Comments on ObjectiveView issue 9 (no, I'm not a spambot)

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Mark Collins-Cope, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. Hi there,

    My name is Mark Collins-Cope, I'm editor of ObjectiveView. I'm writing
    this message as I'm concerned at some of the comments I've read in the
    "New! ObjectiveView #9" message thread in September. Personal integrity
    demands that I respond.

    (thread -
    http://groups.google.co.uk/group/co...q=objectiveview&rnum=1&hl=en#03b7993c60022529
    )

    Summary - (written after I replied below) - see the original message
    thread afterwards - which I have commented on the points raised!

    * zoat (the original poster) is not connected to ObjectiveView - so
    don't slag off the mag because of
    him.
    * zoat may be a spambot, but seems unlikely given limited posting
    history and message contents
    (see below)
    * I (Mark Collins-Cope) produce ObjectiveView basically on my own. In
    spare time. For no money.
    * ObjectiveView is meant to be a vehicle for discussing issues relevent
    to software development.
    * I try to cover all issues from different angles (pro and anti) e.g.
    issue 10 of OV contains a anti-ruby opinion piece. Issue 9 contained
    two pro-ruby articles.
    * In 8 years I have never made a penny from OV directly. It's a
    "community venture/collaboration."
    * I'm a software engineer, and am personally interested in the topics
    covered. Oh, and I sometimes develop in Ruby.
    ---

    All 9 messages in topic are listed below. My comments are bracketed
    [*** like this ***]. I'm happy to discuss this further with anyone if
    they want to.

    From: zoat - view profile
    Date: Mon 25 Sep 2006 07:57
    Issue #9 of ObjectiveView [pdf], a highly respected on-line journal has
    a sort of Ruby Special: lots of articles devoted to Ruby, and Ruby on
    Rails.
    http://www.ratio.co.uk/objectiveview.html
    http://www.ratio.co.uk/ov9pdf.pdf

    [*** I don't know who Zoat is, but I'm obviously happy that someone
    thought OV9 was worthy of putting on a newsgroup. So thanks Zoat! ***]

    From: William Crawford - view profile
    Date: Mon 25 Sep 2006 12:27
    Email: William Crawford <>
    Groups: comp.lang.ruby
    zoat wrote:
    > Issue #9 of ObjectiveView [pdf], a highly respected on-line journal has


    I'm not trying to troll, but calling something 'highly respected' while
    advertising it has exactly the opposite effect of what you intend.

    [*** I agree this is not a good technique, however I didn't post the
    message. Perhaps that's Zoat's opinion - presumably he's allowed to
    express that? NOTE: Zoat is not connected to ObjectiveView directly,
    and he has nothing to gain by his comments - qed we must consider them
    his genuine opinion??? ***]

    As for the issue... Yellow and orange? I think my eyes are bleeding.
    The orange quotes with small bold type are hard to read (until you get
    to 200% magnification), and the yellow borders constantly draw my eyes
    away from the text into their staring yellow-ness.

    [*** Thanks for that feedback William. I've taken it on board. I won't
    be using those colours any more. What I would say, however, is that if
    the colours are the only thing you can complain about, we're not doing
    too bad.***]

    The mass of advertisements taking up most of the cover page also scream
    'I'm in it for the money!'

    [*** Ha, ha. Okay, let me explain about ObjectiveView. I produce
    ObjectiveView on my own basically. It's a big job I do mostly in my
    "spare" time. In the 8 years I've been doing it I've never recieved a
    penny directly from it. The "advertisments" are for web distribution
    partners. The deal there is simple, they distibute the magazine from
    their web-site, and we put their logo on front/inner cover. They're not
    going to distribute it for nothing, and given the work I put in, I'm
    keen to get people reading it. That doesn't seem unreasonable to me -
    perhaps you (all) disagree? I'm open to discussion. ***]

    It also seems to be heavily biased towards Extreme Programming. While
    I
    love the idea of XP and some of its techniques are a lifesaver for me,
    I
    have a hard time believing that 'the one true way' exists and is
    'extreme.' As with everything else, moderation is the key to success.

