I was called "fucking asshole"

I am in perl community couple of years but today it was the first time somebody from this community called me fucking asshole

It happened in this publicly available bug report https://rt.cpan.org/Ticket/Display.html?id=72637

Maybe times are changing in communication style inside perl community or perhaps it is time for me to change the community.

56 Comments

I guessed the identity of the offender before looking at the ticket. His communication style is so peculiar that many people are actively avoiding to pull his modules in their dependency chain, in spite of their usually good technical value. (Maybe there should be a module for that?) Let's not judge the Perl community from one single rather unrepresentative element.

communicating with computers and communicating with humans seem to be two skills which do not always come in a package ... @kmx, thanks for the hint on how to properly configure the search.cpan.org links for bugtracking, useful info (for me at least).

I second Rafael's comment. The escalation shown by the other individual was unnecessary and uncalled for. Please don't let one bad apple spoil the barrel for you.

Don't worry about it. That's just Marc. He's both offensive and abusive. Maybe he was abused or bullied as a child?

He claims that his modules have all the information you need to report bugs (although I never found that info when I was trying to test them). He won't listen to reason when it comes to documenting where to report bugs either.

I will never use one of Marc's modules.

I understand the frustration completely. You're not alone in feeling the way you do.

Agreed: Please don't let one person's comment drive you away, because we're not all like that. On the other hand, you put up with enough of that for long enough, no one could fault you for wanting to leave, either. :-/

I suspect someone's going to come along and say "Well, you did re-open the ticket, you deserved that." That person is wrong. Nobody deserves to be insulted and degraded.

It's probably a big deal for you if English is your first language. But it's completely different for the rest of us. It doesn't feel like much of an insult to me, well I don't feel it at all. And I bet Marc doesn't either.
So, don't take it personally.

It's funny that in his anti-RT rant he says:

I am sorry that this wasted a bit of your time,...

And then in his reply to you, he says:
the world doesn't need people like you, who waste other people's times needlessly.

While it is he that waste's people's time needlessly by not making it obvious where he would like bug reports to go.


And it's too bad that his preference is not to have bugs going to an open forum, but to private email.


I agree with others (so far)...but don't post more NSFW verbage in public forums.

It is always great when somebody trying to insult someone else gets insulted himself.

Fortunately what makes the Perl community great is a group of hundred people and not one or two... erm.. [* put here that adjective *]

It was called for. You must know that it is arrogance from your part to repeatedly ignore the author rules/requests and push him further and further with this superior attitude.
Then, this kindergarten resolution to never! use his modules again!! OMFG! As if the author is the leader of North Korea or something. Well, I for one, will still use them, they are some of the best CPAN has to offer. The fact the author has strong opinions and rules ? I respect that.

That's not the commmunity; that's Marc Lehmann. He's more notable for being a consummate jerk than for any of his actual work.

Regardless of the actions of the author, I feel you could have a chosen a different way of advertising the behavior than polluting a whole bunch of feeds with really inappropriate language.

Make no mistake, I do not condone any of his actions, but your post does a lot of damage to the public image of the Perl programmers.

A better way to bring the issue to the attention of the rest of the community would have been to choose a less explicit title, explain the situation, and put the quotation at the end.

In its current state, your post looks immature.

I have benefited a lot from your work, and firmly believe it would be a loss if you decided to work with a different language, but threatening to do so does not feel right.

I've been 'yelled at' over IRC and RT by some members of well known projects, for issues ranging from asking questions about implementing caching for a particular ORM, to offering to resolve issues with a module that I maintain, but another module monkeypatched usages of the module I maintain because the author didn't like the module I maintained.

There are some very talented developers in the Perl community, but I think some of them still have a ways to go with development in their prefrontal cortexes. I think everyone gets a bit ticked off now and then and says the wrong thing, but you can tell a lot by the ones who realize it after the fact and admit it. When they do that, I know I'm dealing with an adult.

RT has some frustrating behavior. Tickets are re-opened when anyone replies to messages from their thread, so there have been times when I've had to close a ticket multiple times because I get the odd "Thanks" reply from the person who reported the issue. I'm guessing Marc doesn't realize it's not your fault that the ticket is re-opened, even if he realizes RT has rough edges.

There's really no such things as "the Perl community". There's no membership card. There's no way to say who's in or out. Indeed, there are distinct tribes that might overlap. The community is really a bunch of people using the same tool but for different reasons and ends. There's not a shared goal, and it's mostly unrelated work.

Don't let a small group of people stop your contributions. Don't punish the universe because there are bad people. You're not going to find anywhere that doesn't have bad people. It's just life. Give the universe your stuff and ignore the people you don't like. As others have mentioned, there is a list of modules a lot of people avoid just because the wrong people are involved with them.

