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the second image uses the word "exile" several times. Exile is typically associated with being cast out from one's group. The _why saga was before my time as a Rubyist but I always thought he vanished, i.e. left on his own accord.

Was there an "exile" event that I am not aware of? Or does anyone know what he's talking about?

I can't think of any specific "exile event", but it did seem some time before he left that there was a trend in the Ruby/Rails community that made him feel unwelcome. That trend was "replace why's libraries and make noise about how his library wasn't any good".

Hpricot in particular was under heavy assault. I'll be the first to say that maybe it wasn't always the most performant solution, but for a long time it was the only good solution (and I tried a few). So when people are ripping your libraries left and right, forgetting to pay a little bit of respect to how big an impact he had on the community, then yeah...I could see how he'd feel the need for a self-imposed exile.

While I've never followed either of the stories that closely, isn't that fairly similar to what happened with Zed Shaw? Only in Zed's case he ended up finding a happy home in the Python community vs. completely disappearing from the face of the earth forever.

His software ended up being too good, actually. It made other people feel embarrassed.

Not really.

Zed (his real name? Seems like one) became famous by putting on a loud obnoxious persona, plus complaining that people used his work (mongrel) without appreciating him.

Why (not his real name!) became famous for his work's weirdness. And his "enemies" disliked how capricious and weird his work was, not the sort of thing to build a Real Serious Business on. and he fled from the public eye into self-imposed exile when people started piercing his intentional veil of anonymity.

I always thought that sucked. Its easy to take something that exists and make it better. Its damn hard to decide that something should exist in the first place and give it a try.

Like X only betterer is the ghetto of the technically talented but uncreative.

"But Mr. Ford, we already have a method for building horseless carriages, why would you develop a new one?"

I'm glad people improve on others work. Sad if they are jerks about it, but there I'd no shame in standing in the shoulders of others.

Self-imposed exile is still exile. I'm not a rubyist but I believe your reading of the saga is correct.

He also claims (in the footnote) that Jack Black is another "character" he plays (making fun of their similarity in appearance). I'd take all of it as somewhat tongue-in-cheek

Some people are still understandably mad at him for taking down his repos when he disappeared. He probably feels a bit like a pariah, even though his actions were of his own choice.

There is a long history of the phrase "self-imposed exile". It's even the example for the word self-imposed in the American Heritage Dictionary

There are a lot of different ways to be exiled. From what I gather, his privacy was violated so he left. Whether his privacy was violated out of excessive fanboi zeal or as an expression of lack of trust/attempt to verify something or some other reason, it was a form of hostile event which drove him off. He was not being accepted on the terms he wished to set, in essence.

He did delete his own accounts, yes, but that doesn't mean that he didn't _feel_ unwelcome.

Also, if you take _why as being separate from the human being who played him ("Subject" is the best I've got), Subject could have imposed exile upon _why, because they're not the same person. http://words.steveklabnik.com/why-is-a-role-not-a-person

Self-exile, without deliberate action by others, is a common archetype.

I'm not going to link to anything for reasons which will be obvious, but basically, _why asked for privacy and someone doxed (outed) him. At this time, _why decided to vanish. I don't know that _why ever said why he vanished (he vanished, after all), but most assume that he left because he was doxed. This made Hacker News at the time and a follow up article about _why I read a couple of years later appeared to verify his identity.

It would be only conjecture, but maybe by having light shed on his actual identity, he felt his hand had been forced? Thus leading him into exile?

> Was there an "exile" event that I am not aware of?

No. He left of his own accord. Read it as "self-imposed exile" or something.

self-imposed exile

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