues that she's interested in, and some people over there use their relative anonymity to discuss matters that they just wouldn't discuss with their friends on Facebook. That is, Facebook is great for keeping in touch with your friends, but it doesn't allow you to be anonymous, and to have any decent, deep discussions, in the comfort of anonymity, or at least not having to wonder whether your friends will check out what 'Facebook page' you're subscribed to, etc.

To me, forums were the natural replacement to mailing lists and newsgroups, and just like e-mail itself, its very nature ensures that it's here to stay, even if it's "out of touch" with the current young generation. Well... I believe they'll come back to it, like many did when they left Facebook for Google+ and then came back or just left to use forums or nothing at all, etc... These things come and go, but what matters is that at least two people in the world are interested in discussing the same topic; thus, a forum has some interest to them, and it's a good thing that this type of software is out there.

Don't you think..?
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The problem is that we're at a crossroads. I don't see how we can meaningfully take the software in both directions, and as has become clear I'm #2 on the totem pole, so unless Nao wants to back off from going towards the Noisen type route and dive in head first with the CMS approach, there's no way the unified vision can work.
Oh, Pete, I don't know how to tell you... Where did I ever tell you that I was against going the CMS route?
Yes, I'm unsure about the idea of making the forum a plugin. But to me, Wedge is first and foremost a community manager, as in, the two most important tables in the database are _messages and _members. Messages are what a forum is about, while _members is what a community is about, and if there's something I've always hated on blogs and things like that, it's the difficulty of handling a user group, giving them fine-tuned permissions, making them feel they're part of something. It's always about yourself, and then allowing people to comment on what you have to say. Good communities make you feel part of something greater, and yet allow you much leeway to express yourself in a more private fashion, such as creating your own blog and giving it its own style.

All I wanted to say is: yes, I can see Wedge going to CMS route. But I've always postponed the idea of doing something big about that, because, FFS, we're three years into development, we have a product that rocks your socks off, and yes it's not 'perfect' yet, but postponing its release by a couple of years to make it supposedly more 'relevant' to the current day is not a good idea in my opinion, which is why I wanted to do it for Wedge 2.0, i.e. when our brand would be more established, and we'd have had time to determine whether it was something that other people wanted as much as we did.
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On forking and name changes
Just in case it wasn't entirely clear what was going on, Nao suggested that we might get to a point where we would fork, I'd take 'Wedge' and he'd take the other, under the new banner but that we'd still share code back and forth. The trouble is, as I said at the time, that just wouldn't work - there would be changes very quickly that would make that sort of thing just not work out very well. I've been there, I've seen it happen - heck, I doubt there's anything much that SMF 2.1, ElkArte and Wedge can all share in these days even though they are all descendants of the same 2.0 codebase.
Yet, even with a personal fork, I wouldn't have considered removing themes, because that would have made the fork too distant from yours; precisely for that reason. I just thought it might give you more freedom, and yes, I was thinking more about your freedom than yours, because deep inside I did feel that you were frustrated about a few things, and I figured that what I'd devised during your US trip could be an interesting direction to get the both of us to be happy about work again, but unfortunately the idea was not in the air long enough to take its grip inside of us, so it didn't help you change your mind about the whole thing. Bah. Maybe it would have failed, too, anyway...
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On hashing this out in public or private
It just sort of happened that it came out in public. Though in all honesty I'm not sure doing it privately would have made much of a difference to the end result, though the road would have been different.
I think it's all okay. I made the original thought thread member-only because it wasn't a pretty thing to see, but apart from that, everything else can be public IMHO, because we've always wanted to be open about these things. And I think that all of our users, Friends or not, care about the future of the project, especially in situations like these...
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I can't deal with submitting work only to have it dissected.
And again, it was never about finding the flaws in your code to piss you off, it was mostly about adding a bit of me to code that I was always ecstatic about, and I told you about that many times... I felt that if I could contribute to it, then it would be a good day's job, and there's nothing else to find in my actions...
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Would Van Gogh have painted the Sunflowers paintings if he knew Gauguin would come along and touch up the paintings afterwards?
Unrelated, but I've never heard of that ever happening... I just checked out Wikipedia, and it doesn't mention either; it only says that Gauguin loved the paintings, had two already, and was met with a refusal when he asked for a third copy.
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Would he, perhaps, have painted them differently? Would he, instead, perhaps have considered trying to paint and repaint them if he knew they would be scrutinised and tried to paint them perfectly before handing them over?
Well, if you want to talk about art...
- Novels, paintings, some music... These are individual art forms. Just like a tennis player usually doesn't have to worry about anyone else, these things represent someone's inner feelings best.
- Movies and other art forms that cost a lot of money will be a team work. The director always has to make compromises with the producers, executive producers, the writer, the director of photography, whoever has any kind of standing in the making process. They have full control over their gophers, PAs, whatever you could think of... (Usually actors, too, unless they're very popular, blah blah...) They make most of the decisions, but sometimes the producer(s) will override them. Sometimes, it becomes a battle of wits, sometimes a battle of popularity. When Ridley Scott released his own DC of Blade Runner, I absolutely adored it -- yet, I also love that the producer's cut exists, with the Deckard monolog and the Shining unused footage in the mountains at the end... Who made the best decision? I don't know, I can understand both... Ridley Scott made art that was meant to make you think; the producer made art that was meant to be enjoyable, without any further feelings.

