[TAG] (forw) Re: [lg-announce] Linux Gazette #126 is out!
Benjamin A. Okopnik
ben at linuxgazette.net
Fri Jun 9 08:59:15 MSD 2006
On Fri, Jun 09, 2006 at 12:33:27AM +0100, Thomas Adam wrote:
> Heather (and myself to an extent) suddenly through no fault of our own had
> a rather large amount of $REAL_LIFE to see to. Heather in particular
> made that known to Ben, to which he said that was OK, and to let him know
> when she was back.
Only if painted in very broad brushstrokes, yes. "Heather in particular"
did _not_ make that known to Ben; I'd already covered what Heather said,
as opposed to what Heather did.
> Then, through absolutely no discussion whatsoever, it was deemed
> appropriate that some attempt should be made to refill the *temporary*
> void created through her absence. OK, that makes sense, and I agree to
After I realized that TAG and
Mailbag had been completely abandoned - not only without warning, but
despite promises to the contrary, so that The Answer Gang was talking
into a buffer - I posted here on the 2nd of May, and covered the
situation. I also note that there was almost no response to that post.
I wouldn't call that "absolutely no discussion whatsoever", but feel
free to describe it as you will.
> Kat very thankfully went ahead and did that, but there were some
> holes, namely:
> 1. A lack of comprehension as to how the parts all fitted together to
> generate TAG, et al.
> 2. Not enough time to try to grok how they worked.
> Now I suppose in hindsight from what I have read, 2., is something that
> should have attempted to have been ascertained. You could have asked
> *anyone* on TAG for general advice -- especially me, since I have worked
> with and on those scripts for sometime.
Last information that I had at that time, Thomas, was that you were busy
at Uni - that would be your $REAL_LIFE buffer being full. I also saw no
reason to bother - since the output that it produced was so broken that
it took so much hacking at it on my part that I might as well have been
assembling it by hand. As it turned out, I was correct in my estimate:
Kat doing it by hand took significantly less time than I *ever* saw the
Mailbag take in the past.
> Why was that never the case? I don't know.
Because it would have added to the workload instead of decreasing it.
Here, let me run through it again:
1) According to your own description, it takes about six hours for you
to do all the processing. This does not include the time (~1/2 - 3
hours) that I've had to spend on it.
2) Kat did it her own way in about five hours.
3) Therefore, if she undertook to learn the old system, it would have
taken her _at least_ 6 hours plus the learning curve - and would still
have required me to spend the X hours fixing it.
What would you estimate - 12 hours? 15? Whatever it is, it was far
greater than the five or so that it did take.
*THIS* is why it was the case.
> It *should* have been, since
> we're purportedly a team, and we help one another (through my own
> definition of cooperation). Thankfully you now have that knowledge,
> although it may well still be sketchy in places.
> As to this other method though, the one Kat has devised, I am still unsure
> about it. I don't understand the process -- it's a role reversal thing
> here, and it looks as though *I* am now having to learn a new process.
If learning a new process is so horrible, then why are you insisting
that Kat should do it? If it's not, then what's the big deal -
especially since this one works miles better than the old one *and*
results in an integrated system for LG, without broken HTML, CSS, etc.?
> Ring any bells? What is it about this change that forces myself and
> Heather to have to relearn a new process because of one person not
> seemingly willing to be helped to learn the process that already *works*?
It _doesn't_ work; that's the problem. It was slightly less broken than
it had been originally - but you yourself complained about the output of
it being broken with regard to CSS (and I can tell you horror stories
about the broken HTML.)
> It doesn't make sense to me -- and it should not be the case that poor
> Heather is ousted, though no fault of her own, and them more or less told
> that she has to relearn things the way they're now done. That to me, is a
> complete cheek, and undermines all of the effort both her and myself have
> put into producing TAG to date.
If this was a valid argument, then I could open a horse buggy factory
and sue all the car manufacturers for undermining my business. Thomas,
the script that I wrote takes five minutes to learn and requires *one*
person for the entire process. If you want to be a backup person for
Mailbag, etc., then please do take a look at it - but no one is
requiring you to struggle and learn anything. I've asked for help in a
great number of other areas of LG, and even listed them; you and Heather
both ignored them.
For some reason, you and "poor Heather" kept insisting that your ancient
mountain of broken code that no one other than yourself can use _must_
be the way to do it. I don't see it that way, and I've heard no reason
for it other than "I don't want to take five minutes to learn the new
method" - which I don't see as a reasonable argument.
> Through previous discussions I was in favour of doing two things:
> 1. Documenting the process I currently undergo to generate TAG, and:
> 2. For restructuring work allocations.
What if there are no "work allocations" necessary, and the job now
requires one person instead of three?
If there's one question here that I'd like for you to answer, Thomas,
it's this: are you saying that two people should be shoehorned into a
process where they'd be useless when there's so much to do elsewhere?
If what you're saying is, "I only want to do Mailbag, and am not
interested in helping with any other part of LG" - OK, fine; I'll mark
that down and give some thought as to what can be done with that. If
you're not saying that, then where's all this argument coming from?
> I did not, however, expect to have to be more or less _told_ how things
> were going to be from now on, and any "discussions" that take place have
> to pertain to the advancement of this "new scheme". I would have much
> rather helped Kat in using the scripts both Heather and I have been
> using. It's not an aversion to change that is pissing me off here, it's
> the whole process that has lead us to this point that is beginning to
> grind down my often placid demeanour
Thomas, you're not being _told_ to do anything. You've been gone for
several months, and that's all cool; however, it appears that you had an
expectation of coming back to exactly the same thing as you'd been doing
before. Well, guess what? One of the largest (and hardest) parts of *my*
job is to find ways to improve LG. That means *CHANGE*. Change means
that if you're gone for a while and then come back, things are going to
What I see you complaining about is that things are different. [helpless
shrug] I don't know what to tell you, other than "that's how it's
_supposed_ to be". I'd already apologized to everyone here because the
change was so sudden; in trusting Heather's promises, I put my own word
on the line, and when they got violated, I got shafted - one of my
implicit promises in running LG is to keep the information flowing.
Because of that violation of trust, the changes that I had to implement
were sudden - as emergency solutions tend to be - and I talked about it
here. There's nothing more that I can do about it, and I'm not sure of
what you could rationally expect - at least if you consider the
situation I had to deal with.
> > insulted Kat and thrown wild, irrational accusations and demands at
> > me, stirred up huge amounts of drama, referred to my offer of other
> > useful LG work "bullshit" and accused me of trying to be her boss,
> It does come across as such as times, Ben, to be honest.
Cool, then; I'll stop trying to soften the impact of people fucking up,
and just expose it when it lands. Up until now, I'd been taking all the
responsibility for people not delivering what they promised; since this
is what you see as bullshit, then that'll stop here and now.
> (But again, that
> might just be the danger of written communications -- and I am *far* from
> qualified in making that statement.)
> > Whatever happens from here on, there will no longer be an "editor
> > gal" at LG as long as I'm the editor. I'm happy to work with whoever
> That's a shame. But I have to say your email rates a rather large 15/10
> on the "grate me" scale. Ouch!
Gosh, imagine my surprise. Also, imagine my surprise that no one's
noticed the 'grate me' factor of the piles of shit that have been thrown
in my direction. But then, I suppose, that's supposed to be part of my
Have I mentioned that the fucking thing is up for grabs? I'm about as
ready to walk away from it as I've ever been.
* Ben Okopnik * Editor-in-Chief, Linux Gazette * http://linuxgazette.net *
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