Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Haters Gonna Hate

@jeresig on Twitter: Whenever I come across people who really hate me and my work it takes every ounce of energy to try and ignore them and move on. So hard.
I was saddened to come across this tweet by John Resig a few days ago. I know at least one of the people who has made--and continues to make--the attacks he speaks about. This person seems to have held deep hatred for John and jQuery for years. It's really unfortunate, because the attacker seems to be a smart and technically astute person. But he's also a bully.

This bully's attacks tend to focus on two things: the quality of jQuery's code, and the quality of jQuery users. On the first point, it's telling that early in the project's life this bully created some tests that showed problems with jQuery. John asked whether we could use that code in jQuery's unit tests, and the answer was NO WAY. He leaves his own vitriolic form of jQuery "code reviews" around the Internet, but never makes constructive comments that might actually help jQuery improve. Helping people get productive things done does not seem to be his goal at all.

Anyone can find problems with jQuery and things that could be improved. The jQuery team has lists of issues in our GitHub repositories if you are short of them. Since the jQuery Foundation is powered primarily by volunteers, we'd love to have more people who are willing to help fix things and improve the documentation, for example. That would be a productive and constructive way to make jQuery better for everyone.

When the bully turns to jQuery's users, it's all about what horrible programmers they are and how bad their code is. He'd probably be happier if jQuery was an obtuse library that was unusable without a four-year degree in programming. Instead, jQuery is easy enough to use that many non-programmers can get something going after a short time. That's a bad thing? Everyone has to start somewhere. Don't blame jQuery if some people decide that their amateur efforts are good enough--and perhaps they are. If not, they can learn and get better over time.

From the very start, jQuery's design and philosophy was pragmatic. It made hard things easy. It fixed browser bugs. It provided a plugin architecture for people to share their code. It coexisted with the libraries that already existed, so people could try jQuery without having to abandon what they'd already done. It continues to do all of those things that John Resig envisioned eight years ago, and more. The bullies who attack John and jQuery are just harvesting a bumper crop of sour grapes.

So John, let me tell you this: There's no reason to let anyone make you feel like your work on jQuery was bad. Take a look at the Internet today. jQuery is everywhere, people choose it of their own free will as the best thing out there. The lessons jQuery taught are helping to drive the next generation of web standards, and it's a foundation component for many higher-level frameworks. Many of the people who you recruited to join that little jQuery mailing list in 2006, me included, are still working to ensure that jQuery keeps serving developer needs for years to come. You did good.