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Regarding the Wakefield whinge above, am I alone in finding Chris' request, and his following response to its being ignored (and indeed almost mocked by being quoted directly in the article), perfectly reasonable?

Yes, he posted a polite public response to a public question on a public forum, and therefore cannot, in a sense, complain if it is quoted elsewhere, because the information has entered the public domain. But he also included a polite request for portals not to quote his reply, and to have that request itself quoted, along with all the other information that it asks should not be quoted, seems to me to be deliberately provocative. It's as though Drobe is intentionally putting the request up for public ridicule: "look how we'll treat anyone who dares to ask us not to print what we want to print!"

It's not as if the information is particularly enlightening or even worth printing. Chris' posting says next to nothing, except that there's the possibility of a show, that there'll be a proper announcement in due course, and that he'd like "the media" (for want of a better term) to wait for any such announcement before publishing anything. What's so unreasonable about that? I know that there's no sensitive information here, and superficially it really doesn't matter that this information has appeared, but that isn't really the point; Chris has a perfect right to feel aggrieved even so, after having his request not just ignored but actually highlighted. Besides, what, precisely, has Drobe achieved by preannouncing Chris's plans?

On the negative side, Drobe has clearly infuriated Chris Hughes, which isn't the best thing to do for a man who's been organising the most regular and consistently good quality show in this country (under difficult conditions) for the last decade. And why are people, in the responses to Chris' negative reaction, trying to pillory him for his perfectly natural and human annoyance? This isn't a matter of the letter of the law (yes, strictly speaking it's Chris' fault for being so rash as to open his mouth at all); it's a matter of simple courtesy.

On the positive side, what has this announcement achieved? It's let people know that there's a possibility of a Wakefield Show this year... but they presumably knew that anyway, and beyond that it says almost nothing; it doesn't confirm that a show is going to happen.

In other words, the only thing that the announcement has really achieved is to annoy the one person that we're relying on to organise the show in question. Worse still, there's been some pretty nasty follow-ups to Chris' negative reaction; one person has been tastelessly rude whilst another, worse still, has said outright that Chris is stupid (and has been excessively patronising as well). Charming. Persumably that person isn't doing a whole lot to help in the organisation of the show.

So has this really been a very constructive and helpful exercise? What would have been wrong with, say, honouring Chris' request and waiting for a few days, refraining from pre-empting any official announcement, and then actually printing something useful once there's something worth printing?

Chris' reaction strikes a personal chord with me, because Drobe pre-announced my Foundation RISC User DVD edition last year, a day or two before I was ready to announce it to the public. I'd written the public announcement but was waiting to release it for some very specific and important reasons, and I was /exceedingly/ irritated when Drobe jumped the gun (with private information, not obtained from me) and took the entire wind out of my proper announcement (which came only a day or so later).

It seems to me that with the immediacy of Internet-based communications these days, there's a deplorable absence of basic politeness and decency, which is a totally separate issue from the question of whether doing a thing is right or wrong in terms of the letter of the law.

That's all I'm going to say on the matter. I just thought I'd make a futile stand for common courtesy.

 is a RISC OS UserRichardHallas on 26/1/06 5:35PM
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