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

Eduardo de Oliveira Padoan eduardo.padoan at gmail.com
Thu Feb 28 14:55:24 EST 2019


Besides what Ben said, advocacy work is not without merit. I'm a fairly
recent Smalltalker and so far, that and helping other newcomers once in a
while is all that I could contribute. Communities need people with soft
kills.
You may disagree about *how* he does such work, the actual content, for
sure, but that's a feedback better directed to mr. Eng himself. Posting a
tirade against an individual on a mailing list may look like an attempt at
brigading.

On Thu, Feb 28, 2019 at 4:19 PM Ben Coman <btc at openinworld.com> wrote:

> Hi Michael,
>
> On Thu, 28 Feb 2019 at 22:30, Michael Zeder <post at michael-j-zeder.de>
> wrote:
>
>> 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.
>>
>
> I don't agree with your position, but thanks for putting yourself on the
> line in your concern for the community.
> Some will agree with you, but personally I spent quite some time reading
> around the comments you linked and didn't arrive at the same conclusion.
> Hopefully I've expressed a balanced enough position that this doesn't draw
> too many responses.
>
>
>
>> 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.
>>
>
> I agree "Mr Smalltalk" is quite a presumptive title, but really anyone
> following the mail lists soon gets an idea of who are the community merit
> leaders.
>
>
> While self-initiatives are a thriving force for open communities, in this
>> case:
>> * one individual is hogging credit and applause, without ever having
>> committed a single line of code,
>>
>
> You are right he hasn't committed any code, but I've not actually seen him
> claim credit for any code in Pharo, so this point seems off.
>
>
>
>> 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),
>>
>
> Many people criticized his early articles (including me) for attacking
> other languages rather than just promoting the positives of Smalltalk
> But I think that had an impact. I find his later articles more balanced
> and I generally like the way his writing matured.
>
>
>
>> * ...is doing SEO to make Google show his own results before FOSS
>> community or sciences pages.
>>
>
> I think its equally likely that most in our community are too busy coding
> to try getting articles ranked,
> so its more lack of effort by most of us. Most of his articles mention
> Pharo so people end up finding us anyway.
>
>
>
>> * ...is getting traction (and money) for his own ends (publicity for the
>> self-appointed "Mr. Smalltalk")
>>
>
> Any money he gets for his writing is not anything that concerns me
> personally.  Those articles are his own effort.
>
>
> * ...denies community leadership by merit (Pharo core developers do know,
>> what they have created and where they want to go in the future,
>>
>
> I don't see him claiming leadership of our community or trying to set our
> agenda.
> He just didn't let community criticism of his writing slow him down.
> All I observed is that several people bit him and he bit back - fairly
> usual sort of poor communication on both sides (including me).
>
>
>
>> and which audience we should target, they don't need a clueless person
>> telling them to "get into TIOBE index", just for example)
>>
>
> Such opinions have no impact on me.  Its just an opinion.
>
>
>
>> * is claiming credit for the work others have done,
>>
>
> I don't see him claiming he did any work on Pharo codebase, so this is off
> point.
>
>
>
>> fostering his own publicity (not the interests of Pharo/VisualWorks etc).
>>
>
> Fostering his own publicity has no impact on me.
> But actually I believe his heart is about fostering Pharo publicity, even
> if some articles are not written the way I'd write them.
>
>
> Here is the Medium thread that made me write this mail to you all.
>>
>> *https://medium.com/@michael.z3d3r/who-is-this-self-appointed-mr-9ad9a18676eb
>> <https://medium.com/@michael.z3d3r/who-is-this-self-appointed-mr-9ad9a18676eb>*
>>
>> *https://medium.com/@richardeng/even-people-who-understand-prototypal-inheritance-do-not-like-it-heres-an-inconvenient-truth-459330fe4e2e
>> <https://medium.com/@richardeng/even-people-who-understand-prototypal-inheritance-do-not-like-it-heres-an-inconvenient-truth-459330fe4e2e>*
>>
>> the bottom line of our tedious flame war in a screenshot:
>>
>
> Him swearing about a group of Pharo people is good ammunition to bring to
> the mail list to support your point,
> but I also see he was rather provoked.  Overall I feel this extract was
> better left in that small corner of the internet
> rather than fan flames here.
>
>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> 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!
>>
>
> Agree.  But banning everyone in the world for similar stupidity would
> leave the internet awfully quiet.
>
>
>
>> 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).
>>
>
> Your repeated "claims credit for the work of others" is quite provocative
> and I haven't noticed this in his writings. Could you provide a link?
>
>
> 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 person*.
>>
>
> Consider the Streisand Effect...
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect
> and the sort of behaviour that our detractors could have a field day with.
> Personally I think such action is likely to damage our public image
> more than anything Richard has done.
> Richards actions are his. Ours are ours.
>
> Thanks for you concern.
> cheers -ben
>
>
>

-- 
 Eduardo de Oliveira Padoan ⋮)
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