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Re: Open Letters to the SMF Community

Reply #30
There was a discussion about this, because the first I knew about it was when I saw the commit note about 'not making mistakes'.

Let me explain. Suki made some mistakes, she's human. I make mistakes, I'm human too. She didn't appreciate you pointing her mistakes out to her, especially because to her way of thinking, picking on her for making mistakes while making mistakes yourself is hypocritical, especially when you've said that you're not interested in developing SMF. It's not my place to say whether any of that is right or wrong, that just seems to be her opinion on it.

Me personally, I don't care if mistakes were made, or by whom. I just care that the result software stands up, and thus the bugs get fixed. I'm grateful someone who isn't me is looking at commits and picking up on mistakes, but I know I'm not exactly great about taking criticism of my code - and Suki is even less so inclined. That's really what happened here, a legitimate comment was made about a legitimate software flaw, but from her perspective it's all wrong because she feels that she shouldn't make such mistakes (at least that's my perspective)

The bit that seems troublesome for us (and I know both Suki and I at least feel this way) is that commits are being reviewed not so much for SMF's benefit (though we do get a little benefit out of it), but it is perceived that the review is only happening to see if it's suitable for inclusion into Elk. Now, I know that's the stuff of Open Source but it doesn't exactly set our happy bells ringing to know that we write code and a rival project (because that's what Elk is), is taking the fruits of our hard work. It's why Nao is so adamant about us not reusing his code from Wedge, and I fully get where he's coming from. It's one of the few things I do agree with him about. (But of course, going the other way is absolutely fine. ::)) That's ultimately where I think Suki was coming from, even if her attitude was not so tactful.

Look at it on the other foot, let's say I looked over Elk and cherry picked the post-by-email, footnotes, some of the other code and put it into SMF. It is, after all, open source and thus fair game. But would you be appreciative of me doing such a thing? Would you be as forthright if I were to review your code and fix bugs in it because I was reviewing it for inclusion into SMF? I'm not planning on doing so, I'm merely asking the hypothetical question. My gut tells me you may not be so positive about us doing it, even if it is fair game, and I hope it would explain why there has been some reticence on our side for such things.

Most of all, though, I hate that politics and emotions run so high amongst very talented people who just want to make awesome things. And if I'm brutally honest, I wish both Wedge and Elk never existed. I wish we'd been able to reconcile everything and make SMF awesome instead of having three divergent efforts each trying to do so, with all the sniping that has gone on at each other.

I know there's been a huge amount of frustration on all sides because of injustices past. Some are perceived, some are completely valid, and no-one wants anything to fail (I hope), but perhaps a little more tact and diplomacy on all sides might ease the fact that there's cross-over between the projects still and that we do have things in common still.

Re: Open Letters to the SMF Community

Reply #31
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Let me explain. Suki made some mistakes, she's human. I make mistakes, I'm human too. She didn't appreciate you pointing her mistakes out to her, especially because to her way of thinking, picking on her for making mistakes while making mistakes yourself is hypocritical, especially when you've said that you're not interested in developing SMF. It's not my place to say whether any of that is right or wrong, that just seems to be her opinion on it.
oh yeah, funny overreaction ;)

Keep in mind: Github's most powerful feature is IMO code review.  That's what eman did here and that's what we do here at ElkArte within the regular workflow. Someone sends a pull request, someone else reviews the code and gives feeback and/or merges it. That is IMHO so cool, to have someone else to look over my code (and for sure mistakes) because it will reduce the amount of bugs. It's better for the product and also better for me, because I can learn from other's feedback. I don't understand why you (over at SM.org) merge your own pull requests, the whole idea behind git / github is suspended by your current workflow.

