If you don’t mind ‘bad’ language and a little bit of hate, go check out Zed Shaw’s rant,Rails is a Ghetto.
I’m not quite sure what his intent was with the article, I’m not sure that even matters. What I know is that it has shock value, it made me laugh, and that a number of things in it ring true with me, even if a bit magnified.
Zed and I have had at least a couple conversations about the Ruby / Rails communities before, and I’d say philosophically, we’re mostly on the same page. The key difference is that Zed is… umm… Zed.
One thing that he pointed out as a difference between us is that I don’t really challenge the status quo. This is true, I prefer to slowly bend the rules rather than shatter them, and see where that takes me. My response though was that I like to challenge the folks who try to suppress those who would challenge the status quo.
So here’s my challenge at a few responses, because everyone loves to stir things up!
Zed is so Ghetto:
However, such a hate-filled nasty person should not be allowed to terrorize the nice, pleasant, and generous Ruby community. Sure there are bad guys out there, there are in any community, but this type of rant is pure crap. Such arrogance and hate are self-destructive. I hope Zed’s self-destruction happens far away from my world, but I wish it would hurry up so the rest of us can get back to enjoying writing code.
Wait a second. Zed is getting in the way of you enjoying writing code? Is Zed Shaw standing there threatening Roundhouse kicks to the head while you try to type in some Ruby code?
Or is Zed distracting you because you’re reading his blog and getting offended? If so… it seems that the solution is the same as if you don’t like something on TV. Change the channel. Go outside and take a walk.
Wear some garlic, I heard Zed hates garlic. Something about how it steals his magic powers.
On a serious note though, saying that hating on people in public is self destructive is like saying that smoking crack is self-destructive. If you think that Zed doesn’t know what he’s doing, you’ve been duped.
I was going to go on and challenge a few more of Zed’s haters. But you know what, I haven’t found any. The closest thing is Giles Bowkett being concerned about how anger is bad for Zed’s heart. There was also something from a consulting company which mostly agreed with Zed’s points, with only minor disagreements.
I’m not defending Zed. As you can see from the posts, he’ll physically defend himself if need be, so he doesn’t need that. I’m also not much of a fanboy, I like mongrel but I can remember when it was just something we were chatting about and playing with at NYC.rb. Still, the real thing that I’d like to confirm here is that he has a point.
If the Ruby community starts to get up in arms when they see rants like this, that’s even more of an indication of the fact that the lines between the Ruby and Rails communities have blurred, and that we’re going to increasingly turn away our best hackers who are interested in real community, beginning a slow slip all the way to JavaOne.
The good news of course is that Technorati lists a number of links to Zed’s rant with comments like “entertaining”, “hilarious”, and other such praises. Every strong community needs heroes and anti-heroes. My question is only who will replace Zed.