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Recent controversies

2 replies
Tony Morris 2
Joined: 2009-03-20,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.

Dear scala guys
I have been thinking about what I wrote recently. I wish to offer an apology
to Kevin Wright and to the people who cringed like I did when I reread it. I
genuinely didn't think it was such a big deal when I wrote it. It was a
lack of insight
on my part. Also, I expect this is, as other 'strayans have pointed out
to me, a
manifestation of a cultural difference. This is not to make an excuse, but
to point out that my intentions were not as malicious as they may have
seemed. We aussies have a code of discourse that permits such strong and
direct language without causing offence -- it is more acceptable. This
does not take away from the
content itself though.

The reason I have the opportunity to think is because I just today had the
12th and most major surgical procedure I have ever had, a few hours
ago. I have a bit of time on my hands so to speak. I have had this
surgery because of a completely avoidable situation that arose because
of displays of gross incompetence by medical professionals over the last
3 years -- as a result, my patience for apathy can run thin sometimes. I
am writing this on my phone.

Please first allow me to clarify some things.
* I still (at this moment) find Kevin's conduct, comments and demands
with respect to the
intellectual endeavour, highly offensive. This is despite his obvious good
intentions, which do not excuse this in my opinion. I don't wish to
pursue this point further, only to clarify my position so that you
understand what it is I am apologising for exactly.
* I have received some amount of unsolicited support for my original email.
I am now retracting a lot of this email so I also implore those
supporters to also
reconsider their position.

Please let's not allow these two above points to create further controversy.
It won't help anyone. I mention it so that you understand what it is I am
apologising for.

I wish to apologise to Kevin specifically for responding to him in the way I
did. I overshot and I am sorry. I did this due to overwhelming frustration,
not because I thought it would help anyone at the time. I like to
believe that this is a
rare occurence, but it occurred nonetheless. I make mistakes as you know --
my allegiance to static typing is but one testament to this fact :)

I wish to apologise to others for having read it, and probably gained
nothing from it. I wish to apologise to Martin for putting him in what is
probably a difficult position. I also wish to address Martin's response, if
you would allow me the liberty.

Martin, I do not take Scala for granted as you say. I do not think it is a
"poor man's haskell." If I have said this, it would have been out of similar
frustration, not because I believe it. Rather I am constantly lamenting
about how far ahead scala could be than it is today. I think some very
poor decisions have
been made with regard to scala -- this is just my opinion -- please
don't let it disacourage you. However, the failure of recognition of
this fact frustrates me even further, because
it implies that this will continue as a result -- again, just my
personal opinion -- please don't take it so seriously. It's not a
constructive point to analyse on its own. My intention is not to
disparage scala or the hard work of others; truly, I could list the
merits all night long. Rather it is so that you understand where I am coming
from. I think it is terribly clumsy and inefficient to learn the appropriate
and well-trodden lessons one-by-one, which is how things look to me
quite often. Watching such a useful and great idea as scala travel down
this path
is simply painful. A lesser idea would have attracted my dismissal a long
time ago. Indeed, many have.

Regardless of your opinion of how I feel as stated above, at least please
understand what motivates my comments. It's not because scala is a poor
man's haskell and so I wish to undermine the hard work of others; rather
it's because it is my opinion that scala has the potential to be an even
better idea than it already is. Please understand this.

Please also note that my laments are very much not of the nature that you
will find on others' blogs and forums. Such topics as "complexity of scala"
or the merits of case classes and other similar and obvious nonsense,
are nothing more
than chronic displays of misunderstanding and therefore, very inviting
learning
opportunities for those people stating it. As with any displays of
misunderstanding of these magnitudes, it is very tempting to pursue the
obvious learning opportunity, however this comes with risks of blow-out,
but a high yield if successfully
pursued. It's a tough call. Choose carefully I guess. Dismissal is often
the wise
choice. I tread a fine line every time in this regard, with a high
pay-out when it works out.

On this note Martin, you say that you have been hassled about "catering to
the functional guys." This kind of statement is teeming with learning
opportunities for the person making it. I receive similar remarks too. It
doesn't even make sense to "cater to the functional guys." In fact, it
doesn't
even make sense to be a functional guy. It is such a crudely absurd thing to
say, making the potential for learning all the more inviting. Such a
statement clearly demonstrates a fundamental lack of
understanding of what functional programming even means. Such a basic
error is an invitation to
teach, with a very enlightening result should you be successful. I do not
run around town "sneering" at people because they have a misunderstanding as
you might think. I am saddened to learn that you have fallen into this trap
as well. I implore you to embrace such comments as I do when you next
encounter them, rather than resent that they are even brought up in the
first place. I believe you could have tremendous influence in teaching
people in this way, to everyone's benefit.