Wedge is the kind of art that takes years to shape, and thus requires team work. So, I think it's safe to say that the movie example is better in our situation, and a painting is irrelevant...
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See, what people don't always remember is that the commit log is to all practical purposes, permanent. I'm going on record, in public, and for all purposes that matter, permanently saying "This isn't very good but it's the best I can do, I'm sorry". I'm flat out admitting I'm putting in sub-par code because I'm not good enough to do it any better.
$
And I do, too... Many times I've admitted I was unsure about a commit I was making. I was fine with it, though... Sometimes, you just can't do better than your best, and it'll still be better than not having anything at all.
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The fact I'm working on it in private is because after everything that's happened, I CAN'T TRUST ANYONE AS A CONTRIBUTOR.
Or maybe simply that it's easier to work alone sometimes, don't you think..?
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I actually can't trust anyone to work with any more at the code level. The only people I trust are those who provide me assets (e.g. textures, models) and I make them work in my code, because they don't write any code and I don't have to worry about it overlapping. And yes, I'm well aware that this is my problem to 'deal' with.
I'd have a good story to tell you about working with people who don't code... While I did have a pretty fine collaboration with a friend of mine, Miguel Samiez (who went on to become a full-fledged musician), to provide music for my game, and with KMJ fans who provided tilesets and other interesting assets, the only time I had a clash with a collaborator was when I was starting work on a new game -- I decided to contact someone whose art I loved, and commission graphics for the game. I was satisfied with the outcome, but said that, for the price I said, I should at the very least be sent the original pictures (they were just scanned and mailed to me), which I thought we'd agreed upon. Otherwise, it wasn't exactly a fair price he made me pay. He refused to do so, and I stopped collaborating with him, and decided not to use his pictures, even though I'd paid for them. That's how upset I was. In the end, I completely dropped the project because of that, and subsequently, retired from the gaming world altogether. Nowadays, I tend to think that things had simply run their course, and I was looking for a way out. That guy wasn't very nice to begin with, at least not very professional, but it was partly an excuse for me to call it quits.
Perhaps, just perhaps, the same thing happened with you with Wedge. And maybe, in the future, you'll end up doing the same again over another petty issue that you'll see as a grave matter, because in the spur of the moment, anything would hurt, and it's just best to leave things behind, maybe to come back to them later, if needed.
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The saddest part is that even when I disentangle myself, baring myself in a way I just do NOT do normally, being more honest with myself than I have been for a very long time, too many people still don't get it.
I get it... And I'm okay that you're leaving. Simply, I don't think you're leaving for the right reason.

Arantor

  • As powerful as possible, as complex as necessary.
  • Posts: 14,278
Re: Not So Mixed Signals
« Reply #19, on September 6th, 2013, 02:20 AM »
Quote from Nao on September 5th, 2013, 10:54 PM
Forgot to mention... Yes, I suppose a signed CLA would be nice, but I fear we're going to start wondering what to put in the CLA, ah ah... :lol:
Pick a CLA, if the terms aren't unpleasant, I'll sign it. E.g. the Apache CLA will be fine.
Quote from Nao on September 5th, 2013, 10:54 PM
And early on, we determined that we'd check each other's commits as thoroughly as we could... Whenever I made a mistake, you were there to point it out, for which I believe I was grateful..? Part of not being my own boss was that it took a load off me, and I was grateful that you'd check my commits. In exchange, I always checked yours of course... Except for the few times where you committed some huge changes, such as adding the plugin system. Or when Dragooon added his notification system -- it was a huge thing, but as it was UI stuff as well, I took it upon myself to make it as good as possible. I don't know... It just feels natural, to me, that if I can help, I should. I just didn't know you didn't consider it help but, something like an insult, IIUC..?
The reality is that I'm just not the same as you, and as I've said before I can't live up to your standards. But if you'll notice, what did I complain about? I complained about the things I don't personally mind being picked apart in my own stuff, i.e. bugs and major performance issues. If there's a bug, squish it. If there are big performance issues, let's fix them. But I don't recall ever quibbling over any code style changes, or anything like that about your commits - they just weren't an issue.
Quote from Nao on September 5th, 2013, 10:54 PM
You're so mistaken about that... :-/ You really did your part, and did it great. You did all of the things that I suck at (coding things 'because they need to be done' rather than 'because I want to do them', managing the growing community, doing tech watch on important matters...)
That's the stuff I'm good at, doing the stuff that needs to be done. And that's fine because there is generally a sense of satisfaction about it, but the problem is, when I raised issues about the cool stuff that came out of this stuff, it was an issue.