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The bit that seems troublesome for us (and I know both Suki and I at least feel this way) is that commits are being reviewed not so much for SMF's benefit (though we do get a little benefit out of it), but it is perceived that the review is only happening to see if it's suitable for inclusion into Elk.
That's the idea behind open source. But please keep in mind: We do not just steal your code.
1) We keep the SMF copyright in our files and therefore give credits to SM.
2) the "stolen" code is cherry-picked and you (as an indivudual contributor) will get credits for that part of code, too. Just check the contributors list at github and you'll find your names get listed there.
3) We still give back to SMF: Eman is a local moderator for the italian child board and active supporter. Spuds helped SleePy fixing the regex for PHP 5.5 compability. I for one am still helping the guys and girls who like to convert to SMF. Just check the converters board and you'll get an idea about my new nickname.

We aren't just thiefs, we also give back ;)

I for one wouldn't have issues with you picking our commits from ElkArte. That's the nature of open source. The only thing which is IMO important: my code was made for ElkArte, so the copyright is "ElkArte forum contributors" ;) This should be added to the header of all the related SMF files you are adding code from us.

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And if I'm brutally honest, I wish both Wedge and Elk never existed. I wish we'd been able to reconcile everything and make SMF awesome instead of having three divergent efforts each trying to do so, with all the sniping that has gone on at each other.
LOL, yes, maybe.. but too many bullheads (at least I'm one) in a team isn't good :D
Thorsten "TE" Eurich
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Re: Open Letters to the SMF Community

Reply #32
As I said I didn't write the message to seek for agreement, justifications, explanations or disagreement. I wrote it to clarify my own thoughts to myself.
But I also realised some kind of answer was to be expected. ;)

That said, if you take a look at the git history and my comments at github (I'm not interested in demonstrate what I'm doing, so I'm not going to dig to find evidences), you will see I already ported during the time several things from ElkArte to SMF (and I'm not "picking on her", ask Oldiesmann, live627, Spuds, TE, Norv).
I didn't choose a license just to be able to say "I'm working on an open source project", but because I don't care what my code is used for or where it is used.
If I were concerned by SMF taking code from ElkArte, I would have been in the front line to change the license to MPL or something similar. Instead Elk has the same license as SMF (not because of me, but because as far as I know only Norv proposed to consider for the future a change in the license and as a public reference I don't mind the license, I like BSD because it's short and to the point and I find MPL boring because is long, full of legal mumbo-jumbo, but apart from that one or the other doesn't make any difference to me).



On the personal level: read my signature (here). I never thought I write perfect code. I don't like as much as anyone else to make mistakes, but I do them. Surprise: I'm more happy if someone finds my errors, rather then my (more or less silly) errors compromise the final product. And "the next time" I'll pay more attention to what I write and I'll try to write it right from the beginning.
To me, coding in a project is not a personal competition at who writes better code, it's a way to improve myself as a coder, and help other people improve their skills. I'm not paid for what I do, I'm not receiving an award if I write bugs-free code (well, actually I received one for the amount of bugs I wrote! :P You can find the topic in the dev chat board at sm.org), I don't get penalised if I write bugs.
What from time to time I'm better at is read other peoples' code (maybe just because I don't know php well enough and I don't skip through the lines just getting the general idea of what the code does, sort of what I do with English). And I try to use that skill to help, but apparently in some cases, ego is more important than what we are working on[1].

ETA: and if you think I'm writing this because I'm in some kind of need for "your" code, feel free to dig in the team board the discussion about opening the "forks discussion" board, I clearly stated that forks are potential source of code (if the license is compatible), ideas and coders, a long time before Dialogo was even a remote possibility.



Now, personal level with Suki:  as far as I remember, before yesterday, I "attacked" her directly and with the intention to attack, only once (and as you can see it can't even be considered an attack to begin with).
Any of my comments on code are all the same for everybody. I'm not doing any favouritism to anyone (search where you want, you'll find my comments along the line of s/something/something else/ or this != that, etc.).

I proposed her to lead SMF into 3.0 about a year and a half ago when it was clear Fustate was no more interested in doing so (you can find the topic in the dev chat board at sm.org IIRC), when not even Dialogo was born, do you think I'm so stupid as to propose that to someone that I didn't think it could have been able to do?
I always respected her coding skills (well I have some doubts about some of her choices, but that's part of the game of confronting on a nondeterministic field), what am I supposed to do? Bow to her and ask for permission to report or commit a bugfix any time I find a typo in code she write[2]?



