1/4 of the article about culture and other guys and... I don't know what the hell it's talking about. I'm not even bothering reading half the sentence anymore.
1/4 Then it's talking about other unrelated products now? Outlook something.
> "Gomix brings back the fun of the “view source” web"
Oh finally. I had to re-read the article 3 times to find something about the new product, only at the end of the article!
Finished reading. Don't know what the product is about or what it's intended for.
Is it a AB testing software? Is it a a PageHacker clone? Don't know.
How it works video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPc6dXBFhA4
Again, I totally get how that might sound stupid. "How can we have nice things if we always need to solve the decentralisation problem first?", is one of a billion reasonable responses to my comment, but I'm just a guy who has gotten his heart broken before by the likes of Geocities, which they reference directly in the Overview video.
I trust FogCreek a lot more than I ever trusted Yahoo!, but I still never stray too far from the sidewalk anymore.
First, the code you're running is just totally standard Node.js, and we've got easy tools for taking what you make and running it anywhere else, if you want.
Second, we'll be building more reasons that you'd want to stay in the Gomix community — features that give you benefit from being in a network. In some ways it's similar to Stack Overflow, in that everybody owns what they contribute, but having a place to do so benefits everyone.
You can import any code from a Github repository you have, or export the project you're working on to a Github repository, or download a .tgz of the entire thing. Anil's opinions on "the web we lost" fit into the ethos of Fog Creek and co well, I think.
If anything centralization in this case just greases the skids to running quickly without any lock-in.
I recently used it to play with websockets and being centralized was the main reason it worked so well.
So I made this:
I have never heard of him but appearantly he has a big following. And it appears that a very large number of people don't like him - enough to create a bunch of new accounts here at HN just to comment on his persona.
Fog Creek has to me always been about Joel on Software. And to me they always got a lot of credit and extra attention to their products because of his excellent writing. It must be hard for a new CEO to follow up on that.
As for the product; it has already been announced and discussed here earlier.
Personally I fail to see what it adds to an already crowded space of online, web-based, collaborative development environments. Honestly I think has too few features and is kinda ugly. But given that Trello and Stack Overflow has very large user bases maybe it is able to push thru and gain critical mass.
The key paragraph for me was this one:
> The Gomix model is: just click. And in that respect, we have much in common with developer playgrounds like CodePen and JSFiddle. They too are fun for trying things out, and a nice way for developers to share ideas. But they don’t provide any ability to run back-end code, which greatly limits the types of things that you can build with them. What’s more, key features like realtime collaboration between multiple users are often limited to only paying users, putting up a barrier for educational use or simple pair-programming scenarios.
Just thought the link might be useful for folk interested in reading more about that.
Can you give an example? I'm not aware of many products that are attacking the problem of making coding easier and more fun in the same way they are.
I'd rather make coding simpler than easier. The fun will naturally emerge out of using simpler constructs. This is exactly what Clojure did for me :)
I'm convinced it's possible to strike a balance in designing such a product that catches on like wildfire.
I think what they have is a decent start but could be a lot better. Maybe I'll share some of my own ideas if they are open to that kind of feedback.
Thanks for bringing it up, and I'm sorry we didn't catch it earlier.
Could be worse, imagine a product named Gopnik /s
My guess is that is the reason we're tortured with hours long videos with very little content.
My anecdotal data point: the homepage only seemed to have a video explanation, I dropped off right then because I didn't want to watch a 2 minute video about how this works.
When I search a page I'm looking for a description and a bit of context. You might be able to search a video thanks to autotranscripts. Then you have to scrub to be sure the keyword is in the correct context.
Honestly I would like if they did both. Sometimes I like to just listen to videos while I'm doing other things and sometimes I like to be able to just skim through an article.
But we'll be sure to work on some video examples - I appreciate people learn in different ways. For a quick overview of Gomix, see https://gomix.com/about/
So yeah, I'd like a really robust tutorial (text, preferably, I don't like to sit and watch videos) which shows the creation of a full featured web app with persistent data storage, and a dynamic front end. Something with robust functionality so we can see how something like that is built.
Despite being promoted by Fog Creek, I suspect that Gomix will run into the same problem that we did: professional developers won't use it as they already have the tools they prefer, whereas hobbyists won't be willing to pay. Without a viable business model, a service like this won't grow.