For example all the stuff relating to themes. I wasn't against removing themes because of some backwards compatibility. I was against removing themes because of a very real and practical issue around themers adding their own styles.

If you remove themes, 1) it absolutely prevents themers adding their own language strings and 2) it absolutely prevents replacing templates on a large scale. Sure, there are some nods made in the other direction with <we:cat> and <we:title> but a themer simply isn't going to be able to go to town and really change up the look.

I see from the changelog you've made some more strides, but let me ask you this. You've seen Crossing Overland, with the menu down the side, with the other stuff that's in the theme. The ONLY thing managed by the sources code is the extra subtitle on the menu, everything else is in a custom theme.

Can that be recreated with just skins? Answer: no because the JavaScript would have to be reworked to make the menu work differently.

That's the point I was getting at: killing off themes and pushing it to skins means a designer can only change the markup they're given, they can't really go to town with new markup which is a considerable hit on flexibility.
Quote from Nao on September 5th, 2013, 10:54 PM
If I'm spending time answering your post, it's not to draw you back into it -- it's to at the very least pay a frigging homage to the work you did on Wedge for the last three years; everything you did shall be remembered, and it just won't be the same anymore. There are some things that will be done in a less adequate way, but it'll just have to be. I'm okay with that. I just wanted to say thanks for all the fish, that's all. And good luck on your game.
We did some good stuff. And I'd love to see some good stuff from this project in the future because you don't need me. You never needed me, not really. You have the power to take Wedge in any direction you choose now, whatever works for where you want to take it, and for those who will undoubtedly follow you.
Quote from Nao on September 5th, 2013, 10:54 PM
In my case, it's a bit of a mixed bag... It all depends on what you're talking about with me. I can be annoyingly quiet (usually meaning I'm close to taking my phone from my pocket and playing a game of Scrabble, like I always do in these awkward moments... Yes, I'm the awkward moment all by myself), or if you get met started on pop culture -- movies, TV, anime, obscure music, games, whatever -- you'll just regret you did, because I just can't shut up. I'm a living iMDb, I'm a walking Wikipedia, everything I learn online I need to share it with everybody. Milady learned a long time ago how to just ignore these moments, but her friends, not so much... ;)
I guess I'm quite the same online as I'm IRL, but your mileage may vary.
Anyway, it's unrelated to the point...
No, it's not unrelated. Given the right context, I'm like that. The trouble is, the list of topics upon which I can be drawn into conversation is much, much smaller, despite my apparent extrovert tendencies online. That's the thing people don't understand about online conversations vs offline ones; I'm free to go away and think about what I want to say, and how to say it. I've read this post half a dozen times this evening before I replied to it.
Quote from Nao on September 5th, 2013, 10:54 PM
I really don't know where performance can be gained; first of all, the fact that you claim to have increased performance just after you started work on your private project-- it implies that the changes weren't that many, and yet, I had a look at some of the basic files, and I really don't know how much data you can take out of them, and apart from the notification system which I understand you wanted to load dynamically (and I've never been against the idea), I really don't see what can be improved in that respect, so... I dunno.
Firstly, accept the notion that you're going in a direction where you're loading stuff only on demand. In my world, primarily a CMS, I don't need a censor all the time. Inside the forum, perhaps, but not more generally. So I can hive it off somewhere else. And then only load it when I actually need it.

Secondly, in 5.5 and up, you're not dealing with the same mentality as before. File I/O is somewhat less of an issue than it was before because the idea of loading large chunks of file to save on I/O for stuff you always want is just not so applicable.

The truly huge change in 5.5 is the inclusion of Zend OpCache. This means you're getting an opcode cache that's primarily memory backed. Which means you skip the disk I/O phase, and pull from memory. More importantly, it works like any other cache: big chunks displace smaller chunks when you get past a decent percentage of fullness.