    [*** No it's not heavily biased towards extreme. I cover topics that
    are part of the software development zeitgeist. I have my own opinions,
    but editing a magazine requires I keep those at bay to some degree at
    least, and try to cover different angles on the same topic. I have
    interviewed various people about XP, and if you read the interviews,
    you'll see I give them some degree of a hard time about the claims for
    XP (or any other topic). I also have regular contributions from Doug
    Rosenberg - perhaps the most vociferous high profile critic of XP. See
    issue 7 for an interview with him about his book "XP Refactored - the
    case against XP." I gave him something of a hard time too.

    ObjectiveView is not about promoting one approach or another, it's
    about discussing / raising the pros and cons of different approaches. ]

    In short: They're scaring off a lot of people before the magazine even
    gets read.

    [*** I'm not sure which particular issue you've raised is scaring
    people off. Perhaps you could clarify. I'm very interested in honest
    feedback. ***]

    --
    Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.

    From: Thomas Adam - view profile
    Date: Mon 25 Sep 2006 12:46
    Email: Thomas Adam <>
    Groups: comp.lang.ruby

    On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 17:00:13 +0900
    "zoat" <> wrote:
    > Issue #9 of ObjectiveView [pdf], a highly respected on-line journal
    > has a sort of Ruby Special: lots of articles devoted to Ruby, and
    > Ruby on Rails.
    > http://www.ratio.co.uk/objectiveview.html
    > http://www.ratio.co.uk/ov9pdf.pdf


    I won't reiterate the comments posted by William Crawford, but what I
    will say is definitely *heed* them. I agree with everything he has
    said.

    [Thomas - please see my answers to William's points. I believe he is
    wrong, and have given reasons why I think so... but please let me know
    if you still disagree.]

    As for the issue, it was the first time I had read it, and I quite
    liked it. I have often been interested in extreme/pair programming, so
    it was nice to see some applications of its use.
    [*** thanks for that ***]

    As for the Ruby side of things, note that the article by Amy Hoy
    contains on or two deprecated uses within Ruby that ought not to have
    been allowed to propagate through. (c.f. ''foo.type'' should be
    ''foo.class''). Was she writing that article based on Ruby 1.6.X?
    Still, that aside, it ought to give your readership a little bit of an
    idea about Ruby.
    [*** If you'd like to send me full details (to markcollinscope AT
    gmail.com) I will update issue 9 with corrections. It's still getting
    about 2k downloads a month. ***]

    Was that the sort of feedback you were after, if any, I might add?
    [*** not sure who this comment is aimed at ***]
    -- Thomas Adam

    From: Jan Svitok - view profile
    Date: Mon 25 Sep 2006 13:03
    Email: "Jan Svitok" <>
    Groups: comp.lang.ruby
    On 9/25/06, Thomas Adam <> wrote:

    > "zoat" <> wrote:


    > > Issue #9 of ObjectiveView [pdf], a highly respected on-line journal
    > > has a sort of Ruby Special: lots of articles devoted to Ruby, and
    > > Ruby on Rails.
    > > http://www.ratio.co.uk/objectiveview.html
    > > http://www.ratio.co.uk/ov9pdf.pdf


    > I won't reiterate the comments posted by William Crawford, but what I
    > will say is definitely *heed* them. I agree with everything he has
    > said.


    > As for the issue, it was the first time I had read it, and I quite
    > liked it. I have often been interested in extreme/pair programming, so
    > it was nice to see some applications of its use.


    > As for the Ruby side of things, note that the article by Amy Hoy
    > contains on or two deprecated uses within Ruby that ought not to have
    > been allowed to propagate through. (c.f. ''foo.type'' should be
    > ''foo.class''). Was she writing that article based on Ruby 1.6.X?
    > Still, that aside, it ought to give your readership a little bit of an
    > idea about Ruby.


    > Was that the sort of feedback you were after, if any, I might add?


    None. It seems to be a bot.
    [*** If Zoat is a Bot, it's nothing to do with me/ObjectiveView. Zoat -
    are you there? ***]


    From: Paul Lynch - view profile
    Date: Mon 25 Sep 2006 13:06
    Email: Paul Lynch <>
    Groups: comp.lang.ruby
    On 25 Sep 2006, at 13:46, Thomas Adam wrote:

    > On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 17:00:13 +0900
    > "zoat" <> wrote:


    >> Issue #9 of ObjectiveView [pdf], a highly respected on-line journal
    >> has a sort of Ruby Special: lots of articles devoted to Ruby, and
    >> Ruby on Rails.


