I attended a Scala unconference a few years back, and in casual conversation politely asked him about how one would do continuous deployment with his framework. He flipped out at me, considering the very notion illegitimate, and was enough of an ass about it that several people came up to me and apologized later. He didn't, though, and as far as I know nobody called him out on it.
It seemed like a classic abusive dad/enabling family thing, and definitely deflated a lot of the excitement that the unconference built up for me. Having worked for financial traders, I've been yelled at by people much better at being domineering assholes. I've also learned that my price for dealing with that nonsense is very, very high.
So yeah, I'll be using more than a grain of salt on this one.
The key here is that no one was banned in the OP pull request. Naftoli was banned almost a year ago for matters entirely unrelated to this particular pull request (as seen in the gp thread), and it is perfectly reasonable that a pull request be closed once a person has been banned simply because it was opened by that person. Otherwise a ban is meaningless.
As a committer, I've seen the original interactions that David refers to in that public ML thread in the private committers list, and the reactions are reasonable. Naftoli contributed good code, but bad karma. David is less tolerant of that than other maintainers might be, but every person varies in their tolerance of such things, and the result is indeed a more harmonious community.
You can see my own full response to the original ban and its reasoning as the second to last post in the thread posted by gp.
This is really bad news. I recently saw that he was speaking at a Clojure conference and thought finally somebody else would have to deal with his behavior of no-I-can't-be-wrong-ever-let-me-threaten/insult/ban-you-for-that.
Imho, he is a burden to the Scala community, probably even more so than Jon Harrop (to the F# community), so it's kind of disappointing that he is still here.
I don't recommend Lift to anyone solely based on DPP's continued involvement.
I don't even know what Lift is, let alone any of the people involved in this specific issue, but I have a hard time believing someone was banned "merely" for contributing a pull request. This is a silly submission designed to stir up more drama.
They mean very different things. "Banned for contributing" means that contributing was the reason for his ban. What he is banned from doing is unspecified. "Banned from contributing" means he did something bad and they won't let him contribute anymore because of it. What he did to get banned is unspecified.
As far as I know it's a personal gripe between the two people involved that goes back many years. Supposedly he wasn't banned for anything to do with coding, it was for harassing the maintainer. But that's all Internet gossip anyway, so who knows the real reasons behind it.
Regardless, it's a personal fight that probably doesn't belong on HN.
Edit: Sorry jfarmer, I see you said pretty much the same thing regarding HN.