Keeping the files a bit smaller, then, is a major difference. Especially when you typically already consume 10MB per page load just in general approach.
Quote from Nao on September 5th, 2013, 10:54 PM
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I'm sorry that you felt that way; I try to listen to what you have to say, but this year perhaps I failed doing a good job at it. I did what I could, but it probably wasn't enough, or even 'my best'.
This last year we've both had stuff going on that has made it hard to focus. I'm sorry I wasn't more forthcoming either, because this might have ended a little differently otherwise.
Quote from Nao on September 5th, 2013, 10:54 PM
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I sincerely dread the day when Wedge is let loose and designers take one look at it and try to figure out how to make it all work. Templates being piecemeal unlike SMF's monoliths, they'll have to deal with that.
And they'll learn to love it.. ;)
Eh, I don't know that they'll love it. They'll deal with it, simple as that.
Quote from Nao on September 5th, 2013, 10:54 PM
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The CSS preparser... they'll have to deal with that too but I like to believe they will ultimately find it useful to have that rather than not.
80% of the job can be done using regular CSS files; I mean, you can very well include an external CSS file and be happy with using brackets in it. Or you can modify the 'main' files, and in that case you're already in an environment where the Wess syntax is being used, and you just adapt to it. I'll be honest, even I make some mistakes in my code from time to time -- just earlier today, I was yelling at my @if test not working and being included as such (in plain view) in the compiled CSS, when I realized it wasn't a bug in the parser, but rather I simply forgot to add the @endif, which as an instruction contradicts the nested structure of Wess files, but is needed because an @if block can contain un-indented code and thus must be treated separately. There are some hiccups from time to time, but overall I think all of this is for the best...
I could possibly tweak Wess to allow for brackets to be used in addition to the Wess syntax within the same file, but I never felt the urge to do it, really.
Firstly, there is evidence to suggest that themers don't like having to deal with specific CSS variations for a given system due to preparsers - like XenForo discovered - but I think Wess is strong enough that it'll overcome the issues.
Quote from Nao on September 5th, 2013, 10:54 PM
Since I'll eventually be removing the theme system (as discussed elsewhere-- this is a good example of something I always wanted to do but I was certain you'd be against the idea so I never even took the time to discuss it, so you see, you're not the only one who's afraid of their partner's reaction ;)), this will be a different story altogether.
I'll probably create a couple more skins which, like Warm, will attempt to show how much power the skin system currently holds. Yes, I really think it's possible to do pretty much everything skin-less themes could do.
I was against the idea for reasons I'd explained multiple times, including earlier in this post. I'm skeptical of the claim that you can do 'pretty much everything skin-less themes could do' because there are an awful lot of things that just aren't covered in that.
Quote from Nao on September 5th, 2013, 10:54 PM
It's easier to listen when you're meeting face-to-face. I always have a problem with online communication... :-/
That's why I was disappointed never having the opportunity to meet you IRL, I guess. Or even communicate over Hangouts or something...
See, that's the problem... I don't like face to face meetings. I much, much prefer online communication. I'm rather inept socially in person, because my brain thinks faster than my mouth and I trip up on words so much. Heck, I'm not even on Skype.

That said, I think it might be nice to let this stuff go, and in a while when it's all settled and we're doing what we're doing, to just meet up, shoot the breeze. Not as would-be/wannabe/former partners in crime, but two geeks that are just friends, you know?
Quote from Nao on September 5th, 2013, 10:54 PM
I think the reason it worked flawlessly over the first couple of years is that (1) we still thought we had time to release Wedge so we just set aside a lot of the uneasy discussions we might have wanted to have, and (2) we were both involved at the same level, and neither of us had yet to experience a breakdown or anything related. Life happens.
That sounds quite reasonable, even likely.
Quote from Nao on September 5th, 2013, 10:54 PM
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Two people may be a crowd when it comes to a decision, but saying that one has to take the lead is not right. One took the lead in the absence of decision and just carried on with what he wanted to do despite the opposition.
And was that a bad thing to do...? Realistically, I mean..?
Um, yes... it just meant that I felt like I'd made all my points for nothing, as though nothing I'd said had made the slightest bit of difference.
Quote from Nao on September 5th, 2013, 10:54 PM
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SMF's problem is that it's 'just a forum', Wedge's is that it's 'primarily a forum', and that pure forums are finding it very hard to compete these days because most people use Facebook and Google+ for what used to be pure forums.
Not everyone. For instance, Milady isn't on Facebook... Not only she's not on it, but she hates the idea of even opening an account over there to keep in touch with her friends. (I've friended everyone in her circle, so that I can at least tell her when something big happens to them, but even then she'd rather call them to get some news...) And yet, she's registered on plenty of forums. Why?
Not everyone == most people ;)

Seriously though, there has been a mass defection to Facebook and Google+ over the last few years. All the forum packages are in decline, I've even heard from phpBB and MyBB folks that are seeing a decline in users for this very reason.