PS. If you're looking for something similar, but simpler and geared towards backend apps and micro services (think AWS Lambda), you should check out https://unitcluster.com/
On a somewhat related note, one thing I'd like to see is cheap Heroku like hosting for Node. Most Node web apps could get by with 64MB of memory and processes could be started quickly in response to incoming requests, making it possible to price this at 1 USD per app per month.
(The pricing page is deliberately simplified, but you really can specify to the megabyte what you want).
Disclosure: I work for Pivotal.
I think they are relying on the instant forking of a working app to save users. The idea being that even if you don't understand all the concepts, most people can muddle through and modify and enhance based on seeing what's going on inside an already working code base.
It's true that starting to code from a working example is a tremendous advantage. However it's also true you have to eventually grasp the concepts and node has never been the easiest backend to grasp.
"Set up your Alexa skill in your Amazon developer account."
"TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID and TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN - available from https://www.twilio.com/user/account/settings"
Things have changed since 99. The walled gardens are up. Credit cards are required everywhere. I hope the 'casual' programmer can fill out all these forms and not be scared by AUTH_TOKENS. I wish gomix had a pool of community accounts. (eg for Twilio where you get like 100 free texts and you just hack on).
thats what a lot if the LAMP stacks had back then at a minimum. then make a page woth php_info in it and carefully scan the verbose output to see what your cgi renderer was compiled with
I'll explain why I think this product is important. Everyone knows the js dev world has fallen vicrim to the irresistable urge to abstract away and you end up with toolchain on top of toolchain.
Node and express made it possible to get an app going instantly, but now, not so instant cause you have this that and the other to install and more importantly learn how to use. For example, since Stackoverflow was mentioned, take a look there at how many people are stuck, not on js, they're confused by Angular or whatever framework was supposed to make their life easier. Simpler frameworks and simpler ways are usually pretty well received, so I view gomix as being in that spirit.
Congrats to the makers its an interesting tool.
Are there really people that see it that way? For me it's just the opposite, programming is a field that is easily accessible to anyone that's interested, with a very low entry bar.
Since I learned to program when I was a teenager, by reading a book about the BASIC language and taking an introductory class where I could use a microcomputer, I have a hard time thinking about it as "an exclusionary priesthood for a small few".
That attitude used to exist back in the 90s, with products like HyperCard, Filemaker, even Microsoft Access. There was a time when it was just expected that development software had a graphical interface builder for developers to use. (Heck, even IDEs for really difficult languages, like C++, had them.)
But "real developers" crapped all over those tools, especially Access. And when "real developers" create programming tools, they don't spend even 10 milliseconds thinking about accessibility or usability or user experience-- look at Git (created in 2005) as a perfect example. There was a time when terrible software like Git was mocked and derided, not praised.
So while back in 1998, anybody could program their own recipe database with drag&drop and a little scripting in HyperCard or Access, now in 2016 they can't. They could try perhaps in one of the "leftover" easy environments, like WinForms, but it's about an order of magnitude more difficult to learn, and if they want to share their solution with someone, they have to learn Git which is about two orders of magnitude more difficult to learn.
The world you grew up in no longer exists, and we move further from that ideal every year. Sorry, but the "high priesthood" concept (make everything difficult and annoying so we can demand more salary) won in our industry, and it won decades ago.
Now I am a developer and can handle direct SQL and in retrospective I think it is easier to setup sqlite and learn basic SQL than learning MS Access.
> But "real developers" crapped all over those tools, especially Access. And when "real developers" create programming tools, they don't spend even 10 milliseconds thinking about accessibility or usability or user experience-- look at Git (created in 2005) as a perfect example. There was a time when terrible software like Git was mocked and derided, not praised.
I think they crapped over those tools, because these tools got the abstraction wrong. They are in complexity between spreadsheet software like Excel and "real" databases that speak SQL. There just aren't enough use cases where you go in-between there, so as an expert in Access you can't solve many problems, especially as you are tied to the Access stack.
The problem git solves is just non-trivial, so git itself has some learning curve.
If you identify a problem in a useful tool, the correct response isn't "throw it into the garbage and never make a tool anything like it ever again!" The solution is to research and iterate and try to fix the problem. The Wright Flyer didn't have much range. The Wright's solution wasn't "let's give up on creating airplanes forever!"
We'll never know if Access could be made better, because development on it stopped.