Finally, you can edit your original post to emphasize that it's not the Perl community who yelled at you. :)

"There ain't nothin' in this world that's worth being a snot over." -- Larry Wall

@Sinan Unur: Now that's what I'd call "insightful".

@kmx: Get over it, please. I'm sure it wasn't meant the way you got it.

thanks for the hint on how to properly configure the search.cpan.org links for bugtracking, useful info (for me at least).
There is a demo module on CPAN which shows how to completely remove the bug tracker:

http://search.cpan.org/perldoc?CPAN::Test::Dummy::Perl5::NoBugTracker

There is a demo module on CPAN which shows how to completely remove the bug tracker: http://search.cpan.org/perldoc?CPAN::Test::Dummy::Perl5::NoBugTracker
Sad to say, the page on search.cpan.org actually does show a link to rt.cpan.org:

https://rt.cpan.org/Public/Bug/Display.html?id=76341

Sad to say, the page on search.cpan.org actually does show a link to rt.cpan.org
Also on metacpan.org there is a link to rt.cpan.org:

https://github.com/CPAN-API/metacpan-web/issues/536

Hm, well - I guess that's something that is suppose to happen from time to time. I would say, relax, take a deep breath and use your personal filter to fade out the people which mess with you.

Open Source is (not) all about respect of authors. I've learned something from your post:
a.) Pointing the tracker to a personal url
b.) People like you who push Perl forwards are humans.

I am really looking forward to see you on a conference and say "thank you for all your work" - personally.

use your personal filter to fade out the people which mess with you.

There's no reason he should need to. There's no reason that anyone should be subjected to verbal abuse.

Open Source is (not) all about respect of authors.

It really should be, though, because without the people working on open source, open source ceases to exist.

There's no reason he should need to. There's no reason that anyone should be subjected to verbal abuse.

Is your moral white horse really that high that you can justify this kind of blanket censorship as a given? If I believe someone is a fucking asshole, I damn well should be able to tell him he is a fucking asshole. There may be repercussions for this action: for example I may be ostracized by the community, or I may get a black eye or two, or whatever. And this is fine.

However, Andy, standing up and saying "this should not be possible" is silly and oppressive. Please stop. With your bullish actions you are making the community a less-welcome place to many productive members, me included.

sigh....

@kmx: I explained to you, twice, that you are confusing search.cpan.org with rt.cpan.org, I told you twice, in a normal tone, to not send mail to rt.cpan.org because that creates extra needless work for me.

You ignored it twice, and the precise technical term for arrogant condescending people like you is, after all, "fucking asshole".

I am not happy that that is apparently the only way to make you stop - normal english doesn't have any effect on you. So yes, you definitely had it coming.

it is time for me to change the community.

Why not start with yourself? You had nothing constructive to add to that bugreport, all you did was add arrogant and condescending comments. If you need to be able to act like that to be part of a community then I guess the perl community is better off without you.

If you filter out the anglo-american responses ("uuh, the evil f-word, the world will end!"), then you can see from the responses that you got on your blog post that you asked for it with your behaviour.

In the meantime, "somebody" attacked rt.cpan.org with many thousands of mails because of this, and all evidence points at you. And people call me immature. Feh.

@runrig: nice distortion attempt. first you ignore the word "needlessly" - kmx was very well aware that he created needless work, because I told him twice. Second, while he clearly wasted my time (and continues to do so), I didn't waste his - I educated him about his errors as best as I could. What wasted his time was rt.cpan.org itself, search.cpan.org and he himself.

@Ben Bullock: thank you, that's actually constructive, because I didn't know that module existed. Pitty that it doesn't work, but that's not really news to me.

Let's not judge the Perl community from one single rather unrepresentative element.

It's not a binary condition. It's up to each member of a community to decide which elements and behaviors represent them. From the other direction: each element represents the portion of the community that supports (or at least condones) it.

Consensus arises as a consequence of these little individual decisions, but it doesn't begin to make a difference until it's discussed.

Is your moral white horse really that high that you can justify this kind of blanket censorship as a given? If I believe someone is a fucking asshole, I damn well should be able to tell him he is a fucking asshole.

I'm not advocating any sort of censorship.

What I'm saying is that we should all take the freedom we have and choose not to verbally abuse others, because nothing good comes of it and it only harms the community and human beings in it.

Just because you can insult and degrade someone doesn't mean you should.

schmorp says:

.... I didn't know that module existed. Pitty that it doesn't work, but that's not really news to me.
Although I didn't get a response from Adam Kennedy on rt.cpan.org, oalders responded to the above bug report on github.com. There seem to be two issues involved. In response I filled another bug report:

https://github.com/CPAN-API/cpan-api/issues/191

If it could be made to work, at least on metacpan.org, then maybe this is a useful addition for module authors who don't want to use rt.cpan.org.