And just a final consideration: I'm sorry if it sounds harsh, but to be honest, if you two feel bad about others reusing your code, you are in the wrong place at the current SMF (not saying that to hurt or anything, just a plain interpretation of the facts).

Oh well, as opening post of the morning is fairly long and not really to the point.
Who cares.
This could be considered an attack I suppose
I suppose this will be considered again an attack...oh well, that's life.
Bugs creator.
Features destroyer.
Template killer.

Re: Open Letters to the SMF Community

Reply #33
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Keep in mind: Github's most powerful feature is IMO code review

I think code review is a great thing. The problem, as mentioned, is that some of us are not so great about handling criticism of our code as well as we would like.

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I don't understand why you (over at SM.org) merge your own pull requests, the whole idea behind git / github is suspended by your current workflow.

Because if we were to wait for such, nothing would ever get done. There are already commits that haven't been merged yet and have been sat around for *weeks* despite probably working just fine.

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That's the idea behind open source. But please keep in mind: We do not just steal your code

I didn't say you did. I said that there was a perception of the fruits of our hard work being used, and if I want to continue to contribute, I'll just have to deal with that.

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1) We keep the SMF copyright in our files and therefore give credits to SM.
2) the "stolen" code is cherry-picked and you (as an indivudual contributor) will get credits for that part of code, too. Just check the contributors list at github and you'll find your names get listed there.

That's cool and all, but it still feels a little bit like you want all the benefits of SMF without being properly associated with us out of politics, which to my way of thinking seems a little bit childish but that's not a can of worms I want to open.

I won't deny that I feel a bit bitter because of other events, like someone accusing me of stealing code (an array declaration FFS) so I am perhaps not the most unbiased I could be.

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3) We still give back to SMF: Eman is a local moderator for the italian child board and active supporter. Spuds helped SleePy fixing the regex for PHP 5.5 compability. I for one am still helping the guys and girls who like to convert to SMF. Just check the converters board and you'll get an idea about my new nickname.

Either you're secretly margarett or you're Dexter Morgan ;)

That's what I meant about there still being crossover between the projects, though. There is crossover and there's still things going both ways - but the *perception*, more wrongly than rightly (especially in my case), is that it was primarily one way.

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We aren't just thiefs, we also give back ;)

And this is a good thing. It's just not always seen that way.

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I for one wouldn't have issues with you picking our commits from ElkArte. That's the nature of open source. The only thing which is IMO important: my code was made for ElkArte, so the copyright is "ElkArte forum contributors" ;) This should be added to the header of all the related SMF files you are adding code from us.

I want to believe that's true, I'm just afraid it wouldn't be if it actually came to it. As indicated, recent bitterness over something that shouldn't have happened doesn't exactly help on this score.

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As I said I didn't write the message to seek for agreement, justifications, explanations or disagreement. I wrote it to clarify my own thoughts to myself.
But I also realised some kind of answer was to be expected. ;)

Oh, I realise that - but on the other hand, it did seem to me to deserve an answer. It's a legitimate criticism, albeit with a little bit of snark in there too - on all sides.

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you will see I already ported during the time several things from ElkArte to SMF (and I'm not "picking on her", ask Oldiesmann, live627, Spuds, TE, Norv).

*I* know you weren't picking on her, because I've seen the notes and conversations with others. I won't deny that I tread carefully when expressing concern with Suki's commits to her. She is very protective of her work. I won't go into why that might be, or what led to it, but what is clear is that she puts a lot of herself into her work and is not particularly diplomatic about receiving criticism; critique of her code is critique of her too, in her eyes. Anything that seems critical - even if completely accurate - may be taken the wrong way.

I just hope that when the day comes - and it will - when you find a bug I made, that I'm more gracious about accepting it than I have been in the past about criticisms.

