[rspec-users] exemplary way to show a list is sorted?

David Chelimsky dchelimsky at gmail.com
Thu Feb 12 11:22:00 EST 2009

On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 9:25 AM, James Byrne <lists at ruby-forum.com>  
> Pat Maddox wrote:
>> You are completely out of line even suggesting that David is selfish
>> or unprofessional.  Do you have any clue how many changes he HASN'T
>> made because it would break backwards compatibility?  How much effort
>> goes into sensibly deprecating stuff?  The work he does to keep RSpec
>> working with old versions of Rails (only very recently *announcing*
>> discontinued support of 1.2.x), as well as consistently keeping it
>> working with edge Rails even with all of its internal breakage.
> I did not believe that what I understood from the choice of words used
> with respect to removing part of the RSpec API could be correct and  
> so I
> asked whether or not I was mistaken.  Evidently because of my phrasing
> this was somehow turned into a slur on the people who work on  
> RSpec.  I
> regret that but no insult was intended, it was just a statement of  
> how I
> understood what I had just read incorporated with a request to have my
> interpretation corrected.  If this had been raised in person and not  
> via
> email I venture that my question would have been answered directly and
> without rancor.
> The initial response that I received from Mr. Dennis was uncalled for.

I have to take some responsibility for his initial response. Zach and  
I were chatting in IRC when I read your initial comment, to which I  
had a very strong and negative reaction. He was really just trying to  
take the heat off me at the moment.

If you take away the reactionary nature of it, however, he did have  
good points about the nature of open source, as did Nick Hoffman in  
this thread.

> It would have been enough to say that there exists a compelling
> technical reason to remove the item.  It would have been useful to
> outline briefly what that technical reason was.  Bear in mind please
> that those outside of the inner circle of contributors generally are  
> not
> conversant with all of the issues facing a project.  We nonetheless  
> may
> possess reasonable concerns with respect to its future development.
> I am well aware that Rails is a moving target and that Ruby is about  
> to
> go through the convulsions that will accompany the move to 1.9/2.x in
> the near future.  I expect that in consequence a vast amount of  
> software
> presently in use will either have to be revised extensively or
> abandoned. I am not dogmatic about backwards compatibly.  On the other
> hand, I also have first hand experience with OSS projects where
> backwards compatibility appeared inconsequential.

I hope you understand now that this is not the case with rspec.

> Instead of advising people who raise issues like this to go fork their
> own project, perhaps a brief statement as to why the action is deemed
> appropriate might be better.  Compare the response from Mr. Dennis to
> that from Mr. Chelimsky.

Again, I had the benefit of time to step back and try to be  
constructive. Zach's response was reactionary, but he was channeling  
my reaction.

In accepting reappnsibility for this, btw, I'm not trying to dilute  
it. I still feel that there were some insults thrown at me, and I'm  
grateful to Zach and Pat for coming to my defense.

I also agree that this would all have been much smaller face to face,  
with pints of beer in our hands.

> You may now have the last word.

I think we've all said our piece at this point and would love to move  

Are you clear now about the particular change that started this whole  


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