Regaining focus (Was: [uf-discuss] Unjust banning of Andy Mabbett)

Scott Reynen scott at
Fri Mar 14 13:41:59 PST 2008

On Mar 8, 2008, at 2:45 PM, Manu Sporny wrote:

> I just got back from vacation, otherwise this would have gone out
> sooner.

I'm likewise back from vacation now, so just now responding to this.

> It has come to my attention that Andy Mabbett has been banned by
> the admins for 18 months[1].
> This is an unjust punishment, especially considering that he is one of
> the largest contributors to our community.

I think it's a mistake to view this as a punishment.  It's primarily  
an attempt to optimize how we spend our time.  We decided we were  
wasting too much time on matters that shouldn't be our focus, and that  
removing Andy would be the best way to help us refocus on our  
priorities.  I don't mean to imply there's complete agreement about  
those priorities, just to explain the thinking behind the decision.   
If there's disagreement about our priorities, that's probably more  
useful to talk about.

> - Andy is one of our most prolific contributors, this community will  
> be
>  harmed by such a long-term ban.

As others have pointed out, the latter statement does not follow from  
the former.

> - An 18 month ban does not fit Andy's behavior - it is an unjust
>  punishment.

It doesn't really fit Andy's behavior so much as the community's  
behavior in response to Andy.  A better community could maybe maintain  
focus on microformats with Andy active, but we are not that community.

> - Andy was tried as guilty, without complete documentation.

Additional documentation was promised and should be forthcoming, so  
that everyone can better understand this decision.  But I again think  
it's a mistake to view this from a legal perspective and treat that  
documentation as some sort of evidence.

> - Andy pushes the limits in this community, and because of him, we  
> know
>  what is and is not acceptable in this community.

That's certainly a bright side, but I don't think it's enough reason  
to allow the community to lose its focus.

> - Andy says what some of the rest of us are thinking, and he shouldn't
>  be banned for such an extreme length of time for voicing his opinion.

I agree; that was not the reason for the ban.  I trust Andy will  
continue voicing his opinion in other forums.


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