The Bash.org Strike
View pending quotes trend
Michael Weagley (michael`@efnet), bash.org moderator
June 22, 2004
The owner of bash.org no longer has the time to update its code, and won't allow anyone else to do so, either. The moderators have stopped modding in an effort to pressure the site owner into improving bash.org.
We, the moderators of bash.org, believe that upon arriving at the extraordinary decision to cease our labors, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that we should declare the causes which impel us to this cessation.
Moderating quotes for bash.org is a tedious and thankless job, but we do it anyway, out of some combination of boredom and a foolhardy yet sincere desire to advance a project we believe in. This idealism is smashed when the owner of bash.org, Ninety (or Guilty), refuses to do his part. When one feels that one is working in service of a hopeless enterprise destined to fail, it becomes impossible to perform one's duties, especially when, as was mentioned before, they entail much tedium.
Ninety enthusiastically took control of the QDB from its original developer, and did much to promote it after moving it to bash.org. He wrote major overhauls of the original version's code and helped spread word of mouth. Bash.org owes its success to constant adaptation. When some part of the basic system proved faulty, Ninety programmed a solution.
For the past year, however, he has refused to perform rudimentary maintenance on the code; for this reason, we believe that bash.org will, unfortunately, decline. To prove our case, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has programmed almost no new code for the site in over a year.
He has not implemented, for example, a simple messaging system that would allow moderators to contact one another, thus leaving some completely ignorant to news and messages vital to the operation of the site.
He has also not implemented the ability to edit or repair quotes in the queue, or, for that matter, approved quotes.
He flatly refuses nearly all requests by trustworthy moderators to write code to improve the site, even after we point out that he would have the power to remove any malicious or unintentionally destructive code, and would have absolute final review.
He has, to our knowledge, accepted such a request only once. He allowed the moderator Josh to write an RSS feed for the site. It was completed in early April and still has not been included in the site, despite Ninety's explicit approval of the endeavor.
He refuses to give moderators the ability to remove quotes once they have been approved, regardless of how terrible they are and regardless of whether they were approved by an inexperienced moderator. Implementing such a feature would simply ensure site quality.
He almost never assents to removing such quotes himself.
He has not included some moderators on the front page of bash.org, even though many of them are more active than those who are included on the front page.
He did nothing to prevent against flooding the queue, which has happened on several occasions now, and has still done nothing to prevent against future floods.
He claims to be writing a second version of the bash.org code, but refuses to let anyone beta-test any part of it or even reveal any of its features; this naturally inclines us to believe that he is merely crafting fictions.
He refuses to listen to any suggestions about how to reduce the moderators' workload or even implement a rudimentary duplicate quote checker.
He rarely responds to our contacts with him.
In sum, Ninety has repeatedly shown that he is uninterested in further improving the site, and refuses to allow others help him improve it. For over a year now, we have begged Ninety to allow us to help him, appealing to our common interest: the continued success of bash.org. These supplications have been met with hostility and scorn. It is very important that we note that we still respect Ninety and appreciate all he has done for bash.org. What we object to is his seeming apathy regarding the site.
We, the moderators of bash.org, therefore cease our duties until these wrongs are redressed.
note: omission does not necessarily entail disagreement.
Special thanks to Thomas Jefferson.