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To me, coding in a project is not a personal competition at who writes better code, it's a way to improve myself as a coder, and help other people improve their skills. I'm not paid for what I do, I'm not receiving an award if I write bugs-free code (well, actually I received one for the amount of bugs I wrote! :P You can find the topic in the dev chat board at sm.org), I don't get penalised if I write bugs.

Ah, yes, the Grudge award. ;) I think I earned the lion's share of those for Wedge, actually, because I tended towards fewer, bigger commits rather than several incremental iterations of the same thing.

In an ideal world, that's how it would be. But in an ideal world we wouldn't make bugs to start with either ;) I don't care who makes bugs, though, I just care that they get fixed.

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Surprise: I'm more happy if someone finds my errors, rather then my (more or less silly) errors compromise the final product. And "the next time" I'll pay more attention to what I write and I'll try to write it right from the beginning.

That's the ideal. Sadly ego will get in the way because we are passionate about what we do and it shows in what we do.

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And I try to use that skill to help, but apparently in some cases, ego is more important than what we are working on[1].

It's certainly been an issue in SMF's history. I'm trying to put mine aside but my ego is a necessary component of my ability to create things, the belief in myself and the ability to believe in my instincts as a developer. I'm just trying to learn to keep it under control, please bear with me in this brave new world.

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ETA: and if you think I'm writing this because I'm in some kind of need for "your" code, feel free to dig in the team board the discussion about opening the "forks discussion" board, I clearly stated that forks are potential source of code (if the license is compatible), ideas and coders, a long time before Dialogo was even a remote possibility.

Nope. You're writing this to express your views in response to mine. We are coming at the situation from difference perspectives and different experiences and right now I admire the fact that you're sticking to your principles. From my perspective, I am feeling more selfish and protective towards SMF, but not entirely out of ego. (I'm also well aware that you're entirely permitted to use the code without any contribution back whatsoever.)

I take the view, rightly or wrongly, that SMF is fragile and needs love - that it needs people willing to fight for it, willing to put in the time and energy to make it what we all want it to be - and then someone can come along and skim off the top. That may not be in the spirit of open source, but it means that what's the point of trying to improve SMF when anything I can give it to make it unique and competitive suddenly stops being unique or competitive because it ends up in the competition shortly after? Conversely, what's the point in trying to improve ElkArte with unique features if I were to import them into SMF shortly after? This is the one significant problem with divergent effort - we both end up imitating each other instead of forging ahead under one banner. We all know SMF could move forward more effectively with all that extra talent there.

I won't deny, my views are coloured by recent issues elsewhere with incompatible licences and being on the wrong end of opinions about how I could use even my own code, though.

And let's face it, I'm not as pure of heart as I would like to be. Pure open source contribution is a beautiful thing. I am not so pure of heart yet that I feel comfortable with that. I feel the weight of injustices past and present, knowing full well that SMF wouldn't even have an open source licence in the first place if it hadn't been backed into a corner about doing so.

When I stepped up to support SMF, it was a conscious decision to try to improve SMF, not the rest of the ecosystem. I did not do so for Elk's benefit, nor for Wedge's benefit, nor for anyone else's benefit - and yet Elk and Wedge are going to be able to reap the rewards of my hard work. This is a failing on my part to fully deal with right now. And I'm well aware I'm projecting my personal failings beyond myself, which is inappropriate, but I can't change how I feel, even as much as I want everyone to work together better. I'm still trying to get my head around my work being more open than it's ever been before, including for projects that declared they didn't really want anything to do with the one I chose to contribute to.

I guess it's because of the personal and rival nature of it all; if I were to contribute to jQuery, for example, I wouldn't have any issues with people using my work, because I'd never interact with the users downstream much. I might feel aggrieved if Prototype or Mootools used some of my work, perhaps, because it's a rival project using my work and I'm still too protective of it. This is, of course, personal and not related to SMF's team. And it's something that for the good of SMF, I will just have to suck up and deal with - and I will in time. I'm just getting used to this, because I've never done this before, not like this.

I also know that I'm adding things to SMF at the moment that are significant in SMF's history, and I don't like the fact that they are things I suspect Elk will adopt if it has not already adopted some of the aspects of them (haven't looked), but I haven't even told the team what they are yet, I'm just going to do them and see what happens ;)

I will also add, I think I can understand how the SMF team felt in 2010 after they learned about Wedge emerging as a fork and how unpleasant, in hindsight, Nao and I actually were - me especially, I think. I'm trying to learn from that and not to repeat it. I just may have gone a little far the other way right now.

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Now, personal level with Suki:  as far as I remember, before yesterday, I "attacked" her directly and with the intention to attack, only once (and as you can see it can't even be considered an attack to begin with).

Ah yes, that particular matter. This is one of the many things I've never been entirely happy about, but fortunately stay away from much of the time. It's also a matter I've *never* drunk the kool-aid of that 'donation => helpdesk = gift for donating', because it's not in my opinion, it's still effectively a paid-for support option, in my personal opinion. The powers that be disagree, and that's fine. I just choose to avoid it as a result.

I don't, actually, disagree with the comment made - it wasn't even entirely an insult. It was a robust criticism of what was said and how it was said, not of the person saying it.

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I proposed her to lead SMF into 3.0 about a year and a half ago when it was clear Fustate was no more interested in doing so (you can find the topic in the dev chat board at sm.org IIRC), when not even Dialogo was born, do you think I'm so stupid as to propose that to someone that I didn't think it could have been able to do?

Not at all. I think we both agree on her having the technical chops to pull it off. But diplomacy is a skill yet to be fully embraced.

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I always respected her coding skills (well I have some doubts about some of her choices, but that's part of the game of confronting on a nondeterministic field), what am I supposed to do? Bow to her and ask for permission to report or commit a bugfix any time I find a typo in code she write[2]?

Do what you feel is right, of course. I'm not for one moment suggesting that you shouldn't report a bug if you see one. The *most* I'd suggest is being more tactful about it. I find phrasing it as a question tends to work better than stating it's wrong. Asking if it's supposed to be the way it is rather than asserting it is other than it should be.

On the other hand, you could just do as you do now and let her handle it badly if she wants to. She actually seemed quite upbeat about it after the fact in IRC. Either she'll learn to be more diplomatic and more gracious about accepting that her code can be wrong even without her being wrong, or she won't. If she leaves in the end, it'll be a blow to us but we'll muster onwards.

You're a smart bloke. I figure you'll do what you feel is right. You also know where my inbox is if you want to rant about things or whatever.

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And just a final consideration: I'm sorry if it sounds harsh, but to be honest, if you two feel bad about others reusing your code, you are in the wrong place at the current SMF (not saying that to hurt or anything, just a plain interpretation of the facts).

It's a valid criticism. I'm still getting used to this idea that my code can and will be reused even by my rivals. I will get to the point where I am comfortable with it - but you must understand that it's only been about 6 weeks since I started contributing truly openly. At no point before this did I ever create anything that even potentially might get forked - even SimpleDesk with its BSD licence never got forked, let alone by a rival, so this is a new experience for me. I suppose I should be more appreciative that my ideas are being reviewed for inclusion but my ego is still a bit too raw for this.

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Oh well, as opening post of the morning is fairly long and not really to the point.
Who cares.

I care, because this is something that does affect both our works. And I don't like leaving things on a sour note if I can help it.

Re: Open Letters to the SMF Community

Reply #34
Y'know, a really dumb and naive person might think that starting a brand new project on a brand new site would be a good way of leaving SMF bunfights behind. Tis a radical notion, but methinks it might be possible. :P
Master of Expletives: Now with improved family f@&king friendliness! :D

Sources code: making easy front end changes difficult since 1873. :P

Re: Open Letters to the SMF Community

Reply #35
It might, if the principle contributors weren't still - by their own admission - involved with the original project. That, incidentally, is part of the perceived problem.

EDIT: I'd be quite happy to leave the bunfights behind, though I'd note this last discussion came out of a bunfight that didn't need to happen because of egos, certainly didn't need to happen here, because it should have been kept at sm.org since it was about critique of SMF not of Elk...

Re: Open Letters to the SMF Community

Reply #36
Arantor. You put yourself in that situation. Don't you ever blame anyone else for something you did entirely by yourself. (Leave a closed license project, decide to contribute to an open project, and then complain that people can take your signed off code and you can't take a single line of code that wasn't signed off.)
You do that, it's on you. Stop insulting my intelligence. Not only did we never take new features straight from smf 2.1 (and I have absolutely no plans to use any of your new features for it). But. Everyone that is not Wedge is in the same situation as you are regarding taking code from Wedge. You're a SMF developer with a clear intent to implement Wedge features and you have access to my codebase. I can't afford not to be protective of it. It's a time costing work (checking your SMF commits and posts) that you chose to impose to me. You're incredible!

Re: Open Letters to the SMF Community

Reply #37
You heard it here first, folks, Wedge ain't going under an open source licence any time soon. Because the minute it does, it opens itself up to the exact same issue.

Re: Open Letters to the SMF Community

Reply #38
You chose this license with me. You were quite happy with it. Then you chose to leave. And you said Wedge (half your work, shall I remind you) sucked. You really should get your act together. Either say things honestly or don't. Trolling isn't your finest feature.

PS. We always said Wedge would remain under that license until we both lost interest in it. Selective memory much?

Re: Open Letters to the SMF Community

Reply #39
A suggestion would be to make your repo(s) Private, then no one but whom you decide/invite would be able to see what you are doing.

Nothing in BSD requires you to have an open changelog, commits, etc.  Just keep it hush and the only time the public or competition would get to view the code is when you tag it (for a release or a pre release).  GitHub with that open repo was a test in many ways, if its not suiting the needs of the organization, or the complications are greater than any benefit, then there are several options for you to pursue other than a bunfight.

A private git repo or even back to SVN, would allow you to keep others away, you could still leverage code / features from other projects, it would prevent any early forking and/or rebasing, ie only SMF 2.06 could be forked until such time as you tag or provide an Alpha release.  Heck you could even special license any early releases and not allow forks until a gold "bsd" release.  And of course nothing says you have to remain open source for 2.1, although that may have some "complications" at this point so maybe 2.2 you close.

Anyway just some suggestions.

Re: Open Letters to the SMF Community

Reply #40
I'm not saying this topic should be discussed or not discussed, I'm just saying this topic reminds me of hanging out at SMF.  It's creating a negative atmosphere.....period. It is what it is.

Is it really necessary to pick apart someone's comments in a rebuttal? Yes, if your in a political election. :P [1]


Otherwise, focus on the path ahead, not the trail that was left behind. Just my 2 cents.
A jape of course, but I wonder how many are tempted to create a rebuttal to this sentence as well

Re: Open Letters to the SMF Community

Reply #41
Thanks for your comments and I tend to agree with you on that, there was some discussion of de-stickying this, maybe even locking it at this point since it served its purpose long ago.

Re: Open Letters to the SMF Community

Reply #42
Sounds like a plan.
Master of Expletives: Now with improved family f@&king friendliness! :D

Sources code: making easy front end changes difficult since 1873. :P

Re: Open Letters to the SMF Community

Reply #43
It all depends if the baggage slows you down. Sometimes you have to let it go and it means addressing it, rather than leaving it home.

I know I still have unresolved issues with people at SMF and even Elk for instance. Generally harmless stuff but... If they have to come up, I won't pull them back in. Luckily I'm usually too busy to bother. :P

Re: Open Letters to the SMF Community

Reply #44
It all depends if the baggage slows you down. Sometimes you have to let it go and it means addressing it, rather than leaving it home.

I know I still have unresolved issues with people at SMF and even Elk for instance. Generally harmless stuff but... If they have to come up, I won't pull them back in. Luckily I'm usually too busy to bother. :P

Some people never get closure, no matter what you say or how much you say to them. It just never ends.

People get good at what they practice. If a person practices hanging on, they get good at hanging on. If they practice moving forward, then they get good at moving forward as well. Same goes with everything they do...