I’m sorry too.

I didn’t say mean things about Heather Arthur’s code.

But I could have.

I didn’t see the tweets about her “replace” project that started things off. But I do share the opinion of a number of my colleagues that using a reactor-based framework in a language lacking native fibers, coroutines, continuations, or threads leads to messy code. And heaven knows I’ve done my share of whining about ugly code. Maybe if I had seen those tweets, and been in a sarcastic frame of mind, I would have joined in the bullying. I can’t rule it out.


I’m not a better person. In fact, Steve and Corey are better people than me. Steve is the most tireless campaigner for inclusiveness I’ve ever met. He helped create a conference with a goal of being the most welcoming Ruby conference ever. And Corey is a gentle teacher with a humble, open-minded way of sharing his ideas. (Both Steve and Corey have apologized). I’m not a better person, just a person who didn’t happen to be reading at Twitter at the time.

So it could have been me making someone cry because her gift to the world wasn’t up to snuff. Or because it was a convenient illustration of my technical biases.

I’m sorry for that. I want to apologize, but I don’t know who to say it to. If I’ve been mean to you about your code,  I’m sorry.

I also feel bad because I’m writing this—and I feel like it’s something I need to say—but in the process I’m drawing attention to myself. And this is not about me. So look: if you like what I’ve said here, don’t follow me. Go follow @harthvader. Subscribe to her blog. Thank her for giving gifts to the world.


  1. The thing that confused me about this whole incident is that the text replacement utility in question HAS NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH NODE. The code appears to simply be JavaScript that has nothing to do with reactor-based frameworks or whatnot. It’s just straight JavaScript the way one could write a Ruby, Python, or Perl text replacement utility. If someone wrote a text replacement utility in Ruby, would it even make sense for members of a Python community to criticize Rails? It’s a non sequitur, and rather troubles me, and seems to point to a much bigger problem.

  2. I’m not sure what the point of this is. Is it because people were mean to someone about their poor code? Or that she is female AND people where mean to her about her poor code? If it was a guy (and 95% of the time it is) would this even be an issue?

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