As a point of reference – and after looking it up – the name Ciaran is Scottish in origin. It’s a Gaelic male given name meaning “little dark one” or “blacky”, produced by appending a diminutive suffix to ciar (“black”, “dark”). Keep this in mind.
Now, I imagine this particular post/rant/thing will make very little sense to anyone causally reading it. That’s okay. Short of spelling out the entire back story behind it, and in the process naming names (which I don’t like to do when those names are innocent), there’s no point, really. The person(s) this post are intended for know what it’s all about, and to protect certain individuals and entities, I’m left with my personal site in which to make my points. So, unless you’re familiar with Little Dark One and the work I do in the field of PHP, feel free to skip this post. Maybe you’ll find it amusing, I don’t know. I aim to defend myself against some incorrect assertions and maybe knock a fellow down a few notches. If that kind of thing turns you on, then by all means, keep reading.
First, a quick history lesson, for the uninformed. I’m sure you’re familiar with a little island down under called Australia, mate! Yes, The Outback, kangaroos, koala bears, boomerangs, and all that happiness. But did you know between the 18th and 19th centuries large numbers of convicts were transported to the various Australian penal colonies by the British government? One of the primary reasons for the British settlement of Australia was the establishment of a penal colony to alleviate pressure on their overburdened correctional facilities. Over the 80 years more than 165,000 convicts were transported to Australia. Fact. No disputing it. One might says that the current population of Australia are descendants of British criminals. (Warning, xenophobic statements to follow. If these offend you, then…well, who cares. It’s my blog after all.) After having dealt with one of two of these skippy poofters, it all makes perfect sense. Well, to me, in any event.
The first I had the misfortune of crossing paths with on more than one occasion was a complete lunatic. Bill was his name (or so he claimed) and was part of a program sponsored by a huge software company that deal in windows (so obvious). He was what the rest of us referred to as a shill for that particular company, constantly spouting off their dogma and making sure the rest of us who disagreed were put in out place, sometimes to personal lengths. Yes, Bill made it personal with more than one of us dissenters in the realm of RAD programming. And when I say personal, I mean attacking our families, our children, our livelihoods, anything that twisted banana bender could get his hands on. Complete criminal sociopath, yet a coward. I called him out on his sickness, inviting him to mail me privately, call me, hell, meet me if he so chose. But no, everything had to go on USENET for all to see.
But before you say, “Hey, Kev, that’s just one guy, right? Hardly representative of an entire country,” I’ll tell you you’re right. Yet dealing with developers from other countries is more or less a non-stress inducing experience. That is to say, they are much more friendlier, even if language barriers sometimes get in the way.
But then Little Dark One got all up in my rack. And you guessed it, he’s JAFA exhibiting the same self-entitled personality flaw seen in my former foe, Bill. There’s no reasoning with these vindictive little pricks of misery.
It began a few days back from this writing. I do work for an up and coming software team that writes software for a much larger entity. Really awesome fellows to work with (probably because they’re American). So, time to time we get support requests for our software, which is also not out of the ordinary. Usually it’s mostly folks who haven’t got it all setup properly, but occasionally it’s people who don’t understand thing one about PHP and want to be hand-walked through everything. Those kinds of ‘services’ are not free, and usually require a paid version of support. Also not an unusual thing in the field. Our Team Leader knew Little Dark One before I as Little Dark One had collaborated with him previously. I can only surmise in the wake of Little Dark One’s inability to be loyal to anyone but himself, he expected the same relationship with me. I don’t deny – and never have – my inability to deal with people who come off like they’ve read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and bought into it’s propaganda. Actually, the truth is, I don’t get on with most people, because they’re downright stupid, barely conscious and let everyone else do their thinking for them. I need to be impressed fairly quickly before letting my defenses down, even a little. So when I deal with people who comes to us looking for answers to things that have either been addressed previously, or have been documented, I tend to get impatient after one post…sometimes not even then.
Another part of what I do – and do of my own accord – it watch the ‘competition’. There is some in our particular field, but most of them are downright badly coded and just plain ugly to look at. One one of my ‘competition watches’, I could help but notice hat Little Dark One, after having been handed unpublished ‘beta’ code for one of our premium features, was posting on a competitors forum. Call me old fashioned, but when one works with us, also working for a direct competitor is simply disloyal, not to mention unethical. We gave Little Dark One access to our resources that most others don’t have access to, and here I find him suggesting all of our features to this competitor. Well, excuse the fuck out of me, good people, but I refuse to let some little cretin play both sides of the fence. It’s one of those situations where ‘you’re either with us, or against us.’ In the niche market in which we offer our wares, such unspoken rules are quite necessary. As Team Leader is a much better man than I, he gave Little Dark One the benefit of the doubt. Me, I’m much more suspicious of people, because the ones who are not good at heart far outnumber the ones who are. I believed Little Dark One had ‘jumped ship’, and the only reason he continued to use our software is because the competitor he was now consorting with – like the concubine he is – has a much inferior product. It doesn’t come close to ours, not even a little. They try, but have no follow through on, well, anything.
