[Pharo-users] Richard Kenneth Eng is NOT Mr. Smalltalk

Michael Zeder post at michael-j-zeder.de
Thu Feb 28 09:29:52 EST 2019

Dear community,

I am a silent follower of this list. Now, I feel urged to speak up not 
on a technical, but a community matter.
Every village deserves it's fool. And a wise man does not feed the 
troll (i did, and doing it right now, sorry). But if this fool is about 
to take over a considerable amount of public control, the community has 
to stand up against it. So, I put this to you:

I frequently research on Smalltalk-related topics (computer scientist, 
try to devote time to open source dev next to my small enterprise). And 
more and more, I notice that Google search results show very much on 
top of the result list contributions by a self-appointed "Mr. 
Smalltalk" aka R.K.Eng. who excels at SEO and flooding social media.

While self-initiatives are a thriving force for open communities, in 
this case:
* one individual is hoging credit and applause, without ever having 
commited a single line of code, putting himself into focus (without 
having any profound knowledge; to the contrary: he shows a deep 
ignorance towards "our" and other languages, throwing around dubious 
advertisment slogans),
* ...is throwing around with wrong claims (pulling off any potentially 
interested developer),
* ...is starting pointless flame wars against other programming 
languages (again: detrimental to our community)
* ...is doing SEO to make Google show his own results before FOSS 
community or sciences pages.
* ...is getting traction (and money) for his own ends (publicity for 
the self-appointed "Mr. Smalltalk")
* ...denies community leadership by merit (Pharo core developers do 
know, what they have created and where they want to go in the future, 
and which audience we should target, they don't need a clueless person 
telling them to "get into TIOBE index", just for example)
* is claiming credit for the work, others have done, fostering his own 
publicity (not the interests of Pharo/VisualWorks etc).

Here is the Medium thread that made me write this mail to you all.



the bottom line of our tedious flame war in a screenshot:

PS: a side note on Javascript (with lower S). wether you love or hate 
this quirky lovechild of Lisp and Self/Smalltalk, telling JS developers 
they are stupid and that they should abandon powerful Vue.js, for 
example, in favor of Amber Smalltalk [cudos to Amber devs! great 
thing!]) is utterly stupid! Every professional Javascript developer, 
who is trying Smalltalk the first time, because he/she has read in a 
post of "Mr. Smalltalk", that it is better, will instantly dismiss 
Smalltalk and be disappointed. I love Smalltalk (certainly more than 
JS), but it is detrimental, to throw around with these wrong claims 
(which in the end are only a self-serving, ego-centric, 
attention-greedy campaign to promote "Mr. Smalltalk" himself, a total 
newbie, who claims credit for the work of others).

My suggestion: This community is open and inclusive. But we should 
clarify, that if a single individual repeatedly goes against those, who 
do the actual work, claims credits, insults people, then this person is 
not fit to be part of this community. It sheds a very bad light onto 
us. --> If R.K. Eng cannot respect community structure and decisions, 
we should exclude him officially and publicly take distance from this 

Thank you for your attention.

Michael Zeder

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