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Sorry that people seem so annoyed about what you are wearing in a profile picture, especially since so many others use images that they rip without permission from random sources (you've seen them, dragons and fairies and cute anime girls oh my).At least you were showing yourself celebrating your wife's culture. I admire this. I am English, my wife is Scottish, I was married in a kilt of her tartan (Henderson) and I will be wearing that kilt during the upcoming YAPC::NA and YAPC::EU conferences. Now, I am determined to wear them while presenting, I may also change profile images of me to show me in my kilt. I haven't read the comments that are for/against your picture, and I am not sure I care to. I now am wondering what those people said and why...


[this is good] If I were you, I'd keep the picture. Sometimes we have to step out of our computer-programmer roles (even for just a moment) to teach or learn about the real world. Your picture has probably already educated some of the more ignorant among us. And this post has too. Sure, this has cost you and others a little time, but this non-programming work has already helped to bring some less fortunate individuals into the fold of diverse, educated, considerate, and appreciative humans that the future calls for.

Jack R

You should be proud of your your heritage and traditions. However, can I humbly suggest that your profile picture isn't the best place to advertise such pride? Would you wear such an outfit when giving a lecture on Perl? Probably not.Ultimately it's your blog and you can do as you wish. To me, though, it seems to be Business Communication 101 to consider your audience and the kind of impact visuals will make, incidental or not.Finally, I'd like to say I have no problem with your picture, though (honestly) it did take me aback the first time I saw it. Thanks for your contributions to Perl blogging!

Jack R

To hammer the point home, what are your goals with your Perl posts? Is it Asian-culture advocacy or is it Perl advocacy? If 20% of your audience is being dismissive because of your profile picture, is that not a big deal? 30%? 50%?Given two sets of people visiting your blog, Perl people and non-Perl people, how would feel about 70% of non-Perl people being turned off, but only 1% of Perl people being turned off?Is the goal to preach to the choir or reach out to new people?I pulled these numbers out of my ass, but food for thought.


It's really sad to see people getting worked up on such matters that are, in the end, totally irrelevant to the programming discussion.


I seem to recall an earlier post you did John which also had similar Reddit comments. This post was also on Hacker News where the comments were all on topic (IIRC).

This really just shows you how bad Reddit has become :(

Fingers crossed Hacker News doesn't go same way.



Your profile picture is placed very prominently on the page - it is the first thing I see _before_ I start reading what you have to say. I think you would have less reactions to it if you put it on the about page or in the right column.I have reacted "negatively" to it previously, when reading your weblog, without really thinking about why. (Usually I just scroll the page horizontally so you don't stare at me while I'm reading.)I guess it is because to me, you look a little scary/intimidating on that picture.Maybe it my lack of culture, or knowledge of traditional Chinese style, or something else, but I see this guy staring at me sort of strangely, and my automatic reaction is "Why is he looking at me like that?! I just wanted to read his possibly interesting blog-post!"I hope you don't take this to negatively, I don't think it is a big thing, but since you asked, I thought I'd try to share my subjective observations.Best regards, Adam.

brian d foy

[this is good] Keep the picture. Who cares what other easily-offended people think? The more you kowtow to them, the more power you give them. If people don't like your picture, they can stop reading.

Markie says he's wearing his kilt at YAPC::EU, so I guess I'll give my talk in mine. That should answer the lame post from the person who thinks you wouldn't give a Perl presentation in your get-up.

Remember, for every jerk who complains, there are many more people who don't.


Hmmm... Vox seems to have eaten the rest of my comment.Anyway, the rest of my original comment was to the effect that someone being bothered by the picture is sad, but anyone comparing it to the RoR porn debacle is mind-boggling -- considering that it's actually pretty much the polar opposite of it. And that, as far as I'm concerned, one man's blog is his castle. So Chinese wedding gowns, Hawaiian shirts, football mascot outfits, everyone's free to wear what they like. :-)

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