So, in my mind, Little Dark One is a fucking rat, plain and simple. I suppose if Little Dark One had even an inkling of a brain, he might have used a different handle with our competitor, as not to be caught so quickly with hands in separate cookie jars. So not cool.
Days later, Little Dark One posts something in our forum about making one features of our software work in a way it’s not (yet) designed to. At first, I’m like, ‘the balls on this little prick!’ Putting aside the fact that the question falls under premium support as it’s not a bug with our software, he wants to be told how to make something work. So now I know Little Dark One is another lousy PHP wannabe coder. Great, my favourite kind (insert eyeroll). I don’t know where his loyalties lie, so the brash personality I am called him out on it. Is this for your benefit, or the benefit of the competitor whose ass he openly sucks on? Oh, our dear Little Dark One didn’t much like that at all. I no longer have the original reply, otherwise I’d post it, verbatim. Basically, it amounted to, ‘mind your fucking business and service me, now!’ I ignored him. He went running to Team Leader via Skype and whined the following like the little bitch he is.
Your message boy at the gates pisses me off every bloody time. I’ve donated to your project, I’ve contributed to your project where I can, only to be treated like a dickhead.
I laughed. Dickhead. Apt. If the shoe fits, right? I did notice the word ‘bloody’ which led me to believe he might be British. So I checked. Nope. Just Another Fucking Aussie. Old memories of Bill and his psychopath behaviour seeped back into my forethought. I didn’t want to deal with another self-absorbed wanker from down under. So I went back to the original post and deleted my sassy retort and his two replies, the second I didn’t bother reading. Just let it go, then, per Team Leaders sage advice. Team Leader and Little Dark One worked it out, about Little Dark One’s contributing to a competitive project. He claimed to still be with us, but kept on posting on the competitor’s page. I wasn’t sure how to make Team Leader understand that he was still playing both sides, and that he needed to pick one and be done with it all. I was still convinced he was already on board with the competitor and that everything else out of his mouth was pure white noise.
Oh, how I hate being right, especially about topics I don’t want to be right about.
Little Dark One’s original request for free premium support went unaddressed for a few days. I had zero interest in helping a rat, and Team Leader was busy with other more pressing (and important) engagements. Little Dark One said,
Possibly my $100 donation to this project was not enough to warrant a little bit of support that I have asked for?
Arrogant little bastard, yeah? This is what is known as guilt tripping, or emotional blackmail. I did something for you, now you must do something for me. First of all, I suppose I need to explain that our cool little project is open source. It means anyone who has a handle on PHP and our project can contribute. We don’t get paid for this. We survive on donations, premium support payments, and premium extensions to our code. And when I tell you that developer who use our code in five to six figure earning projects are fucking stingy as old jewish men, I kid you not. It’s the nature of the beast, I guess. I like writing code, so I do it anyway. It’s not really about the money, although sometimes it can be. Mostly, it’s about my belief in our project and it’s potential to be a brand name in our particular market. But damned if I’m going to let some brat who think we should drop to our knees over a donation made a while ago give me the business. I typically don’t get drawn into guilt-tripping or emotional blackmail, and I despise people who try for personal gain (well, on a professional level anyway). So I replied,
Guilt tripping probably isn’t the best way to go. I’m not all that interested in dealing with something that isn’t a bug, and Team Leader has other issues going on, so I suspect he’ll be replying when he gets the chance.
Little Dark One wasted no time in telling us how to run our business.
To be fair, I tried to be nice in not telling Little Dark One the entire truth. His request did fall under premium support, but mostly he was right, I had no interest in helping him, at all. I don’t help rats, I set a trap for them and kill them. That said, most of what I read was silliness. But I did reply (FYI, Team Leader’s personal life isn’t relevant to this monolog, so I’m not including it),
Ugh. Just…stop already. You really don’t know or understand of what you’re speaking. I deal mainly with bugs and fixes. You want support for something that is not a bug or a fix, and that’s Team Leader’s area. But as I JUST pointed out, he . Don’t you think that takes priority at present, yeah? If you believe different, by all means, Skype him and complain about that as well.
And the very quick reply came,