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From Jonathan Revusky <>
Subject Re: Using FM to implement a denial of service attack on an emaili ng list
Date Tue, 01 Jul 2003 21:31:14 GMT
Lev Epshteyn wrote:
>>>So are you saying that objecting to you repeatedly posting "obnoxously
> blunt
>>>comments" is not a legitimate 
>>Well, we could get into the semantics of "legitimate grievance", but 
>>really, the answer is most certainly no! There is no legitimate 
>>grievance here that remotely justifies calling for censorship and 
>>banning and whatnot.
>>*Obviously* not. I mean, if this were some kind of snooty tea party or 
>>something, that would maybe be one thing. But this is an OSS mailing 
>>list. People do not get banned from such forums just for being 
>>opinionated and mildly obnoxious. C'mon. :-)
> I think it speaks volumes about you as a person,

Lev, why on earth do you think that anybody cares?

I mean, let's say I concede the point. I am a terrible person. I am the 
anti-Christ.  I've got '666' tatooed on my testicles, mon! But...

SO ******* WHAT!!!

If my FreeMarker plugs are off-topic and obnoxious (and okay, maybe they 
are...) then just how off-topic and obnoxious are these self-righteous 
hypocritical lectures about how bad a guy I am?

I mean, do you think that anybody is interested in hearing this shit????

> that you presist in
> behavior that even you realize is obnoxious only to evangelize a product you
> work on. If as you said your postings on this list are obnoxious, 

Sure, it probably has an obnoxious side. However, my posts were on-topic 
and factual. Let's not play dumb here. The people who are enraged by me 
are not particularly enraged by my abrasiveness. Abrasiveness is quite 
normal on these forums. It's a red herring. They are infuriated because 
I have said openly what plenty of people here know already and don't 
say: first of all, this project is in a disastrous state. But in 
particular, I think that my comment that all this MVC purism stuff was 
mostly a fancy intellectual justification for the lack of any ongoing 
development... that really got to them.

> and
> there's obvious a large amount of resistance to them from the regulars (AND,
> you've already promised to NOT make any further posts here), why is it that
> you feel compelled to continue?


Why do you feel compelled to engage in this kind of off-topic lecturing 
about somebody's personality? You think that's constructive?

Moreover, it's perfectly obvious that all this personality stuff is 
taking place to blow smoke. You guys can't do anything about my 
lamentable personality anyway.

I've made completely truthful statements about the state of this project 
and you guys definitely *can* address that. But instead, you engage in 
this off-topic ad-hominem stuff.

> Notice, I do not believe that you should get banned, but I do think you
> should stop posting advertising messages here. Messages like this would be
> properly placed on a general list discussing templating technologies. As
> this list is meant to offer support to people who are already committed to
> usning Velocity, your advertising here comes dangeroulsy close to spam.

Dangerously??? <shrug>

>>>I think that the fact that the Velocity list
>>>admins have not yet done so speaks volumes of their tolerance and
> dedication
>>>to free speech. 
>>Well, that's one interpretation. The other problem is that they have no 
>>legitimate grounds. One Joshua Levy initiated this thread calling for 
>>censorship. I asked him specifically to provide some examples of my 
>>egregious material that requires censorship.
>>He never responded. <shrug>
> While Joshua may not have wanted to take the time to explain your behavior
> to you 

Joshua proposed censorship. When you propose censorship, there really is 
a strong onus on you to be able to provide concrete examples of the kind 
of material you think needs to be censored. The fact that he cannot or 
will not do so is pretty devastating. There is really no getting around 
that one.

>(I also believe it is a waste of time, since I am sure you well
> understand the objections of the list members) 

I understand perfectly the objections. They don't like me making factual 
statements about the state of this project. That is obviously what is 
going on here. Everybody who was not born yesterday knows that.

- Brian McAllister did so
> with great success. The problem, is that you never stop. You go on and on
> re-iterating the same points again and again. 


Each one of my posts is a reply to another post. Look at this thread or 
any other that I am involved in in your mail or news client and look at 
it in threaded format. You will see that there are intervening posts by 
other people in between all of my messages. This characterization that I 
am just bombarding the list with messages and the other people are 
innocent bystanders/victims is an outrageous false characterization!