Someone might also like to report the bug to the people behind search.cpan.org.

That is surely progress, but as I keep preaching, it doesn't really solve the problem.

It must not be that each time a new service comes up, be it annocpan, rt.cpan.org, metacpan etc., module authors are forced to make dummy releases of their modules.

That is probably fine for authors who only have one or two modules, but it is certainly not an option for me, I have way too many modules. Having to make dummy releases for all of them just to configure something that has nothing to do with the module itself simply doesn't scale.

The whole system of *forcing* some cool new service on all modules without any real configurability for authors simply doesn't work.

I honestly think it's great that rt.cpan.org exists, and every author who can take advantage of it should be superthankful as well. But a responsible service *will* not eb enforced one everybody, but be configurable in a sensible way.

Even the anonymous remailer that was used to attack my tickets on rt.cpan.org had an easy way to disable it (by e-mail), without me having to release a new software package.

Just because you can insult and degrade someone doesn't mean you should.

Correct. And it is an individual choice. You have no right to publicly attempt to influence it.

It is my strong conviction (not a mindless flamebait) that you and your "let's all be civil" buddies are actively causing much more damage to our community than all the "asshole lehmanns" you can think of.

I am going to table this discussion until YAPC::NA, as it is hard to convey the precise message over an electronic medium. But make no mistake - I am absolutely willing (and in fact obligated) to call out your bullshit in person if you are ready to continue this conversation live.

Your strong conviction explains why there are so many people on the Internet complaining about being treated with respect and kindness and good humor by other Perl users.

In my world, for every cry-baby (who overwhelmingly happens to be utterly unhappy with *ANY* community) there are 20 to 50 developers praising this very same community as being one of the most helpful and at the same time welcoming (the later being a nice-to-have bonus). So in this world of mine your attempt of sarcasm kinda fails.

Anyhow, same reply - I rather we discuss this in person.

Call me crazy but if someone thinks I'm being asshole-y in any way, I'd like to be called out on it. Not have a fuzzy dance of fellating political correctness. Marc (not only, he just happened to be the topic of this thread) can be counted on to share his sentiments consistently, whatever they may be. While I do not share these inane sentiments of his, I respect his willingness to openly state them. I believe it is worth defending, in principle.

I actually agree with you in general. The devil is of course in this detail: but you should know that your rights end exactly at the point where my (or somebody else's) rights begin. I am definitely not arrogant enough to impose my own idea of where this said point lies on others. However I am well arrogant enough to defend my definition of said point when it comes to expressing my own thoughts. Anything else falls into the grayish area of borderline censorship (the US-style of blatant PC is also a mild form of censorship).

Anyhow, I don't think I have much more to add to shape my position, and reason why I had to speak up. You can write me off as the misanthropic bastard I am, and move on. Or you can accept that we are all people and are all different by definition and... still move on :)

Cheers

First of all, the only one who degrades you is you, yourself.

that default is "be civil".

And that is *exactly* what has happened. Everything was civil until you repeatedly trolled the bugtracker. Your "let's be civil" claim is a red-herring, you just try to bullshit others to make them believe you were in any way maltreated, when in fact you are the troublemaker.

Fact is, "civil" doesn't work with people like you - they never stop their abuse behaviour until you insult them, it's the only *language* you apparently understand.

You are the prototypical community troll - claiming to be civil all the time you repeatedly ignore facts others pointed at you and you repeatedly abused rt.cpan.org for your personal vendetta.

Sorry, kmx, but you can stick your civility up your arse - what counts most is *what you do*, not how you do it. As soon as you start trolling, you waived any rights to civility you ever had. (I understand that the anglo-american culture values form over content much more - every insult and every bad behaviour is ok as long as you are "civil" about it - to those people: take your intolerance of true values elsewhere).

Now, it took me a while to realise that you are using typical troll tactics here - first abusing some "community service" to make trouble, then claim others are not "civil" and oh-so-poor kmx has been mistrated and then spreading this around to create publicity.

It is, btw., also typical troll tactics to claim to "not respond" but then actually to respond, just as you have done.

So maybe "don't feed the troll" would be the correct behaviour form now on-

You are unfit to live on a planet with human beings. Please stop.

Andrew, I dearly hope those words were not meant seriously.

How nicely said. Good example for form over content - anything is fine as long as it contains no evil word, right?

In the meantime, on planet earth, the mailbombings continue. Still way below the spam level, but somehow, it's interesting how the people who always feel maltreated always have a handy botnet ready to do their deeds.

That, too is illustrative of the situation: I personally prefer somebody telling me openly that I am a fucking asshole over anonymous cowards. Political correctness means nothing if the actual intent is plain evil.