    > Was that the sort of feedback you were after, if any, I might add?


    I am wondering - why are people talking to a spambot? (Check the
    posting history for zoat for confirmation).
    [*** Hmmm.... I'm reading this and answering sequentially, I will check
    the posting history now! Okay, it seems that Zoat posts messages about
    Ruby/Rails. Note that most of the messages are completely unrelated to
    ObjectiveView. I believe that Zoat must be a Ruby/Rails evangelist
    type, and he's only posted about ObjectiveView because issue 9
    contained two articles on Ruby and Rails. Perhaps he is a spambot -
    could be, but seems unlikely as the number of posting is quite small.
    ***]

    Paul

    From: James Edward Gray II - view profile
    Date: Mon 25 Sep 2006 13:30
    Email: James Edward Gray II <>
    Groups: comp.lang.ruby
    On Sep 25, 2006, at 7:46 AM, Thomas Adam wrote:

    > On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 17:00:13 +0900
    > "zoat" <> wrote:


    >> Issue #9 of ObjectiveView [pdf], a highly respected on-line journal
    >> has a sort of Ruby Special: lots of articles devoted to Ruby, and
    >> Ruby on Rails.
    >> http://www.ratio.co.uk/objectiveview.html
    >> http://www.ratio.co.uk/ov9pdf.pdf


    This is very old news. I'm not sure when the issue was released but
    the "Welcome to Issue 9" page has a February 2006 date at the bottom.

    [*** James is factually correct. However OV is currently produced about
    twice a year (if I had more time I would do it more often, maybe I
    will...) so issue 9 was still the latest issue at time of posting.
    The implication of saying something is very 'old news' is that it is no
    longer relevent, as elapsed time has made it redundant. All I can say
    is even now (December) it would seem to me that topics such as Ruby,
    Rails, Aspect/J and Ajax are as relevent as ever - so I don't think the
    'old news' label is appropriate. But hey, I'm not that bothered about
    this :)! ***]

    > As for the Ruby side of things, note that the article by Amy Hoy
    > contains on or two deprecated uses within Ruby that ought not to have
    > been allowed to propagate through. (c.f. ''foo.type'' should be
    > ''foo.class''). Was she writing that article based on Ruby 1.6.X?
    > Still, that aside, it ought to give your readership a little bit of an
    > idea about Ruby.

    Yes, I sent Amy a list of suggested improvements when the article was
    originally published. I'm pretty sure she intended to post
    corrections on her blog, but I don't believe she ever got around to it:
    http://www.slash7.com/articles/2006/3/2/a-not-so-objective-view-of-ruby
    [*** Thanks for helping Amy! ***]

    James Edward Gray II


    On Sep 25, 2006, at 8:06 AM, Paul Lynch wrote:
    > On 25 Sep 2006, at 13:46, Thomas Adam wrote:
    >> On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 17:00:13 +0900
    >> "zoat" <> wrote:


    >>> Issue #9 of ObjectiveView [pdf], a highly respected on-line journal
    >>> has a sort of Ruby Special: lots of articles devoted to Ruby, and
    >>> Ruby on Rails.


    >> Was that the sort of feedback you were after, if any, I might add?


    > I am wondering - why are people talking to a spambot? (Check the
    > posting history for zoat for confirmation).


    http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.ruby/msg/17a068913ce02cef
    [*** For the record, here's the content of that URL:

    "I starting a Knowlege Manament project and would like to have as
    reference the best "Wiki" system implemented using Ruby.

    This project is intended to use a non linear Wiki system like
    TiddlyWiki (see http://www.tiddlywiki.com) and also a full cosmology
    implementation of the Personal Brain functionality (see
    http://www.thebrain.com).

    I have looked around about some, but it semeed to me not be able to
    know its current status e.g. instiki. So can anybody help me on that?

