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Mark Ramm, friend and exemplar

My post about a Python web frameworks OpenSpace convened at CodeMash drew a bit of attention, and looking over it again, I can see how it can send messages I did not intend. In order to break my trend of sitting on posts for weeks and months, I pushed myself to get this one out even though I wanted to finesse it more. The main person who could have taken this the wrong way would be Mark Ramm, who convened the talk and is also currently heading up my favorite Python web framework.

Instead of launching some missive or flaming the comments of my post, Mark took the time to further explain the situation for TurboGears both past and future. He even apologized if he may have unintentionally spoken ill of the JVM (which he did not). Mind you, I am no defender of the JVM, but I can see how I might seem like it from that post. Mark also sent an email which explained some of the discussion items and after hearing that, I was far less concerned about where things are heading with that project.

I have known Mark for about a year now. We have had dinner together and shared many funny stories (he has many, should you ever have occasion to hear them). I consider him a friend, and his reaction to that post is an example of what I have come to enjoy about the Python community. After reading Zed Shaw‘s “Rails is a Ghetto” tonight, I am even more thankful for it. Man, even if you filter through the bile and profanity, it still sounds like this dude received some rough treatment for trying to do the right thing at times. And if some of it is true, then I need to rethink some of the folks whose work I endorse.

2 thoughts on “Mark Ramm, friend and exemplar”

  1. Indeed, if the comments Zed makes are true, then you’d be wise to avoid the people he mentions.

    The problem is, though, how can you verify what he says?

    The common wisdom seems to be that when someone does something like Zed does, the people on the receiving end should ignore it publicly, because to do otherwise is to pour gas on a fire. And, by and large, that’s what everyone mentioned in the rant seems to have done. I think it’s fair to say that most people would disagree (strongly) with many of the things he states as facts (although I’ll stipulate that I am indeed fat, and am not indeed Sammy Sosa), but also feel that starting some kind of public “he said, I said” kind of thing would just drag things down more.

    So, this leaves you needing to make a value judgement, and it can really only be based on reputations. You need to judge likelihoods, and need to look at history.

    But I do ask you to take the time to make that judgement, and not to fall prey to the “there must be some truth in there” mindset.

    Dave Thomas

  2. Sound advice, Dave, I agree. I have to say as a long-time Pragmatic Programmer fan I was a bit shaken up to see so much about you in there. Thanks for taking the time to comment; it was only moments after I published the post!

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