Text copy below. Source can be found here. Worth highlighting this issue is not limited to r/MK, but the MK community in general. If you see people harassing other people, even if they’re a prominent maker, please call it out. People who give freely to the open source community are incredibly important IMO and it’s a shame to see them go through this crap.
Hey guys. I’m Gondolindrim, a Brazilian mech enthusiast like you guys who just enjoys thocks and clacks.
No, the title is not a clickbait. I’m writing this post to make public a series of issues that have been happening to me and have happened over the last year, which I’ve been taking quietly but I can’t anymore.
As I’m not a prminent member of the community, I’ll start from the start. I’ve been an enthusiast for a good 3-4 years. Recently I’ve decided to take matters up to my own hand and contribute to this community in a way I find positive: making open-source keyboard PCBs that feature common qualities like USBC ports, brand new ARM controllers and such. I started with the SharkPCB, which is a 40% Ortho PCB layout featuring STM32 processor, RGB underglow and rotary encoder support.
Issues start right then and there. I had important members of this community state to me that Shark was a Planck copy and I’m “just a small town boy wanting some drama”. By this time I also had normal users PMing me on discord belittling me and Steve for what we were doing. Indeed we (me and Steve from WoodCables, who partakes in the distribution of the Shark) did have some very public discussion about the Shark/Planck debacle with OLKB. Man of Interests also did a video with Hineybush about the whole thing - thanks Huey!
Let me be very clear here. This post is not about MechMerlin, Jack Humbert or QMK staff. In reality, Jack Humbert is an asset to this community by being a very reasonable person even with someone with whom he holds some quarrels: to this day he treats me like nothing happened. Merlin is an amazing guy who helped me immensely during all the drama and supported me through all of it. I have only respect and civility for both of them at my very core.
As I grew fond of making keyboards, I was invited to participate in more projects and I felt really included in this community. I even started the Acheron Project, which is the compendium of PCBs I devised, every single one of them for free, under open-source guidelines and completely distributable and modifyiable. I believe this project has taken me thousands of hours to document, design and prototype, and money I struggled to spend and won’t get back. As of right now, the project has almost 12 finished PCBs, and having done every single one of them completely free of charge to promote and help small and new makers (not all of those PCBs are presently publicly released as some are in GB phase and their source files are held privately until the GB happens to prevent a parallel selling of the PCBs, but it is my condition that they are released publicly after GB). But all of that took its toll. I had big makers call me a “fraud” and an “a-hole” right to my face in Discord PMs. Some of them even threw in words like “morality”, and then again, that “open source hurts this community because chinese manufacturers can flood the market with cheap stuff”. Some of them even told me I’m undercutting them by doing free jobs, hurting their bottomline and livelihood, when this is jot my job, it’s a hobby I do to interact and have a good time - just like everyone else here, I believe. Some of these big makers have messaged me multiple times to the point I had to block them and several other accounts which I believe are fans who do the absurd task of giving me their idols messages.
This has really frustrated me to a significant degree. I chose not to publicize this because I’m not one to give publicity to small-minded people. Also I genuinely believe that the great majority of people here are kind human beings wanting a nice way to pass time. I have faith in this community as a warm and welcome group of people, and I genuinely feel good talking about keebs on geekhack and r/mk . So, contrary to the advice of close friends, I decided to just leave those messages and the whiny makers to themselves and keep doing stuff I enjoy and believe is good for the community.
Recently (more or less a month ago) I’m having trouble with a particular person (who in actuality I believe is a group of people because the emails have been multiple and daily) who sends me really nasty messages. I’m not talking your daily commonplace trash talk – I mean racist, bigoted crap. It doesn’t matter how many times I block this sunshine of a person, he/she makes a new email address and begins his word rampage again. Then again, I ate it all up because oh well - it’s just one more dumb dude who has nothing to do and wants to hurt someone.
So in mid-july I had a very dangerous life event: a Dengue fever, which is fatal and is wreaking havoc in Brazil in the last couple years (it even spread to other countries). To make a long story short, I had an intestinal hemorrhage, needed emergency surgery and went into a 3-day coma. While in the hospital I still tried to work on some projects I’m in - Austin and Shark - so that those would be delayed as little as possible, all the while writing my PhD thesis and passing my qualification exams right after I got off ICU. Mind you this was completely against doctor’s orders and I did it for sheer reverence to the community and to take responsibility for delivering products that people paid for and relied on me to deliver. They were unilevitably delayed, but they are near completion and I’m really proud of them. Mr Nice Guy, on the other hand, is not. See this link here (http://imgur.com/gallery/KbRhyHj
) for an example email I just received. By the way, by “Amazon burning” he mentions the recent events - literal burning of the Amazon forest - in Brazilian environment and politics.
As you guys may have guessed, this is a hobby I’m beggining to loathe and it’s not been fun for me. I honestly don’t feel good about this anymore and will take some time off.
This is not about me nor am I trying to point fingers. I won’t expose any of the makers, nor will I tell names or dates because I just want this to stop. I wager I’m going to receive a lot of hate for this, and more stupid messages and PMs will come. I don’t care. All I want here is to warn the community that some of its people – including big makers and proeminent sellers – are completely out of their minds with arrogance that they will take time to deliver that kind of thing to someone who does PCBs for free just for fun as a way to help the very same community they swear to represent.
Be very weary of who you support and how you do it. Make drama. Drama is good to break idiossincrasies and prejudices, placing public debate, and most of all, scrutinizing actions and decisions so that the community drives itself and decides where it wants to go.