And in any case, for the point I'm making, it doesn't matter if Access is a perfect, or even a good tool. The point I'm making is that he developers of Access had a clear vision of how to make software development easier for the average person that now no longer exists. Maybe they weren't good at achieving that vision, but they had it. Modern software developers, by-and-large, do not. (HyperCard's a far better example, since it had the same vision and also more successfully executed on it.)
> The problem git solves is just non-trivial, so git itself has some learning curve.
Microsoft Word solves the same problem Git does with its "Track Changes" feature and is far easier to use. I'm not saying that "Track Changes" is sufficient for software development purposes, but it certainly points to a few obvious ideas that could make source control software far better.
But of course Git has none of that. It doesn't even try. It's simply bad software.
EDIT: BTW, the problem with Git isn't that it's too complex, the problem is that it's far too simple. It implements a few abstractions, then forces the user to deal with them even though those abstractions don't resemble human thought processes even slightly.
And for the record, Subversion solved the exact same problem and was far more usable. It also had more features. And was much easier to create GUIs for. Basically, it was better than Git in every measure that matters to me. And it was bad software. But it was way better than Git.
The tools we have now, and the libraries and learning resources (like YouTube) make it that much easier, not harder, for someone to learn and get started.
It's "easier" in that it doesn't cost money, I'll grant you that. It's not "easier" in the sense that development tools are more accessible, discoverable, or usable than they were a decade ago. How many of those YouTube videos only exist because the tools they're teaching have terrible usability?
When you learned it was possible to create and sell a commercial product by learning 1 simple language with no frameworks and no rest apis. That's just not possibly today.
The problem is the our universe was so small back then compared to what you have to know today. Networking, security, so many frameworks, the Internet. Even learning JS is harder than basic.
Not according to the hordes of HN posters who regularly shit on coding bootcamps.
* with that said General Assembly I hear is pretty good, and there is a reason why a lot of companies let their employees go to some of their Bootcamps. The rest, I can't speak for, even on a incidental level.
In any case, it's cool that you're responding to a thread about your blog. I wish you and yours nothing but health and happiness in 2017 from here in Russia.
It could serve as a great educational tool too. Something that would allow people who are overwhelmed to get their feet wet and 'build something functional'. Getting 'hello world' to print on a console is cool, but it won't excite someone as much as getting a live website to print 'hello world'.
Doesn't look like there's currently any way to add more modules. At least I haven't found it yet. Interested in testing out the import feature...
For a fuller example, the Gomix site is also built using those technologies, and you can view their code too: https://gomix.com/#!/project/community
I like the auto-deploy because the iteration cycle is amazing for testing and realtime collab, but it would be great if I it auto-deployed to a staging area, then when satisfied promote that to be live...
Mozilla Thimble is a HTML/CSS/JS learning tool. It's frontend only and doesn't have realtime collaboration.
Gomix is backend and frontend. It's collaborative, so a team can work on it at the same time. They're looking to change how teams work together by replacing version control. It also deploys instantly, so there's no saving/uploading/pushing/etc.
Source: https://learning.mozilla.org/blog/introducing-the-new-thimbl... and https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2016/05/31/introducing-hyperd...
We just got in a new agile rhythmn.
Maybe there will be Kiln integration at some point?
I would have thought that would be more appropriate for software companies founded 40+ years ago — around longer than most careers
When you join a company a few weeks before it releases a new software product, have the humility to admit that you had precious little to do with it. Don't write about yourself, at all! Write about the product, what it can do for me, and the amazing team who built it.
I'm going to go way out of line and do a bit of a hatchet job on your writing, because this is honestly how it came across to me when I read your post. Here are your exact words, with a few ellipses thrown in to emphasize the point.
> I'M AT FOG CREEK…I’m the new CEO of Fog Creek Software!
> If you know me…It’s no secret that I’ve become increasingly critical of the conventional tech world’s lack of focus on ethics, humanity, and inclusion.
> [Fog Creek's] brilliant and thoughtful founders Michael and Joel were willing to trust me to be the CEO of the company that have so carefully shepherded all these years. [sic]
> …after challenges like shutting down ThinkUp earlier this year, I started reckoning a bit with how to be most effective in pushing the tech industry to be a little more thoughtful. This personal inflection point became clearer as the team at Activate released this year's Activate Outlook — seven years after we'd set out to create the leading strategy consulting company, I realized we'd not just succeeded, but done so to the degree where the team could now run effectively without me being involved day-to-day. Between stepping back to an advisory role at Activate and sharpening the focus of my work for the organizations whose boards I serve on, I was able to bring some clarity to the work in front of me.
