This story is pretty funny. (also notice the discussions on Hacker News) The package manager for node.js is npm. Due to a bug regarding security certificates, npm stopped working for a bunch of users.
I’m amused by the way people say “Node.js is cool because it has a package manager!” Almost every modern language/OS has a package manager, such as CPAN, PEAR, apt-get, and yum. One problem with npm is that lots of the packages are junk. Lazy programmers use someone else’s buggy package that meets 80% of their needs, rather than writing their own thing that meets 100% of their needs and, if you’re competent, bug-free. Seriously, people are using packages when rolling your own would only take a couple hours. It takes more than a couple hours to figure out how to configure the package and use it properly and then debug it when it doesn’t work right.
I already wrote about the maintainers of node.js acting like spoiled children. Now, the maintainers of npm are doing the same thing.
Someone posted a comment saying “If you don’t manage npm properly, someone is going to fork it.” That comment was censored on the npm website.
I have zero tolerance for censorship. On every forum where someone censored one of my comments, I stopped contributing. There’s no point participating someplace where you aren’t respected. For example, one of my comments was once censored on Joel on Software, I stopped contributing, and that forum is dead now. That’s one of the big advantages of having my own blog. Nobody can censor me here. My policy is to allow all comments except for obvious spam.
When the node.js and npm people censor people for disagreeing with them, that’s a clear signal that you shouldn’t contribute to their project or use it.
The person whose comment was censored was Rob Colbert. Initially, I had some sympathy for him. However, he’s also a twit. He had a programmer job, and tried to convince his bosses to use node.js. When they (correctly) refused to start using node.js, he quit in protest. What makes him a twit is that he has no savings and now can’t pay his rent, and he’s refusing to take a job where he can’t use node.js.
Also, he’s running his blog off a residential DSL connection, rather than spending $5-$20/month for proper hosting. My Linode is worth $20/month, especially since the Linux administration experience is useful at one of my current jobs.
He also was complaining “Why aren’t any responsible people contributing to node.js? Why do most npm packages suck? All these clueless people are making node.js look bad, and making competent employers reluctant to use node.js.”
There are a large group of people working on node.js (until the next fad), because they follow the hype and not the technical merit. The people who are capable of evaluating technical merit know to avoid node.js. That’s two reasons node.js can’t ever compete with an adult language. First, the community is controlled by children, which smart people notice and stay away. Second, it’s a fundamentally stupid idea, and even if competent people were working on node.js, it’ll never be better than something that isn’t based on a retarded idea.
Incidents like this and Ben Noordhuis show that node.js is run by children and not adults. I’ve already concluded that node.js is a waste of time. Foolishness like this shows that I made the right decision to not invest any time in node.js.