TC39 vs "the community"

joe joeedh at
Mon Jun 23 17:29:35 PDT 2014

And here I thought you were making an educated argument with your
explanation of the history of propaganda and public relations.  When I
first read "corporate propaganda," I thought you mean the propaganda of JS
developers, not commercial corporations.

Frankly, I find the idea that commercial interests trump corporate identity
hard to fathom.  If that were true, Java would be a very different language
today, and JavaScript would have long fallen into disuse.  "The community,"
very much exists;  it's not a figment of some PR type's imagination.
 Anyone claiming there isn't a sense of corporate identity among JS
developers is fooling themselves.

I'm on the side of TC39, by the way.  I don't believe in democracy in
software.  That's why we have standards organizations.


On Sun, Jun 22, 2014 at 9:41 PM, Garrett Smith <dhtmlkitchen at>

> On 6/20/14, David Bruant <bruant.d at> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I'm not quite sure what this is all about, so forking in hope for
> > clarifications.
> > I'm sorry to send a message that will probably be read as noise by a lot
> > of people, but I'm also tired of some of these pointless and
> > unconstructive, if not destructive, fights among people (in here, on
> > Twitter or elsewhere).
> > I hope to have a conversation to start the end of the alleged
> > unharmonious relationship between TC39 and JS developers.
> >
> > Domenic, your email suggests a fairly strong dichotomy between "TC39"
> > and "the community". As far as I'm concerned, to begin with, I don't see
> > anything that is called "the community" in JavaScript.
> Words tend to get coopted and their meanings stretched to suit agendas.
> <aside>
> If you're easily offended, or if you wish not to read opinionated
> information, stop reading now. Also, I add nothing whatsoever to the
> technical matter of this discussion.
> </aside>
> Developer relations is public relations for developers, and public
> relations is propaganda. This is because Edward Bernays used a
> propaganda technique to rename propaganda to "Public Relations".It
> stuck.
> The renaming of term "propaganda" was necessary because it had lost
> any acceptibile legitimacy that it had maintained prior its use in
> WWII, when Joseph Goebbels' used Edward Bernays' propaganda.
> Similarly, popular opinion for the bellamy salute, changed around this
> time, which is why schools now use the hand-on-heart techqnique to
> instill the values. But that is getting off topic on an already off
> topic thread.
> The terms, "community", "developer relations", and "technical
> evangelism", are all used to describe roles for corporate propaganda.
> "The community," where propaganda is disseminated, exists more
> recently as corporate-sponsored technical events and, starting a few
> years back, on w3c mailing lists. Large numbers of individuals are
> organized (By Google, Microsoft, etc) to accept what is fed to them
> through these corporate vehicles, and willingly do so for three
> reasons (1) the great potential for career advancement via social
> climbing, (2) the large amount of money in corporate community, and
> (3) a shortage of corporate-free spaces.
> The term "community" has long been coopted outside the world of tech,
> generally to leverage herd mentality, so as to control, categorize,
> marginalize, and otherwise take advantage of subsets the public.
> And so now too in software, where companies hire representatives to
> promote agendas, "the community" represents something of value to
> them: influence.
> Developer relations and community managers are generally presentable,
> attractive, and serve their company's agenda. Programming skill is not
> so important. Appearance and presentation are.
> Developer relations is generally very well-compensated for very light
> work hours (e.g. $150k+ 4d/wk, 6h/d). Don't get me wrong, I'm all for
> working fewer hours! -- my point is that "community," and those who
> manage to shape it, play a significant role in the corporate agenda to
> the expense of anything resembling consensus-based voluntaryist
> community.
> --
> Garrett
> @xkit
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