> I realized that I wanted to fully engage myself with a single, all-encompassing role that would use all my skills, and that Fog Creek's legacy of leading the industry made it the perfect place to try and push things forward again. So now, I have a simple answer if someone at a cocktail party asks what I do.
> What do I do? I'm the CEO of a small software company in downtown Manhattan that’s as influential in the tech world as companies 1000 times our size.
> For the past several years, I found that the overhead of provisioning servers, or trying to maintain a dev environment, or wrangling with version control took all the fun out of coding for me, to the point where I don’t just hack on things for fun anymore. I can’t imagine how much more intimidating it would be if I hadn’t spent many years coding.
Tell me, does any of this have anything to do with… What was the product called again? What does it do for me? And how can you helpfully communicate that value?
Now I realize this post was on your personal blog. So a bit of self-indulgence is understandable. But still… Is all of this about you, or about a great company and its new product that you were lucky enough to be asked to be involved with?
I should admit that I'm probably just jealous. How in the world do you get a publication like TechCrunch to give you personal credit for this product when you had so little to do with it? Their headline from 12/6: "Anil Dash, new CEO of Fog Creek, launches platform to remove barriers to app development"
I was out of line, and I am sorry for the harsh tone of my comments.
I don't know you, and you certainly don't know me, but I suspect Dash knows his target audience for this particular post pretty well. The product-focused posts are somewhere else, not his personal blog, and chances are they're gathering dust, speaking relatively and metaphorically.
Remember, the article was in fact meant to be about his new role. The title starts out "I'm at Fog Creek...". Given that he's within scope with what he wrote.
Personally, I would never list celebrities that have retweeted me and recoil at even the thought of doing such a thing. But we have to interpret things as generously as possible. I know people who would talk about Prince retweeting them just as a matter of fact thing that seemed cool to take note of.
Just FYI, Fog Creek.
Gomix is the easiest way to build the app or bot of your dreams.
With working example apps to remix, a code editor to modify them, instant hosting and deployment - anybody can build a web app on Gomix, for free.
Start by remixing.
You never have to start from a blank slate. Remix a full, working app to personalize it for your needs, or build on the most popular and powerful developer frameworks to create your app.
You don’t have to deal with the complexity of version control or tracking changes — the built-in editor allows multiple people to edit code at once and undo mistakes as they happen, just like working together in Google Docs.
It's not training wheels.
Gomix is not a limited "toy" version of a real developer environment — your Gomix app is hosted on the exact same industry standard infrastructure that the best developers use to run their apps.
We handle the mess.
While you work with Gomix, we seamlessly upgrade your servers and cloud infrastructure in the background. There’s no deployment or server provisioning because it all happens automatically.
Why Did We Make Gomix?
In some ways, Gomix is a throwback to an older era of software or the internet, when there were simpler ways to get started making cool stuff. For people who were around at that time, they'll understand Gomix easily: We’re bringing “View Source” back. Of course, they didn't literally take “View Source” out of web browsers, but the ability to just look at the code behind something, and tweak it, and make your own thing, was essential to making the Internet fun, and weird, and diverse, in its early days. And that has sadly disappeared.
Similarly, in even earlier eras, tools like HyperCard on the Mac and Visual Basic on Windows democratized software creation, letting regular individuals or casual business users create useful apps to meet their needs. During development, Gomix was even called “HyperDev”, as a nod to this history — and its early-90s aesthetic subtly nods to that heritage, too.
Whether we look at simple issues like being able to do fun things with an Amazon Echo, or hugely complex issues like trying to make tech and programming more inclusive, Gomix has a role to play in solving problems that matter. And we’re going to have fun doing it!
Also discussed on this Show HN post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13116426
Now when a tech celebrity posts about it, the post blows up but is filled with discussion of the personality...
"We have a persistent file system, so anything you store within your project is kept. This means you can use files as a flat file database, or save your database files locally (see our SQLite3 and NeDB examples). You can also use third-party storage services, like a hosted MongoDB database or Redis (see our MongoDB example).
We recommend creating a folder called ‘.data’ as a safe place to store your database files. This folder isn’t copied across when a project is remixed."
