Zed Shaw is my hero!

He should be yours as well.

And some of you are wondering, “who the heck is Zed Shaw?” Thus the tragedy of Zed’s career is brought forth into the blinding light of public ignorance.

Zed is no less than legendary author of Mongrel, the HTTP server that hosts Ruby web apps with virtually any framework including Rails, IOWA, Nitro, and Camping. The sad part is that this is where everyone seems to recognize him. And it’s become bloody annoying.

But why is he my, a guy who’s bearly touched Rails, hero?

Because in a blog post posted a few months ago titled Rails is a Ghetto, he, with added colorful language, exposed the very demons within this “programming community” that I too have had to put up with for many years. Except Zed is much older than me and has done some amazing things that I could only dream of.

Please don’t be dissuaded by the naughty language. Grow a thick skin, wade in, and see if it doesn’t improve the quality of your life. He is essentially the Maddox of the programming world, presenting the truth by ripping naked the Emperor and exposing everything in all of its ugly, flabby, glory.

What Zed has exposed is not only endemic to the Rails community, but the vast majority of these “programming communities” at large. Constant back-stabbing, talented people being taken for granted, great artists being confined to menial tasks, idiots being praised for being idiots etc…

And all this unworthy, dim-witted, petty, and childish individuals are rewarded with fame, money and constant, undeserved, flattery.

One small portion of that rant that endeared him to me more than any other…

“In software there is no free market because the consumers have nearly no information, and in fact they tend to sign contracts which forbid the exchange of free information. BEA for years (still?) put in its contracts that you couldn’t tell people how badly their piece of shit WebLogic performs. It wasn’t until someone got sued and the plaintiff lost that things changed around.”

In other words, as I too have said several times before, this “coding” thing is “magic” therefore you must not know how it works. And if, by some off chance, you figure out how the innards work and how poorly it’s constructed, you’re forbidden from sharing this knowledge that will save other people’s sanity and their money. Don’t expose the poison in the toys. Or else moms will stop buying them for their children.

It is so liberating to be vindicated. Suddenly it’s not just me, but Zed Shaw himself who sees the dishonest money-grubbing that goes on in the programming world.

A lot of people will walk away with that post with the wrong idea. But no matter. Those individuals whose ideas actually matter and those who will go on to do great things will understand.

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