For a lot of discussions, a group or page on Facebook will be enough, especially in response to something like a band or similar because they'll already have a presence on FB and don't really need to open up a forum for anything else.

As for why people avoid FB, for most people it's mostly because there aren't really the controls around content or privacy the way there are in forums. I can register on a forum and be effectively anonymous should I choose. It's not a single overarching thing where my family, my friends, my professional acquaintances and whatnot all get smushed together unlike Facebook.

There's a lot more to it but that's where it starts. On Facebook, you're you. People who see me on Facebook see that I don't really say a lot and consume it largely as a passive news resource for family, friends etc. and I engage with people on forums because the format is better for that.

Getting back on track though, more and more requests on sm.org are about bridging to WP or using it alongside an existing site, rather than it being the site as a whole. Then include all the people who add portals and knowledge bases and article systems and you realise that the days of forums just being forums aren't merely numbered, they're already practically gone and we're racing to catch up with the way the world has already changed around us. Forums as we know them are already over a decade old, older than blogs, older than wikis, older than social networks. They're still around because they still have a place, but that place is smaller and peoples' needs are changing.

As for people coming back to forums, I've been saying since 2011 that there's going to be a shift back towards forums as people start to reclaim their privacy. While I didn't predict PRISM, since 2011 I was speculating 2014 as the time when forums would reclaim some of the lost ground. While the PRISM stuff has died down a touch now, there is a swing back towards forums. I'm just expecting it more en masse next year.
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To me, forums were the natural replacement to mailing lists and newsgroups, and just like e-mail itself, its very nature ensures that it's here to stay, even if it's "out of touch" with the current young generation. Well... I believe they'll come back to it, like many did when they left Facebook for Google+ and then came back or just left to use forums or nothing at all, etc... These things come and go, but what matters is that at least two people in the world are interested in discussing the same topic; thus, a forum has some interest to them, and it's a good thing that this type of software is out there.

Don't you think..?
Oh, I've never doubted that the software needs to exist. I'm just challenging the notion that it has to be the primary focus of the software. I'm asserting the notion that a piece of software that allows you to run a website should allow for a forum but not be a forum with some other stuff integrated in to it.

It's worth taking a look around the different forum software boards to see how often people request CMS features. I'm just starting from the premise of having a basic CMS with a forum module. It doesn't need to be a Joomla killer, hell it doesn't even need to be a WP killer, it just needs to be able to be more than a forum.
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Oh, Pete, I don't know how to tell you... Where did I ever tell you that I was against going the CMS route?
Yes, I'm unsure about the idea of making the forum a plugin. But to me, Wedge is first and foremost a community manager, as in, the two most important tables in the database are _messages and _members. Messages are what a forum is about, while _members is what a community is about, and if there's something I've always hated on blogs and things like that, it's the difficulty of handling a user group, giving them fine-tuned permissions, making them feel they're part of something. It's always about yourself, and then allowing people to comment on what you have to say. Good communities make you feel part of something greater, and yet allow you much leeway to express yourself in a more private fashion, such as creating your own blog and giving it its own style.
The point where I suggested it, I forget where it was but it was on this site, and you were very hostile to the idea of having a CMS with 'the best forum plugin' and would much rather have the forum as the core and content stuff around it. At least, that's how it seemed, and after that I just dropped the idea.

A blog is a very different beast from a forum. A forum is essentially a democratic concept, where anyone in the community can have a say and speak their mind, whereas a blog only allows for the privileged few to speak their mind and let everyone else comment. True, a forum board can be used as a blog, and that becomes mostly a matter of permissions and UI juggling, but it's a very different beast to market and to work with as a whole.