    Roberto Nogueira
    http://holoflux.wordpress.com"

    I think the implication here is that zoat is a real person! :)! ***]

    James Edward Gray II

    From: M. Edward (Ed) Borasky - view profile
    Date: Mon 25 Sep 2006 13:34
    Email: "M. Edward (Ed) Borasky" <>
    Groups: comp.lang.ruby

    Paul Lynch wrote:

    > On 25 Sep 2006, at 13:46, Thomas Adam wrote:


    >> On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 17:00:13 +0900
    >> "zoat" <> wrote:


    >>> Issue #9 of ObjectiveView [pdf], a highly respected on-line journal
    >>> has a sort of Ruby Special: lots of articles devoted to Ruby, and
    >>> Ruby on Rails.


    >> Was that the sort of feedback you were after, if any, I might add?


    > I am wondering - why are people talking to a spambot? (Check the
    > posting history for zoat for confirmation).


    > Paul


    And *I* am wondering how a spambot got to be a "member" of our "club".
    [*** Well, about that I no idea. I don't think it's a spambot actually
    - see above, but I could be wrong... ***]

    From: William Crawford - view profile
    Date: Mon 25 Sep 2006 14:08
    Email: William Crawford <>
    Groups: comp.lang.ruby
    Paul Lynch wrote:
    > I am wondering - why are people talking to a spambot? (Check the
    > posting history for zoat for confirmation).


    > Paul


    Because... I... Um...

    Okay, it fooled me. -sigh-

    100.times { puts "I will not talk to spambots." }

    [***

    100.times { puts "I will not talk to spambots." } if
    haveVerifiedThatItReallyIsASpamBot

    ***]

    -------------
    A few final comments that I hope you'll be interested in discussing
    with me.

    1. What is Spam?

    I hate bloody spam. I get a ton in my email box every day, and it
    pisses me off. However, I have also been using internet news groups for
    20-odd years, and in that time I have read literally hundreds of
    announcements that are directly relevent to the newsgroup topic -
    *without* everyone on the group having a hernia about the message ;-)

    If someone sent "buy your viagra here" to this newsgroup, I'd be with
    you 100% in banning the person who posted it. But an OnTopic message
    about a Free Magazine that is of value (in this instance) to the Ruby
    community - come on - chill out a bit! :)!

    I *do* - personally - sometimes post message to relevent newsgroups
    about OV - usually without any negative feedback - and checking with
    moderators first (but I didn't post anything connected to the thread
    above).

    2. Commercial Gain (put your sense of humour hat on please ... switch
    to non hernia chill out mode... :)

    There seems to be a theme in the above thread that implies "commercial
    gain" is bad. (Note here, as I said above, OV is not for direct
    commercial gain).

    Well, some people on this group are definately interacting to help them
    do their job. For which they are paid. Of course, the content is
    on-topic, so that's okay. But aren't they getting commercial gain from
    their postings - well I'd say they are ;-)! And say someone wrote a
    really cool (but paid for) product that really helped Ruby developers.
    Wouldn't it be of benefit to the Ruby community to know about it?

    And if it turned out the product was really a pile of shite, well that
    would become apparent from the messages - and the Ruby community would
    still benefit (by not buying the crap product)... So to me it would
    seem okay to have on-topic announcements even if they are for
    commercial gain....

    Call me a sophist :)!

    3. Assuming the worst...
    A general life point, that applies to this message thread as well. When
    dealing with a situation with many unknowns (like not actually what the
    deal was for the logos on the front page) you have two choices: assume
    the best, or assume the worst. By assuming the best - you may be wrong
    - but until you actually know that, it is the best option - because
    assuming the worst will often lead to dissing people who don't deserve
    to be dissed. This will seriously piss of the people being dissed, and
    in turn will create conflict - and we don't need that unnecessarily...
    ???

    btw: I'm not a saint, I've made that mistake many times... but have
    eventually learned a lesson from it... :)!


    Ciao and thanks.
    Mark.
     
