I don't really want to add noise to the signal and would really rather just see some work get done, but I'm still disgusted by what Dave is writing:

...One of UserLand's competitors Kevin Hemenway, the author of Amphetadesk
Competitor? He was originally a customer of yours. Then, just for the fun of it, he made his own implementation of the news aggregation features of your software, and even acknowledged his source of inspiration when he released AmphetaDesk, calling Radio "a wonderful piece of work". AmphetaDesk isn't for sale - it's free and open source. If that makes him a competitor to your selling product, I think you need to work harder or smarter.
...explains on his weblog how he intends to kill me. Even he says it's too harsh; and it may be a joke, if so, it's not funny. I don't see the humor in my own death, esp at the hands of a person like Hemenway. (He also coined the term Jewgregator,
Morbus is over the top on a frequent basis, and sometimes too far over the top. This is a known fact - his sense of humor is obviously dark and a bit off kilter. He also produces good working software, and writes useful articles. But three obvious things: 1) He didn't state any intention to kill you - it's just that it seems his mere presence would be enough to set you a-boil. 2) He referred to Kevin Burton's account of meeting you, which depicts you as someone very easily set a-boil. 3) You're providing an example in support of the account.
and calls RSS 2.0 "Hitler" for some reason.)
The "some reason" to which you alude is this bit Morbus said in IRC: "I say 'proposed' rather innocently - its more 'shoved down everyone's throat by nazi dictator'... we should code name rss 2.0 'hitler'". There's frustration in there, and his wasn't the only head nodding in the room. Morbus is over the top and says charged things I'd choose not to, but the frustration is real and genuine, and shared by more than one member of the community out here. Yet, you always seem to "take the high road" by focusing on the over-the-top aspect, no matter the degree, ignoring the genuine gripe.
...Bill Kearney has sent me private email about my deathbed, and what he hopes to teach me there, so I've chosen to filter his mail to a place where I never see it.
Referring to private email is cheap - it's your word and his.
I tried to come up with a word to describe how I feel about these people, this is what I came up with: monster.
What a nasty thing to call potential collaborators and customers. And what a viral, contagious thing, as you later demonstrate with Ben. This doesn't seem very cluetrain-ish.
...Hemenway has crossed that line. What happens next is stuff that will involve the police. I won't stand for these kinds of threats.
What threat was made, and when will you be calling the police? And how seriously will they take you? You said yourself that you knew he wasn't seriously threatening you. What stuff "happens next"?
None of this means that RSS 2.0 will be delayed by even one moment.
Thus, you avoid having to address the concerns all the "monsters" raise.
I thought competition in the software business in the 80s was rough, but this is so much worse. Competition used to require a certain collegiality and professionalism. It's not true today. Anyone who works with Hemenway or Kearney should be aware that these people are nothing less than monsters, who will stoop to any level to get their way. Their perversion may even be the reason they're involved.
But the funny thing about all of this is that most of this isn't business - it's hobby. You've got a business, he's got a hobby, yet somehow he's competing with you. I'm not a businessman by any stretch, but this comparison seems very odd. (Hint: Morbus is not acting as a professional in this context. He can correct me if I've mistakenly assumed this.)

These are people screwing around, trying things, playing with code. And in order for these people to "get their way", they have to be nice to people and convince them to help out. Otherwise, the cats wander off in search of fatter mice. It becomes apparent rather quickly what sort of people they are from just a short bit of interaction with them. And I've seen them "triangulated" as very nice people.

Mr. Hemenway goes by the name Morbus Iff on his weblog, and writes for O'Reilly Associates, and for Ben Hammersley's syndication weblog. Mr. Hammersley is a reporter for the UK Guardian newspaper.
Postscript: Ben Hammersley threatened to sue me if I don't remove the previous paragraph. But every statement is true...
Specious reasoning, at best. Yes, Mr. Hammersley invited Morbus to write with him. So, you feel free to splash him with the monster paint by association?
The Guardian requests an apology. For what? They ran a tainted review.
Oh, now we see the reason: He didn't plug your product in his review. Though, he did say in the article, "Did you notice how all those programs are free to use?" Perhaps he should have made that more a focus of the article, but he was writing about free programs. I'm neither in his head, nor in the head of any Guardian editor, but maybe they didn't want the article to become free advertising for a commercial product? Who knows. He didn't mention you. So that makes him a monster?
Hammersley is a participant in the debate over the future of syndication technology, yet he wrote a review for the Guardian where that was not disclosed.
This is obvious: Many people who write about technology are involved with technology, even helping shape its direction. It's what makes them most qualified to write about it. This argument is starting to sound like politics - from whom did he get his funding? I don't see you complaining when a "participant in the debate" does mention your product in an article.
Now, either Hammersley didn't tell them, or they don't care, or British newspapers run ads without saying they're ads.
Or maybe they didn't want to run unpaid ads?

Okay. I'm done. This has distracted me from work for long enough today.


