Monday, April 28, 2008


Right to Reply: CSharpZealot

I do not like to use my blog as a soapbox to vent my frustrations or to blog personal trivia, nor do I do it often, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to indulge me with the right to reply to something that occurred very recently, because the person involved has told me that he has blocked my emails.

I recently sent Brian Madsen, in his role as organiser and self-confessed Chief Zealot of, an email asking him not to on-post the announcements I send out for the Perth .NET user group to CSharpZealots ‘Perth Events’ feed. He immediately dashed off a blog post (, in which he misstates what I had written. I have given him the opportunity to amend his post, but he has declined. So, I would like to try and set the record straight.

Here is the original email I sent to Brian, in full and unaltered:


Can you please stop on-posting the Perth .NET Community of Practice user group announcements that I send out, to CSharpZealot ‘Perth events’.

While I can appreciate your enthusiasm for C#, as you know the Perth .NET Community of Practice user group caters for both C# and VB.NET developers (and other CLR supported languages), i.e we are NOT C# zealots. The notion of C# zealotism is neither helpful nor representative, and could deter some people from attending meetings.


I’m not going to take his blog post apart line by line, but if you read it he talks about misrepresentation. Brian, unrepresentative does not mean misrepresented. He also implies that I asked him personally not to blog about events. This is also untrue. He gave me his permission (as copyright owner) to publish his subsequent emails to me, but I do not feel that would be productive or in anyone's best interests to do so.

Brian seems to have taken this as some sort of personal attack, which it is not. I have made my opinion on language fanaticism clear to Brian and others on several occasions. When he set up CSharpZealot I made it clear to him that I thought such a site to be counterproductive and unrepresentative of the wider community (despite my own preference for coding in C#) and I believe that has been borne out, judging by the low number of posts to the site’s forums.

Perhaps I have underestimated people, who are mature enough to realise that the User Group does cater to C# and VB.NET and any other .NET languages (we would be particularly interested in a presentation on a non-mainstream .NET language by the way!)

So what was the reason I sent the original email above? Since I took on the role as coordinator of the Perth .NET user group, I have tried to raise awareness of what it has to offer both to members and employers. I have had conversations with a handful of people in recent months where their impression of the user group was that it was not that useful to encourage staff to attend because it was to some extent “propeller heads” and “language fanatics”, and did not offer much value, which is simply not true. I am doing my best to help change that impression: It's a great time to belong to a Usergroup. I have learnt many things at user group presentations that have helped me in my day to day work, and hope to learn many more.

I would like to apologise to Brian; I’m sorry the request caused you so much angst. But I stick by my belief that encouraging the idea that one .NET language is 'better' than another is not particularly useful. It’s horses for courses. C++0X anyone?!?


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