A mail I couldn’t send

After someone I respect got banned from the WMLProgramming mailing list, I wrote to agree with one or two other members who were disappointed with the state of affairs.

I’ve been a member since, I guess, the first few weeks of the group’s existence – even if I haven’t been a day-to-day contributor. Sadly it’s gone downhill over the last year or so.

Why? It’s a long story. The mobile developer community has a desire to have a strong position on unprovoked content transformation. This is a good thing.

But the approach taken to get their message across involves some of the most inflammatory, derogatory, and unprofessional behaviour I’ve ever seen online. This is not a good thing.

I was disappointed that the reputation of the group was sinking so low. It also occured to me that, as a member, this behaviour was implicitly in my name.

But not for long! I was promptly banned from the group.  Well, I suppose I was leaving anyway, so maybe it was no big deal.

But shortly after, a rather rude mail was written in response, making some outlandish claims about some corporate conspiracy I’m supposed to be part of. But could I respond? No! I’d been banned. I guess to make sure you get the last word, the best way is to limit the other party’s ability to respond.

So anyway, I don’t really want to labour the point. But here’s what I wrote as my last post to the group and couldn’t send – thanks to the membership button being grayed out.

After all that fruitless typing, and in the interests of free speech, I just feel it needs to see the light of day somehow 😉



You do indeed deserve huge thanks for the many years of hard work and success. The manifesto and it could have been a memorable agent for good on behalf of the industry as a whole. It may still become so.

I fully admire your goals, but with them comes an attitude that ruins the external reputation of the group – and the chances of those goals ever being met. Further, the reputation of the group is projected onto its members.

That is why I’m leaving. This brand of militarism does not represent my broader interests in the growth of the mobile web.

Let me also state clearly that my opinions about the situation have absolutely nothing to do with my recent employer or its investors: I’m sorry to disappoint you, but there really is no conspiracy.

I hope that one day this famous list will return to being positive and friendly again.

(Doubtless you’ve more positive and friendly things to say on the matter too. But since you banned me, do note I won’t be receiving further replies.)