I loved it when it was called Hyperdev too. At first I didn't really get it (I work at Stack Overflow so we're part of the same extended family meaning my first impression of Hyperdev was before it was as polished), honestly at first I was angry they were even spending the time doing something I considered so stupid. Until I had a use for it.
I had gotten a Raspberry Pi foundation touch-screen LCD, spent my Saturday morning setting it up, had a grandiose idea of what I wanted to make using it (basically just a "smart" note / TODO / grocery list manager I could attach to my fridge's door) and... realized I had to write yet-another-webapp. I've been making web apps for around a dozen years. The last thing I want to do in my life is spend the time writing the basics of a web-app.
My idea was going to be a thing where I'd use Trello (wow this is becoming an ad for all my sister companies remind me to plug FogBugz, Kiln, and CityDesk at some point too) as the "data store". I have Trello boards for everything. Work to-dos, Personal to-dos, even a trello list for the records I own and the records I want to own.
After writing the basics of what I wanted down, I started sketching the UI. And you know what? After I had all that set, I was able to make a prototype of the entire thing in less than 15 minutes using Gomix (at the time Hyperdev). You can view my prototype here: https://coal-sting.gomix.me/
I didn't end up building the full flow, but I've been coming back to the Gomix project every month or two and adding one-more-MVP-checklist-feature to my prototype. And once I'm done with it? I can take all the JS I wrote, put it into a project bundled with webpack like the rest of my projects, and place it directly onto my RPi and touchscreen.
I know Gomix looks deceptively simple, but that's exactly why I love it. I really value minimizing the time it takes to go from "ooh that's a cool idea" to "holy shit I'm actually working on the idea and not the cruft and skeleton code I need to work on before I get to work on the idea itself!"
Half the time the reason why I stop working on a side project is because I'm getting bored before I get to even work on the real side project. I am always just looking for an excuse to give up and go back to playing video games.
Gomix is perfect for me. I can't wait until they support more languages so I can throw away all the time I've spent and code I've written making templates and bootstrappers for myself.
> I love my FooBar 2001. I spent the past weekend migrating my dishwasher's contents into my new FooBar 2001 and it was a very pleasant experience. I was intimidated by how much work it would be at first but to my surprise it was A BREEZE. I'm so happy now with my new Foobar 2001 that I will probably use my dishwasher as a litterbox.
I just felt the need to comment because a lot of the comments remind me of my first impression of the product before I really gave it a chance.
I was so angry they were working on it, they started working on it after a quiet period following the Fog Creek / Trello split and my first impression was they were merely looking for something to waste their time doing, it just didn't make sense. But, I tried it, and damn I love it.
You can go look through my 5 years worth of HN comments if you'd like, when I like something I am always this excited about it.
Again, not questioning your ethics. Just trying help make your argument more impactful.
Honestly with the rest of this thread and the feedback though, I wish I hadn't posted it at all. I used to really enjoy participating in this community.
Happy new year.
I fully believe you had no ill intent. It's just that bending over backward to make it clear strengthens your viewpoint.
I'm not sure about this Gomix thing. I might send my kids to have a play on it and see what they think. I can't imagine it is going to have the uptake of Trello though
the video targets, manager, who probably dont care what this is ...
and maybe developers who are very familiar with this domain
i guess, either, it is targeted as a niche app for specific people
or .. they messed up badly
He inserts race into everything:
He gets people fired for making jokes:
I'm sure Gomix will have some level of success, though I have no idea what it is from his post - which just seems to be about how his is now CEO and all the glory is his. I wonder how his team feel about that? Perhaps some of them are white, so the team doesn't matter?
He wasn't even trying to win an argument or refute anything.
Also that's one link. He inserts race into "everything"?
I was only trying to refute the accusation that he was racist. That seemed pretty absurd.
Don't have anything to say about your position. I haven't spoken to him personally.
Observing that some races have historically enjoyed more or less privilege than others isn't racist either.
Meanwhile, people like this guy tried to pass it off as if we were afraid of the big bad colonialist telling us to trust him. It was fairly disgusting to read, because it was implied as if we're incapable of forming intelligent opinions without bringing identity politics into the picture.
Do you have a link?