    Mark Collins-Cope, Dec 12, 2006
    #1
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  2. On Dec 12, 2006, at 8:50 AM, Mark Collins-Cope wrote:

    > As for the Ruby side of things, note that the article by Amy Hoy
    > contains on or two deprecated uses within Ruby that ought not to have
    > been allowed to propagate through. (c.f. ''foo.type'' should be
    > ''foo.class''). Was she writing that article based on Ruby 1.6.X?
    > Still, that aside, it ought to give your readership a little bit of an
    > idea about Ruby.
    > [*** If you'd like to send me full details (to markcollinscope AT
    > gmail.com) I will update issue 9 with corrections. It's still getting
    > about 2k downloads a month. ***]


    1. On page five 5.times{ puts "Mice!\n" } is not very Rubyish. The
    \n should go.

    2. On page six it says, "This converts a Range object of (1..10) to
    an Array using the method to_a, which is inherited from the Object
    class." Range#to_a comes from the mixin Enumerable, actually.

    3. On page six RegEx is listed as a basic Ruby type. The class name
    is actually Regexp.

    4. On page six mysterytype.type and (1..2).type should be
    mysterytype.class and (1..2).class. Object#type is deprecated.

    5. On page seven, one sentence says "It [Enumerable] provides fun
    functions like each (for looping)..." Another says, "Enumerable
    relies on the implementing class (Array, Hash) to provide its own
    each function to make everything work." Those are opposites. The
    second one is correct.

    6. On page seven the example ['monkey','cheese','pants'].each { |
    thing| print "I put #{thing} on my head!\n" } would be better as
    ['monkey','cheese','pants'].each { |thing| puts "I put #{thing} on
    my head!" }.

    7. Similarly, on page seven, using_yield { |word,num| puts "#{word}
    -- {num} times!" } should be using_yield { |word,num| puts "#{word}
    -- #{num} times!" }. Note that I made three changes that time, not
    two. I corrected a typo.

    8. On page nine, the One Last Trick section claims you won't get a
    redefinition warning, but you will if you put the earlier code and
    this code in a text file and run them with Ruby's warnings enabled.

    Hope that helps.

    James Edward Gray II
     
    James Edward Gray II, Dec 12, 2006
    #2
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    Mark Collins-Cope wrote:
    > [snip a lot of stuff]


    Actually, I think the spambot accusations were mostly meant to *cough*
    subtly indicate to zoat that his actual contribution to number of posts
    ratio is quite low. (Hold the pots and kettles.) IIRC, the posts were
    mostly a link to some article on the web, accompanied with a brief
    digest of it - usually a copy/paste of the intro blurb in the original;
    the only personal content I can recall was getting insulted. Which
    happened in the thread you refer to, the flies got drawn to the flame,
    and the shrapnel hit your magazine too as it got attention.

    So I think the fact ObjectiveView got nagged at is more coincidence than
    being blatantly horrible, as it suddenly appeared on the radar of people
    feeling bitchy at that moment. (All the judgemental quotes you listed
    seemed like nitpicking at first glances, though I haven't bothered to
    check for completeness.)

    David Vallner


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    David Vallner, Dec 13, 2006
    #3
  4. David,

    You're more than likely right. Thanks for replying.
    Btw: updates to Issue 9 will be out just after xmas.

    Ciao,
    Mark

    David Vallner wrote:
    > Mark Collins-Cope wrote:
    > > [snip a lot of stuff]

    >
    > Actually, I think the spambot accusations were mostly meant to *cough*
    > subtly indicate to zoat that his actual contribution to number of posts
    > ratio is quite low. (Hold the pots and kettles.) IIRC, the posts were
    > mostly a link to some article on the web, accompanied with a brief
    > digest of it - usually a copy/paste of the intro blurb in the original;
    > the only personal content I can recall was getting insulted. Which
    > happened in the thread you refer to, the flies got drawn to the flame,
    > and the shrapnel hit your magazine too as it got attention.
    >
    > So I think the fact ObjectiveView got nagged at is more coincidence than
    > being blatantly horrible, as it suddenly appeared on the radar of people
    > feeling bitchy at that moment. (All the judgemental quotes you listed
    > seemed like nitpicking at first glances, though I haven't bothered to
    > check for completeness.)
    >
    > David Vallner
    >
    >
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    Mark Collins-Cope, Dec 18, 2006
    #4
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