> Each of your messages, taken
> separately is no more than a little obnoxious 

OTOH, your self-righteous preaching messages are a lot obnoxious.... :-)

> (which you yourself realize).
> Now take that "little" and multiply it by years worth of posts. Nobody would
> object to a Python user suggesting the language in a Perl forum. But they
> would object if this person for some reason felt the need to do so in reply
> to every single request for Perl help that got posted in the forum.

I have not done that. Go look.

> Similar to your posts, spam would not be such a huge problem were it not
> delivered in great numbers. Nobody would raise much of a ruckus if they were
> to receive a commercial message once a month out of nowhere. Such messages
> would be read or ignored, and promptly forgotten. The problem with spammers,
> and with your posts is that they never stop, even when asked to. 


My posts are replies to other posts. Look at any of them in threaded 
format in the client program you are using.

> Defending
> spam by asking to be shown an "untruthful" or "offensive" ad is missing the
> point, and so is defending your activity on this list.

This is just a big load of smoke that is being blown in everybody's 
face. The issue here is that I simply pointed out that the empereror is 
wearing no clothes and so I'm getting attacked as a heretic. In another 
century, I would have been burnt at the stake by now. Everybody with any 
sense knows this.


>>>changes that you yourself have added. I respect you as a programmer, and
>>>believe you stand behind a great product, but your tactics in pushing it
>>>down the throats of an unwilling audience in such an obnoxious manner are
>>Well, Lev, you engage in this hyperbole, and for me, it discredits any 
>>grain of validity that is otherwise present. In what way can you say 
>>that I am "pushing anything down anyone's throats"? it is unclear in 
>>what way any advocacy material I post pushes anything down anyone's 
>>throats. People can follow the link in my sig if they want more 
>>information. I fully disclose who I am so it is clear that I am not an 
>>unbiased source of information.
> What you are pushing down the throats of the people of this list *IS* your
> advocacy material. It has been made very clear to you that people on the
> list do not wish to see it. Yet you continue to spout it. 

That has never been made clear. It has been made clear that a handful of 
vocal partisan types want very much to shut me up.

What the vast majority of people on this list want is something that you 
and I can only speculate about. It's impossible to say. Lev, do you know 
how many people are subscribed to this list? (I don't, I have no access 
to this information.) I would venture to say that it's a lot more than 
the handful of people flaming away at me. The truth is that the vast 
majority of people on this list have never expressed an opinion about 
this subject one way or the other.

> In doing so, you
> make the list less useful for its intended purpose. 

Specious nonsense. If people ask for technical help on the list, 
somebody will answer the question or not and it has nothing to do with 
me. I can concede that I'm rude and abrasive and whatever, though I will 
also point out that it's not really relevant to anything anyway. 
However, the claim that somebody did not get technical help on Velocity 
or anything else, and that this was my fault -- that's transparently 
utter nonsense!

> As a subscriber to the
> Velocity user list, I do not wish to read how Freemarker can address any
> problems I may be having with Velocity, yet I have no way not to receive
> these messages. (You may argue that I do not have to read them if I do not
> want to, but once again, to draw a parallel with spam, being able to ignore
> it doesn't make the act of sending it OK)

It's all a non-issue. The real discussion on this list should focus on 
the fact that there hasn't been a release for a year (I mean, a bona 
fide one, the 1.3.1 final released in April was bogus, it was identical 
to the 1.3.1rc2 released 9 months before that.)  You have a lead 
developer who hasn't committed any code for a year and increasingly 
won't show his face....

This is the stuff that people should be screaming about. All this stuff 
about what a bad guy I am is a total red herring.

>>Meanwhile, there is really nothing morally or ethically wrong with my 
>>telling people on this list about FreeMarker -- particularly when we are 
>>competing at such a disadvantage in terms of placement and visibility.
> Not at all. It is the fact that you feel the need to tell us over and over
> again when asked not to that's wrong. The minor infraction of announcing
> Freemarker on the Velocity list would go un-noticed if you had not kept
> posting it over and over, long after everyone is tired of it. I myself had
> some Freemarker-like suggestions for Velocity when I first started using it
> (as I may have already said, FM was my first template engine), and
> interestingly enough, there was never talk on this list of banning me or
> asking me to leave.

I bet they never implemented any of your feature requests either... :-)


Jonathan Revusky
lead developer, FreeMarker project,
FreeMarker-Velocity comparison page,

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