Archived Comments

  • Now that's a hell of a post. I'll comment on the Dave Winer component, but saying how aptly named Dave is. What doesn't he complain about? I stopped using Radio simply out of protest. What an ass.
  • correction: "...by saying how aptly named..."
  • Please understand that being over the top is no excuse to calling someone Hitler. Hitler planned and executed a genocide of the Jewish people. I assume this rhetoric comes from lack of sensitivity, as I have not seen people being so free with comparing others to the KKK, referring to them as negros etc. As a Jew I see this as being beyond the pale. I would have hoped others would feel the same.
  • 1. "Hello, is this the police?" 2. "Yes" 3. "Someone is trying to kill me!" 4. "How do you know that sir?" 5. "They posted an entry on their weblog!" 6. click...
  • Thanks for the thought-provoking summary of the current debate, Les... It looks like several people (yourself not included) could do with a cooling-off cease-fire...
  • Ehud: I agree with you. I myself wouldn't (and really can't understand) humor with reference to Jewish people. Morbus did, and I don't like it. There's a lot of frustration there, but it certainly scores him no points.
  • To clarify my comments on the whole "Jewgregator" comment. First off, "RSS 2.0: Hitler" came first - it was, as l.m.orchard mentions, frustration at the RSS 2.0 spec, and the dictator like quality of Winer and his handling of it. "Jewgregator" came later, and is metaphoric in nature. With Dave being the dictator of RSS 2.0, there are all these other aggregator users, developers of RSS, and lovers of syndication who are being shafted with no respite. Dave thinks he has a wonderful spec, much like Hitler thought he was doing a "good thing" by cultural cleansing. The Jews suffered at the hands of Hitler, much like users will suffer at the hands of Winer. Of course, I do realize the inbred triviliazing of life based on this comparison - I'm not condoning, nor wiping away the deaths that occurred. It's merely another over-the-top metaphor that is ruder than necessary on a closer examination.
  • Humor with reference to Jewish people is quite all right. We do it all the time! Just check rec.humor.jewish. Not the same things as making fun of the Holocaust. Morbus, I really am glad to see you understand how offensive something like this can be.
  • The Jews suffered at the hands of Hitler, much like users will suffer at the hands of Winer. Dude, quit while you're ahead. Pithy, ill-considered, name-calling is one thing. Drawing metaphors, qualified or not, likening the effects of any version of RSS to the Holocaust displays an insensitivity and a callousness that wavers between being profoundly shocking and naive and finally just ends up being disappointing.
  • Nice job Les. What troubles me the most is the attempt to mix all sorts of metaphors while associating risks of violence being perpetrated. Let me be completely clear, at no time have I expressed any desire to see any form of harm be brought upon any of the individuals involved. It's most troubling to see someone trying to have people think that. I find such behavior despicable and most certainly actionable. It smacks of them wanting to plant some seed that would allow escalating it into some sort larger threat or conspiracy. Given California's stalking laws and past posts about it, one can't help being left to wonder if this isn't an attempt to garner some sort of defense that would justify filing a such a claim. Whipping up the old mob sympathy to support outrageous claims has certainly happened many times before, is that what we're seeing here?
  • Ehud: Yeah, I phrased that wrong. I meant humor at the expense of Jewish people. Jewish humor itself is funny as hell.
  • well, said.
  • I guess it's too much to hope that you guys would behave humanely. Try to imagine someone saying those kinds of things about you while you're still recovering. Look deep inside, you may find some sympathy. Or maybe not. Whatever. I know I don't want to be part of any community you belong to, LM. I read a lot of the people who commented here, and those who linked to it, like Russ Beattie, and was appalled. Someday you'll get sick, and know what it's like. I don't think you guys have any idea how serious it was and how unfunny Morbus's comments were. You're just a bunch of nasty kids. Shame on all of you.
  • morbus may be over the top, but not inaccurate. dave's just a power-hungry-paranoid bitch.
  • Dave - Shame on you. This has nothing to do with your medical problems. I have continual back pain. Do you hear me bringing that up everytime I don't get my way? Attempting to garner sympathy in this manner is childish. There is no need for sympathy here, we're simply trying to create a standard format that EVERYONE has imput into, and isn't runby a dictator. Stop bringing up your illness, and try to grow up. You're too old for this crap.
  • Eric, suffering myself from serious heart problems, I feel the same as you do. I'm deeply ashamed by Mr Winer's childish posture, bragging about his disease as a defense.
  • "I know I don't want to be part of any community you belong to, LM." So i'm guessing that most of the people here are part of that community. Some of us are paying UL customers. Does that mean that UL no longer wants anything todo with some of there paying customers? If that the case then maybe i should get a refund and i probably can't continue to support a company like this. Wow this is the craziest i think i've ever seen an online community.
  • Well, well. It seems the truth is starting to come crawling out of it's dark corners. I'm likewise dumbfounded by Winer's arrogance and abuse. The pleas of false sympathy are staggeringly ridiculous. I have been a paying customer of Userland (small albeit, but one nonetheless). This whole episode arose after receiving several obscene e-mails from him in reply to serious issues raised about said purchase. At one point I was verbally offered a refund from Dave. It has never materialized, perhaps being a welcher is another unexpected facet of his psychoses. While I'll make no arguments as to my use of, shall we say, pointedly direct style, I find it continuously appalling to hear in discussions with others that my experiences with him are nearly duplicates of theirs. I'm shocked to see a vendor behaving in such a patently ridiculous manner. I have tremendous sympathies for anyone suffering from physical difficulties, cardiac or otherwise. My dearly departed parents both suffered from heart ailments; they died three weeks apart. I had to run two miles as a 14yr old kid to get help as my mother suffered her first myocardial infarction. Now do I flail that about as some sort of shield to deflect culpability? Hardly. I've seen up close the agonies people suffer. I've also seen the results of a lifetime of bad behavior and it's contributory influences. So please, shut your pie hole you newbie. His twisting of my comments is plain for all to see by reading the text of the original message. And his slanderous attempts to conflate my actions with any form of violence or ill-will are utterly despicable. Shame on us? Shame on US?  You hypocritical idiot! Shame on YOU for making others suffer and exposing yourself to all sorts of added stress. If you want to commit suicide with your postings that's your choice. But please, don't come picking fights and making slanderous comments if you're not prepared to have the truth challenge you.