All I remember was a comment he made on Zuckerberg's post politely asking him to reconsider his approach and why it didn't work
“At a broad level, it might be useful to really, really reckon with the history of western corporate powers enforcing their desires on a broad swath of the Indian population, especially India’s poorest,” he suggested. “There are things that India, Indians (and those of us in the diaspora) place a very high value on, for historical reasons, that should be obvious with some thought. A colonialist ‘Trust us, it’s for your own benefit’ pitch is a hard sell with good reason.
I can see how you reached your conclusion but I didn't end up there after reading the bit you quoted.
I think there's a more charitable take on what he said.
Anil's statement was both sexist and racist as in, discriminating based on race and sex.
Its totally pointless and counter-productive, but hey, at least his followers will cheer.
This seems like putting a spin on things. Following a link in the article, you might want to read what Anil actually wrote (in particular, search for "Update"):
I used to really respect Joel Spolsky. I've read all of his stuff and really liked it.
But I can't help thinking that Fog Creek just isn't that important of a company. As a decidedly "technical" person, I don't know a single person that uses any of their products. And I really do mean, zero. I know plenty of people that use git, IntelliJ, github, Stack Overflow, Twilio, AWS, Firebase, Google Cloud Platform, MongoDB, Pivotal Tracker, hell even JIRA, but nothing from Fog Creek. Ten years in the trenches, writing software, and never have I even once used, or even _met_ anyone that uses their stuff.
Furthermore, the world has kinda moved on. We aren't shipping desktop software anymore and also, it's not enough to release to the web, either. These days people expect mobile apps, complex responsive design, and 1000 other things you didn't need to do 10 years ago. Software is increasingly becoming a field dominated by teams of specialists in all areas, and I just don't get the sense that Gomix was built with this new reality in mind.
Second. I first heard of this guy (Anil) only about a month ago, when I came upon Joel's blog. I heard that he became CEO and yeah, I agree with a lot of what you've written -- a windbag with a political agenda who's great at self-promotion. Honest question though, does this make for a great CEO? We can certainly look to really cerebral guys like Bill Gates as a model for a tech CEO, but consider that Jeff Bezos apparently wasn't a developer. Also consider that more problems in tech are basically "solved" at this point, and as the industry matures, things like promotion and marketing are getting increasingly important. Satya Nadella (Microsoft) himself acknowledged this; I just read last week that Microsoft had some kind of senior meeting, and Satya was on a rant about how MS's culture is too engineering-driven for today's world. I don't have the temperament to be as much of a self-promoter as a guy like Anil, but I know plenty of companies that seem to be run by these guys, like Buffer, Groove, or anyone else specializing in "content marketing", and it seems to be working for them.
So before you dismiss this guy, think of what it takes to make a good tech CEO. I fucking loathe self-promoters, really I do, but I'm becoming increasingly convinced that's what it takes to make it in the sort of CRUDdy "tech" that isn't too research-heavy, which is most of software, these days (not autonomous vehicles, genetics, deep learning, thorium reactors, etc)
After reading the rest of your post, I'm not sure why.
Joel Spolsky always seemed to me like he was all hat and no cattle -- he had rather strong opinions (and a high opinion of himself) for someone who ran a small company that never did anything of significance.
He has always seemed rather fixated on some kind of superiority complex and separating good programmers from bad, but why should anyone believe that he is one of the good ones? What is he an authority on -- writing software nobody wants to use?
(A good read, like most any one of his pieces - nothing wrong with his writing talent, obviously ...)
Before launching Amazon, Bezos worked at "a financial-trading company on the cutting edge of computer technology" .
Wikipedia says he has a degree in "electrical engineering and computer science" .
It's reasonable to assume that Bezos has at least some development experience.
I would say, Fog Creek created one of the most important pieces of software in history and one of the most used. It is called "Stack Overflow". Sure. Quote how they are technically are not owned by FogCreek and Joel is just a CEO there. But that is lawyers, you know, lawyer-ing.
"In 2008, Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky created Stack Overflow, a question-and-answer Web site for computer programming questions, which they described as an alternative to the programmer forum Experts-Exchange."
Trello (project management) and Stack Overflow were spun off from Fog Creek parent company, but are not run by Fog Creek.
2. Not even sort of bizarre.
3. Anil reached out to a journalist and apparently made a valid point. The accusation of "coercion" has no basis in known facts. Your link is literally a guy quoting three tweets and making wild claims about what MIGHT have happened behind the scenes.
If this is true, and it seems true, no founder in Silicon Valley should do business or in any way support Anil Dash in anything.