I am sorry for writing as much quantity as I did without having said
anything too
meaningful. I despise when others do this, and I despise what I wrote. I
hope this is understood.

I am sorry for making comments about Kevin the way I did. I don't think
your (Kevin)
ignorance of a topic deserves such horrific treatment. Rather, I think you
deserve coherent explanation, even when I feel any potential for
progress diminishes with each of your responses. If I could make it up
to you
somehow I would. All I can think right no is offering you my time and
patience to go through whatever topic that you clearly yearn to
understand. You may think this is not worthwhile, or perhaps have a
better idea -- your call. I offer this to you without reservation.
Regardless of
your decision, let it be known that I am sorry for most of what I said
to you Kevin. I
don't even think a lot of it is true, so also please allow to retract on
this. I don't think you are stupid and I hope you realise I didn't ever
say this (in fact, I do not subscribe to the idea of the existence of
stupid people).

Thanks for listening.

Kevin Wright 2
Joined: 2010-05-30,
User offline. Last seen 26 weeks 4 days ago.
Re: Recent controversies

On 16 March 2011 14:23, Tony Morris <tonymorris [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
Dear scala guys
I have been thinking about what I wrote recently. I wish to offer an apology
to Kevin Wright and to the people who cringed like I did when I reread it. I
genuinely didn't think it was such a big deal when I wrote it. It was a
lack of insight
on my part. Also, I expect this is, as other 'strayans have pointed out
to me, a
manifestation of a cultural difference. This is not to make an excuse, but
to point out that my intentions were not as malicious as they may have
seemed. We aussies have a code of discourse that permits such strong and
direct language without causing offence -- it is more acceptable. This
does not take away from the
content itself though.

The reason I have the opportunity to think is because I just today had the
12th and most major surgical procedure I have ever had, a few hours
ago. I have a bit of time on my hands so to speak. I have had this
surgery because of a completely avoidable situation that arose because
of displays of gross incompetence by medical professionals over the last
3 years -- as a result, my patience for apathy can run thin sometimes. I
am writing this on my phone.

Please first allow me to clarify some things.
* I still (at this moment) find Kevin's conduct, comments and demands
with respect to the
intellectual endeavour, highly offensive. This is despite his obvious good
intentions, which do not excuse this in my opinion. I don't wish to
pursue this point further, only to clarify my position so that you
understand what it is I am apologising for exactly.
* I have received some amount of unsolicited support for my original email.
I am now retracting a lot of this email so I also implore those
supporters to also
reconsider their position.

Please let's not allow these two above points to create further controversy.
It won't help anyone. I mention it so that you understand what it is I am
apologising for.

I wish to apologise to Kevin specifically for responding to him in the way I
did. I overshot and I am sorry. I did this due to overwhelming frustration,
not because I thought it would help anyone at the time. I like to
believe that this is a
rare occurence, but it occurred nonetheless. I make mistakes as you know --
my allegiance to static typing is but one testament to this fact :)

I wish to apologise to others for having read it, and probably gained
nothing from it. I wish to apologise to Martin for putting him in what is
probably a difficult position. I also wish to address Martin's response, if
you would allow me the liberty.

Martin, I do not take Scala for granted as you say. I do not think it is a
"poor man's haskell." If I have said this, it would have been out of similar
frustration, not because I believe it. Rather I am constantly lamenting
about how far ahead scala could be than it is today. I think some very
poor decisions have
been made with regard to scala -- this is just my opinion -- please
don't let it disacourage you. However, the failure of recognition of
this fact frustrates me even further, because
it implies that this will continue as a result -- again, just my
personal opinion -- please don't take it so seriously. It's not a
constructive point to analyse on its own. My intention is not to
disparage scala or the hard work of others; truly, I could list the
merits all night long. Rather it is so that you understand where I am coming
from. I think it is terribly clumsy and inefficient to learn the appropriate
and well-trodden lessons one-by-one, which is how things look to me
quite often. Watching such a useful and great idea as scala travel down
this path
is simply painful. A lesser idea would have attracted my dismissal a long
time ago. Indeed, many have.