Obviously, some of you (and kmx) disagree. That's fine with me, but please don't expect any sympathies for the likes of you.

I'm sorry that you encountered Marc and that you got treated rudely for having what should have been a perfectly reasonable conversation with him. He has a dislike of rt.cpan.org and is unwilling to do a very simple thing (bugtracker, which you pointed out) to opt-out. Instead, he punishes everyone who unknowingly clicks a perfectly sensible link. He is an asshole.

I'm also sorry that link exists and that Marc is enabled to be awful by rt.cpan.org. I'm sorry that writing some decent code gives assholes sounding boards and we don't have the process to prevent that.

Finally, I'm sorry that the comments you've gotten have been anything but sympathetic, schmorp has been particularly awful. Marc is not "sharing his sentiments" or just being quirky or having a bad day or in any way justified by his awful behavior. Reporting abuse usually leads to more abuse, and I'm sorry to see this played out here.

As has been pointed out countless times, this "very simple thing" doesn't work, is far from simple, and in addition a lot of unnecessary work.

Your claim that I am unwilling to do a simple thing to fix the situation is an outright lie because you should be well aware that it isn't true, simply by reading the bugreport referenced here.

Either that, or you haven't read it, which would be fitting: no clue of the actual situation, but hey, that doesn't stop you from opening your mouth and spitting out more bulshit.

The "simple" solution to this is for rt.cpan.org (and other services) to get some reasonable level of configurability (even having a forwarding mail address would fix most of the problems). Fixing one of the many links to rt.cpan.org on other servers doesn't solve *anything*.

For some reason, this simple fact is beyond the capability of some people to understand, but hey, trolling is so much easier and more fun.

It's people like you, Schwein, who have a negative effetc on the "perl community" and CPAN authors.

Oh! schmorp is Marc. I honestly just caught on, I really didn't want to look too closely at the flame war. Wow, that makes this some sort of perfect storm of awfulness.

schmorp/Marc, this is not a technical issue. Whether or not any of the technical realities you say are true, none of that gives you the right to continually be an awful person to anyone who happens to stumble on your RT queue and genuinely try to help fix your problem in the most obvious way possible. Your very minor inconvenience and/or slight by the CPAN toolchain, which everybody else seems to live with or at least remain civil about, does not give you the right to be abrasive, lash out in public, act out and ruin the reputation of Perl.

Nobody gets that right, not here nor anywhere. It is as simple as that.

Folks, if you agree, please add a small comment, even a +1. kmx has had enough crap dumped on him, and both Marc and kmx and others Marc has been awful to need to know Marc's behavior is not ok. Please avoid engaging in argument with schmorp/Marc on kmx's blog, this not about him and will only serve to feed the energy beast. This about declaring behavior we will not accept.

Don't let the remarks of one individual get to you KMX.

As much as we appreciate Marc's technical contributions to CPAN, he has somewhat a reputation for being a bit of an ass.

I get the impression Marc' is not trying to be an ass, but that is how he appears.

Marc. Really, we're just trying to help. I know we probably seem like a bunch of whiney retards to you some ( most? ) days, but this is a community, and we're generally not here to be a dick, most of the time, any correspondence we produce is for the collective good.

Please, just listen to people, and try to think before responding, and not claim quite crazy things like "you should die" because somebody wanted to help show you how things could be easily made better for all.

Marc', you to everyone's surprise, probably feel like the victim here in this, but its sort of a two-way street problem, your historical record of being an ass makes people play ball with you differently even before they get the opportunity.

Please, just try not to be an ass, and maybe we can work together to be a better, cohesive community, not a divided scattering of warring factions, who achieve little.

I know I'm nobody, why should you listen to me? I'm just asking for the chance.

( My apologies if my remarks seem more oriented at Marc, but my ideal is to keep both KMX and Marc in the community, and making them both happy, if possible.

And to that extent, its not merely sufficient in my mind to say "Thats bad", It needs to be encouraging and corrective, to help find a path from the bad place to a better one, not merely ostracising the problem as one we can't deal with.

I've also been somewhat reserved in the use of vitriolic language, and somewhat down-played the scale of the behaviour, but I don't want to make an ass of myself in the act of pointing out the negative behaviour of others. )

You know, if you wish to be taken seriously, not devolving to pointless name-calling ("Schwein") would be a nice first step.

Don't let the assholes get you down. They're mainly just projecting, anyway.

I partly agree with ribasushi above that banning a word is not a solution - if we ban 'asshole' how would we express the meaning of it when we needed it? That said I fully agree with Schwern that this particular use of 'asshole' was a total abuse. kmx clearly tried to be helpful - I cannot comprehend what state of mind would lead people to read evil intentions in his RT messages.

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