Messages are what a forum is *made* of. It's not what a forum is *about*. There are other components to a community, where messages don't necessarily make a huge difference. I look at the site I use to discuss development; the shoutbox has nearly 400,000 entries, while the forum has barely 3,000 posts, mostly which just summarise and formalise what the shoutbox had in it at the time. This is not a large community, sure, but it is a type of community, and the forum is a fraction of it. It's a stepping stone to something else.
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All I wanted to say is: yes, I can see Wedge going to CMS route. But I've always postponed the idea of doing something big about that, because, FFS, we're three years into development, we have a product that rocks your socks off, and yes it's not 'perfect' yet, but postponing its release by a couple of years to make it supposedly more 'relevant' to the current day is not a good idea in my opinion, which is why I wanted to do it for Wedge 2.0, i.e. when our brand would be more established, and we'd have had time to determine whether it was something that other people wanted as much as we did.
The main reason I didn't want to run a release at this stage was simply because of how much stuff I felt was unfinished - not 'waiting for perfect'. The permissions stuff is still a mess. The media area still needs a serious (IMHO) overhaul, and to me that seemed like it needed to be done before 1.0 but I didn't know what to do with it. I just knew I didn't like it.
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Yet, even with a personal fork, I wouldn't have considered removing themes, because that would have made the fork too distant from yours; precisely for that reason.
That's the problem with trying to keep two disparate codebases in sync, they will inevitably drift apart.
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I just thought it might give you more freedom, and yes, I was thinking more about your freedom than yours, because deep inside I did feel that you were frustrated about a few things, and I figured that what I'd devised during your US trip could be an interesting direction to get the both of us to be happy about work again, but unfortunately the idea was not in the air long enough to take its grip inside of us, so it didn't help you change your mind about the whole thing. Bah. Maybe it would have failed, too, anyway...
It was a good idea in a lot of ways, but I'm sure it would have failed for the reason above, we would have tried to keep things in step enough to be able to reuse each other's work and we would both have been hamstrung by it in time.

It would have gone one of two ways, either it would have meant a complete separation much as we're at now, or it would have ended up diverging and converging after a while and a ton of work to bring them back under one roof (which would invariably have lead to a lot of rewrites)
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And again, it was never about finding the flaws in your code to piss you off, it was mostly about adding a bit of me to code that I was always ecstatic about, and I told you about that many times... I felt that if I could contribute to it, then it would be a good day's job, and there's nothing else to find in my actions...
Oh, I know that. At least, I think I know that. But my self esteem doesn't really care *why* it's being pulled apart, simply that the end result is a B-minus grade.
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Would Van Gogh have painted the Sunflowers paintings if he knew Gauguin would come along and touch up the paintings afterwards?
Unrelated, but I've never heard of that ever happening... I just checked out Wikipedia, and it doesn't mention either; it only says that Gauguin loved the paintings, had two already, and was met with a refusal when he asked for a third copy.
Bah, argument by analogy doesn't work. Point is, Van Gogh did his paintings the way he saw fit. If he knew someone else might come along after and change them even subtly, he would paint them differently. I only mentioned Gaugain because the article about the Sunflowers points out that Van Gogh gave them to him.

I couldn't really find a better analogy, and I did want to make some kind of a meta reference, knowing one of the largest topics in the private board. It made me smile a little to make a private reference.
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Wedge is the kind of art that takes years to shape, and thus requires team work. So, I think it's safe to say that the movie example is better in our situation, and a painting is irrelevant...
Oh, it required team work, but I didn't entirely feel like I was doing good at being in a team. And yeah, I didn't find a better analogy to try and explain where I'm coming from.
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$
And I do, too... Many times I've admitted I was unsure about a commit I was making. I was fine with it, though... Sometimes, you just can't do better than your best, and it'll still be better than not having anything at all.
But therein lies the problem. Committing something subpar was wrong and trying to commit perfection meant I committed nothing while trying to make it perfect. My best just isn't the same level as yours, ultimately.
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The fact I'm working on it in private is because after everything that's happened, I CAN'T TRUST ANYONE AS A CONTRIBUTOR.
Or maybe simply that it's easier to work alone sometimes, don't you think..?
To a point. Certainly when working alone I don't have the feelings of inadequacy. I can just enjoy working on code for its own sake and it doesn't matter if I don't commit it, and it doesn't matter if I don't finish it and it doesn't matter if I abandon it. I don't feel under any pressure to work on things, I don't feel guilty if I go to do something... anything... else, and I don't feel like I'm being judged every time I do do something. Being able to explore my own direction is really just a bonus in that respect.
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I'd have a good story to tell you about working with people who don't code... While I did have a pretty fine collaboration with a friend of mine, Miguel Samiez (who went on to become a full-fledged musician), to provide music for my game, and with KMJ fans who provided tilesets and other interesting assets, the only time I had a clash with a collaborator was when I was starting work on a new game -- I decided to contact someone whose art I loved, and commission graphics for the game. I was satisfied with the outcome, but said that, for the price I said, I should at the very least be sent the original pictures (they were just scanned and mailed to me), which I thought we'd agreed upon. Otherwise, it wasn't exactly a fair price he made me pay. He refused to do so, and I stopped collaborating with him, and decided not to use his pictures, even though I'd paid for them. That's how upset I was. In the end, I completely dropped the project because of that, and subsequently, retired from the gaming world altogether. Nowadays, I tend to think that things had simply run their course, and I was looking for a way out. That guy wasn't very nice to begin with, at least not very professional, but it was partly an excuse for me to call it quits.
That sucks.
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Perhaps, just perhaps, the same thing happened with you with Wedge. And maybe, in the future, you'll end up doing the same again over another petty issue that you'll see as a grave matter, because in the spur of the moment, anything would hurt, and it's just best to leave things behind, maybe to come back to them later, if needed.
I see a problem. You're thinking I see this as a sudden petty issue that escalated out of hand.

Let me show you something. This wasn't public knowledge. Some months ago I made a mod of some of the anti spam stuff in Wedge and released it to sm.org.

What most people never saw was the commentary in the installer XML file. Here it is, untouched.

Code: [Select]
<!-- Why am I contributing this to SMF? A variety of reasons, I guess.
Partly that I still care about the SMF community, partly that I still want to see it thrive.

Partly that I'm pissed off by a general feeling of unappreciation when a co-developer
doesn't understand that every time they want to rewrite my commits for not being
thrifty enough in the byte department, it just makes me not want to commit any more.
Plus, premature optimisation is the devil.

So, I'm porting some of my ideas from Wedge to SMF. The bridges haven't been entirely burned.

I doubt anyone will actually see this comment, and that's cool too.
It was a nice way to vent. Arantor 21/04/13 -->

<!-- NB, I'd use hooks if I could. But I can't. So I won't. So there. -->
<!-- Also note, the licence of this mod is CC-ND.
You can use it on whatever site you like but you can't redistribute a derivative without my permission.
This includes SMF, by the way. No sneaky incorporating it into 2.1. It's also firmly not a Contribution
under the terms of the CLA signed so there's no licence for reuse that way either. -->

Note the date. I forget exactly what it was back in April that annoyed the piss out of me, but something did. So I made a mod of something I liked in Wedge, released it for SMF. I made sure to protect myself - and Wedge - with the way I did it, since SMF can't just incorporate this into SMF 2.x without my permission.

Interestingly the commit log from 21/4 (r2066) does actually mention that I was AWOL and had been for a day or so at least... This would have been in the middle of the thousands of lines of warning system rewrite that as I tried to tell people was close to giving me a breakdown all on its own.
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The saddest part is that even when I disentangle myself, baring myself in a way I just do NOT do normally, being more honest with myself than I have been for a very long time, too many people still don't get it.
I get it... And I'm okay that you're leaving. Simply, I don't think you're leaving for the right reason.
That comment wasn't actually directed at you, but everyone else who seems to say that I should just man up and accept that this is how it should be. It is slightly ironic that Wedge itself was founded on the notion that we shouldn't just accept how things are being on the wrong end of a team relationship that wasn't working, but that's what I'm being asked to accept 'for the good of the project'.

I understand why you think it is I've done what I've done. I think I disagree and that's cool too. The bottom line is that I've outlined why I don't want to contribute any more, and I can't make you accept it as my perspective on things. Either you accept it or you don't, and no-one can ask any more of you than that.

The last few days have been very interesting. There are people that believe I should go and be lead developer for SMF in the hopes of rescuing it but I don't really see that working for much the same reasons, and I feel bad about working on my own project in light of the comments made here, but I still love the idea of doing different things with the forum and CMS concept. I guess I'll just have to bend over and accept something in the end :(

But anyway, we've both said what we had to say and I don't think there's anything else left to say.

Other than to the guy who called my whining pointless, thanks, I needed that.

forumsearch0r

  • Posts: 118
Re: Not So Mixed Signals
« Reply #20, on September 6th, 2013, 02:54 AM »
Quote from Arantor on September 6th, 2013, 02:20 AM
Other than to the guy who called my whining pointless, thanks, I needed that.
At least you don't oppose to the "whining". Fine.

I, as a user, am pretty new here and have no fcking clue what's going on behind the scenes, but I, as an open-source dev, pretty much know what it means if team members have a different vision of a software's (near or not-so-near) future. Don't get me wrong about my "thought" you referenced to. Still, a dialog like yours is probably nothing that should be led in public IMNSHO.

Re: Not So Mixed Signals
« Reply #21, on September 6th, 2013, 04:17 AM »
I beg to differ.

Most of the people here have been here for a long time.
They are part of the Wedge community.
In my HONEST opinion, they DO deserve to know ALL of what is going on.

I've known both Arantor and Nao for a while on SM.org and they are both great coders and great support people.
They have done wonders as it is with Wedge, and this breakup of their coding team is a very big loss to the coding world.

As for your comment forumsearch0r, not only was it rude and uncalled for, especially with the fact that you know nothing of what is going on here, but it is also one of the most tasteless, arrogant shows of brainlessness I've seen in years.

Sorry Nao and Arantor for speaking my mind like this, but I really had no choice, with how I am about stuff like this.

forumsearch0r

  • Posts: 118
Re: Not So Mixed Signals
« Reply #22, on September 6th, 2013, 04:19 AM »
Quote from BurkeKnight on September 6th, 2013, 04:17 AM
As for your comment forumsearch0r, not only was it rude and uncalled for
Interestingly, you just mentioned this is an open community. In an open community, opposite ways of thinking should not be expressed by newcomers?

I see.

Re: Not So Mixed Signals
« Reply #23, on September 6th, 2013, 04:24 AM »
To an extent.
But what you said was over the line, in my opinion.
You basically told Arantor to stop whining and accept what he feels he should not, because he actually has a clue to what has been going on here, unlike you.

forumsearch0r

  • Posts: 118
Re: Not So Mixed Signals
« Reply #24, on September 6th, 2013, 04:27 AM »
Quote from BurkeKnight on September 6th, 2013, 04:24 AM
You basically told Arantor to stop whining and accept what he feels he should not
I told Arantor nothing until he poked be because of my loose thought in the Thoughts area, so I guess I should come back to him concerning this. Well, as I said I know the feeling of having very different people work together. No offense towards Arantor, except he should have been stronger than this and just leave Nao unattended.

Re: Not So Mixed Signals
« Reply #25, on September 6th, 2013, 04:32 AM »
1. Your comment in Thoughts is what I'm talking about!
2. There is a lot more here than you or I, even know.
3. Arantor has NO obligation to continue here, if he chooses not to.
4. Who are you to even say what HE should do????

In my opinion, what should be done, is what is best for those two people, not Wedge.
If they need to stop working to save a friendship, then as far as I'm concerned, DO IT!

Friendships are more important than a project.

forumsearch0r

  • Posts: 118
Re: Not So Mixed Signals
« Reply #26, on September 6th, 2013, 04:33 AM »
Quote from BurkeKnight on September 6th, 2013, 04:32 AM
1. Your comment in Thoughts is what I'm talking about!
I haven't told him to stop there. Please read properly.
Quote from BurkeKnight on September 6th, 2013, 04:32 AM
3. Arantor has NO obligation to continue here, if he chooses not to.
Where have I said so? Please read properly.
Quote from BurkeKnight on September 6th, 2013, 04:32 AM
4. Who are you to even say what HE should do????
Who are you to even say what I should do?

I did not tell him what to do. I just advised him what I would do if I was he. I told you I know such situations. Now calm down.

Re: Not So Mixed Signals
« Reply #27, on September 6th, 2013, 04:40 AM »
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No offense towards Arantor, except he should have been stronger than this and just leave Nao unattended.
Where I'm from, that is considered saying he should stay, even if he feels he should not.

Don't get me wrong, I wish he would stay, but I know he can't and I understand it.

Also, I'm not heated... Not by a long shot. ;) Just trying to get you to understand that there is a lot more to this than what you have read.
More to it than the rest of the community has read, too.

forumsearch0r

  • Posts: 118
Re: Not So Mixed Signals
« Reply #28, on September 6th, 2013, 04:41 AM »
Quote from BurkeKnight on September 6th, 2013, 04:40 AM
Where I'm from, that is considered saying he should stay, even if he feels he should not.
Oh. Well, English is not nearly my primary language. What I wanted to say is: If there's something between them that can't be fixed in the foreseeable feature, he should just pull the plug (of his contributions, not of Wedge, that is).

Arantor

  • As powerful as possible, as complex as necessary.
  • Posts: 14,278
Re: Not So Mixed Signals
« Reply #29, on September 6th, 2013, 04:47 AM »
Right, I've had enough of this.

Firstly, BurkeKnight, thank you for your kind words, they're appreciated.

forumsearch0r, please tell me what open source projects you contribute so I can firmly avoid them. Also, before diving into the deep end about telling me how I should or should not conduct my business, please take care to read and digest everything before speaking because now you just made yourself look stupid.

See, the entire thing around this is I'm leaving the team and no longer contributing. That doesn't prevent Wedge from continuing, it just means it will do it without me, for all the reasons I've stated here. Also, telling someone who is considered to be depressed to just snap out of it is actually making it worse, along with all the comments about how I should essentially just man up. Just proves to me that you didn't bother to read the points I was making. Another on that list, then.

And for someone for whom English is 'not nearly their primary language', you use it very proficiently, far better than many native speakers.

The decision has been made, I'm not contributing to Wedge any further. In other words, all that heated argument just to realise it was what I'd already said several days before. Congratulations, hope you feel happy.