Regardless of your opinion of how I feel as stated above, at least please
understand what motivates my comments. It's not because scala is a poor
man's haskell and so I wish to undermine the hard work of others; rather
it's because it is my opinion that scala has the potential to be an even
better idea than it already is. Please understand this.

Please also note that my laments are very much not of the nature that you
will find on others' blogs and forums. Such topics as "complexity of scala"
or the merits of case classes and other similar and obvious nonsense,
are nothing more
than chronic displays of misunderstanding and therefore, very inviting
learning
opportunities for those people stating it. As with any displays of
misunderstanding of these magnitudes, it is very tempting to pursue the
obvious learning opportunity, however this comes with risks of blow-out,
but a high yield if successfully
pursued. It's a tough call. Choose carefully I guess. Dismissal is often
the wise
choice. I tread a fine line every time in this regard, with a high
pay-out when it works out.

On this note Martin, you say that you have been hassled about "catering to
the functional guys." This kind of statement is teeming with learning
opportunities for the person making it. I receive similar remarks too. It
doesn't even make sense to "cater to the functional guys." In fact, it
doesn't
even make sense to be a functional guy. It is such a crudely absurd thing to
say, making the potential for learning all the more inviting. Such a
statement clearly demonstrates a fundamental lack of
understanding of what functional programming even means. Such a basic
error is an invitation to
teach, with a very enlightening result should you be successful. I do not
run around town "sneering" at people because they have a misunderstanding as
you might think. I am saddened to learn that you have fallen into this trap
as well. I implore you to embrace such comments as I do when you next
encounter them, rather than resent that they are even brought up in the
first place. I believe you could have tremendous influence in teaching
people in this way, to everyone's benefit.

I am sorry for writing as much quantity as I did without having said
anything too
meaningful. I despise when others do this, and I despise what I wrote. I
hope this is understood.

I am sorry for making comments about Kevin the way I did. I don't think
your (Kevin)
ignorance of a topic deserves such horrific treatment. Rather, I think you
deserve coherent explanation, even when I feel any potential for
progress diminishes with each of your responses.  If I could make it up
to you
somehow I would. All I can think right no is offering you my time and
patience to go through whatever topic that you clearly yearn to
understand. You may think this is not worthwhile, or perhaps have a
better idea -- your call. I offer this to you without reservation.
Regardless of
your decision, let it be known that I am sorry for most of what I said
to you Kevin. I
don't even think a lot of it is true, so also please allow to retract on
this. I don't think you are stupid and I hope you realise I didn't ever
say this (in fact, I do not subscribe to the idea of the existence of
stupid people).

Thanks for listening.

--
Tony Morris
http://tmorris.net/




Thank you Tony,
I'm aware of your ongoing struggles with painful and difficult surgical procedures, and have direct experience of something similar through my family.  I know what that kind of thing can do to a person, so didn't take any personal offence at your statements.
and, yes, I also know that you're Australian and should be afforded some leeway :)
What most amazed me was not the content of your apology, but the fact that you were willing to write an email of such length on your phone - surely no small undertaking! This shows a depth of conviction far greater than any mere words could convey, and I respect it as such.
Accepted in full
Sincerely,
Kevin Wright

gtalk / msn : kev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] gmail [dot] comkev [dot] lee [dot] wright [at] gmail [dot] commail: kevin [dot] wright [at] scalatechnology [dot] com
vibe / skype: kev.lee.wrightquora: http://www.quora.com/Kevin-Wright
twitter: @thecoda

"My point today is that, if we wish to count lines of code, we should not regard them as "lines produced" but as "lines spent": the current conventional wisdom is so foolish as to book that count on the wrong side of the ledger" ~ Dijkstra
jibal
Joined: 2010-12-01,
User offline. Last seen 1 year 45 weeks ago.
Re: Recent controversies

This is a model of clear and effective communication, with opinions
clearly owned and delineated -- if something genuinely offends or
disturbs you, you have the right to say that, in a way that is not
intended to hurt someone else. It's much more consistent with your
clarity of conceptual thought and your expressed desire to teach that
everyone so appreciates and has gained from than that other message.
As one of those who cringed, I appreciate and accept your apology.
This is a brave and fine thing you have done.

Copyright © 2012 École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland