An R update

Brief update on newer developments:

First, thank you to everyone who has sent their support and advice (including Martyn, Heather and Martin from the Foundation). It's been much appreciated.

Second, thank you to every Hacker News user who actually consulted a dictionary prior to sending their creepy threats. I would like an apology from those who didn't.

So here's what's been happening:

  1. The bug itself has been fixed. Many thanks to Martin Mächler for doing so.
  2. My bugzilla account has been unblocked (also by Martin, also thanks). Other accounts haven't been but that's more a "no idea if they'll use it" than anything else.
  3. I'm chatting to various people on the Foundation side of things about where things go from here.
  4. Duncan Murdoch has followed up with me; his email says in part (he gave me permission to quote it) that "Obviously things didn't work out as they should this time. Your post was intended as activism, not vandalism. In the future I'll try to recognize that. I may not agree with a bug report along those lines, but I'll try to keep lines of communication open." I am trusting that this is a genuine sentiment and that he will, indeed, try harder in similar cases.

To answer the obvious "so now that the bug is fixed and the account is unblocked and Duncan is doing something different you're coming back, right?": no, that's not why I left. I left because the response I got to the bug was indicative of a severe problem with how dispute resolution and handling of this type of issue works.

I've heard a lot of suggestions from individual commentators which seem to boil down to "in the future, email Person X or Person Y" but what I need is the confidence that the system will work not just for me, who knows some of the R Foundation and Core folks in a passing way, but for people who don't. That we actually have a way of handling these kinds of problems in the future, that is scalable and generalisable and not based on who you know. Duncan's reply, and the unblock, are great, but that doesn't mean it's a system that will scale.

I am hoping that processes to make it scale will appear, and will do whatever I can to help that along.