I would chastise Joel Spolsky and that other guy too, but it seems unnecessary given the destruction they're inflicting on their own business by letting him run it. Hah.
From his own web site:
"He flat out said that he wants his startup to be funded and wasn't sure if it'd be possible after all of his, and I replied that it realistically wasn't going to happen without the say-so of someone like me, and I wasn't inclined to give some VC the nod on this. On reflection, I'll be explicit: If you're a venture capitalist, and you invest in Pax's startup without a profound, meaningful and years-long demonstration of responsibility from Pax beforehand, you're complicit in extending the tech industry's awful track record of exclusion, and it's unacceptable."
This is clearly a threat that Anil Dash will make trouble for any VC that funds him. This truly sounds so unethical that it might be criminal extortion.
I have no history or relationship with him. I just came across someone publicly trying to use his power against a fellow founder and I wanted to publicly (and anonymously) despise him for it.
> I hope that Pax's friends in the pick up artist community take a few moments away from writing date rape manuals and sending me death threats to reflect on the fact that their new hero has at least some tiny bit of respect for the wife he's been married to for 15 years. How crushed they will be.
> Pax showed up about 10 minutes late, having been busy with the latest stop on his press tour, and as I had agreed, I called him an asshole to his face and paid for his coffee. We talked for about 20 minutes. He offered up a pretty boringly conventional defense of male privilege, and when I described the role of actual satire and comedy in punching up instead of punching down, he revealed that he sees attacking feminists and equality activists as punching up. There was some pointless bickering from me about the inanity of that perspective, but overall things were fairly civil; I've met guys like this before and I didn't have any illusion that I was going to dissuade him from a perspective which his social group rewards with attention and the perverse impression that acting like an asshole is somehow being brave.
This is the new CEO of Fog Creek? In all fairness, he did say he was "fighting off a brutal chest cold". But WTF? I've had chest colds too, so has everyone. They never provoked me to being this nasty, whatever the reason.
I am sad. I thought Joel had some interesting insights, and Fog Creek was involved in some truly interesting and useful products like Stack Overflow and Trello.
But if someone like that is now running the show, it doesn't give me much hope for their future products.
Yeah, sounds exactly like the guy he is. I mean what else could someone be that thinks people who don't share his world-view are "supremacist assholes", that blacklisting others (or trying to blacklist them, whatever) is completely okay be than "trying to live a life where I am as unreasonably kind as I can be".
Kind of a messed up world when follower counts can have a chilling effect.
But if it's true what people say: No one wants to get into a public fight with a professional talker, SJW, "technologist" and self-promoter.
Those fights are only for people who have the time and the money.
I think folks in tech (and society at large, frankly) have a bit of a fundamental misunderstanding of what comprises discrimination and sexism. The systematic disenfranchisement of a gender/race/ethnicity whatever term you want to use, often is not remedied without some kind of equality of status, that's what 'retweeting only women' is doing. Its giving equality of status to women that they likely would not usually have. Fundamentally I think its hard for a lot of folks to grasp this, even those who have historically been discriminated against when it comes to something they don't understand, part of that is human nature, but over and over again actual psychological studies and sociology studies show again and again that when you give people equality of status only then do things change. 
As far as Pax goes, CTO of a growing (and arguably large at the time even) should have known better, and frankly, his comments, joke or not, were inexcusable. I also don't care what people may say about what people say in private, because that is something I cannot react to, because I'm not party to that conversation, but this took place on a public forum, and it was in very poor taste at a minimum, and given an executive at a company, likely someone with such poor taste on a public forum as such I can't imagine was doing much for bettering workplace standards. This may be complete conjecture which I acknowledge. With that said, in my experience dealing with people who tend to act the same way in a public forum, in private they're more often than not just as inexcusable.
"In The Passion Of The Christ 2, Jesus gets raped by a pack of niggers. It's his own fault for dressing like a whore though."
"aw, you can't feed your family on minimum wage? well who told you to start a fucking family when your skills are only worth minimum wage?"
"feminism in tech remains the champion topic for my block list. my finger is getting tired."
Anil could have begged BI to forgive him and it wouldn't have helped. Pax placed a time bomb under his own bed with that tweet and it was destined to go off if BI ever found it.
So this is what HN has deteriorated into? Really? Might want to check your blood pressure cause all that salt can't be good for you.