*end theme from Incredible Hulk plays* April 26, 2016 9:28 AM   Subscribe

After nine years of fixing bugs and granting pony requests, pb is taking his leave as MetaFilter's technical wizard. Come inside and wish him well!

It's with a lump in my throat that I'm announcing this news; pb has been a core part of the MetaFilter team for as long as I've worked here, and has been both a huge contributor to the health and functionality of the site as a piece of technology and a fantastically friendly and gracious presence on the MetaFilter team and in our community. The work he has done on the site's infrastructure and functionality over the last near decade has been transformative and dedicated; he's leaving the site in far, far better shape than he found it and has gotten it there with a degree of giving, relentless diligence that goes above and beyond what anyone could reasonably ask.

Nine years is a lot, and while I am sad to see pb go I am thrilled to have been able to work with him for as long as I have, and deeply glad to have had the chance to become friends with him in the process.

As a team, we'll miss a great deal his gameness to tackle technical ideas small and large and, at least equally, his camaraderie and quiet goofiness as we work through ideas and implementations and sometimes deeply hare-brained What If sessions.

And I know that folks in the MetaFilter community at large will miss pb's detailed bug-chasing efforts, his willingness to look at the kinds of edge-cases other sites would fairly write off as not worth the bother, his often shockingly quick transit over the course of a MetaTalk request from brainstorm to proposal to working feature, and the cheerful and responsive attitude he's brought to that process along the way.

Needless to say, pb is leaving a couple of very big shoes to fill; I'll mention briefly here that we're getting started on that by hiring a part-time web and db admin, and we'll talk more about that stuff as it develops. But for now, I just want to say this:

You've been a fantastic part of the MetaFilter team and the MetaFilter community, Paul, and we are going to miss you terribly. I'm excited for whatever you get up to next, and more thankful than I can say for everything you've done for the site for the last nine years. We'll carry on, thanks in large part to the excellent work you've done here, but it'll never be quite the same without you.
posted by cortex to MetaFilter-Related at 9:28 AM (292 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite

Riding a pony off into the sunset.
posted by charred husk at 9:31 AM on April 26, 2016 [48 favorites]


pb, you are the very best and it's been a total pleasure and privilege to work with you.

The rest of you know that pb's amazing and fast and responsive and ridiculously hardworking and thoughtful and kind. But he's also hilarious, and getting to enjoy his low-key joking behind the scenes has been the highlight of working here for me.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:31 AM on April 26, 2016 [13 favorites]


pb! Your quiet patience in the face of a lot of weird shit (both technical and social) has been a great lesson in "how to be a good kind of dev" and I thank you for the years you put into this place and wish you the absolute best in whatever comes next for you.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:32 AM on April 26, 2016 [24 favorites]


Thanks for keeping Metafilter running, pb! Good luck with whatever you get up to next.
posted by frenetic at 9:35 AM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


but but but.... pb, did we do something to upset you? I'll clean off my screen and keyboard more if that'll make you stay!
posted by easily confused at 9:35 AM on April 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


OH NO. I've been staring at my screen for five minutes but all I can think of is OH NO. We'll miss you immensely, pb. (my feelings rn)
posted by Phire at 9:35 AM on April 26, 2016 [23 favorites]


Thank you, blessed father of the permalink! You made something wonderful.
posted by anildash at 9:36 AM on April 26, 2016 [31 favorites]


Oh man, I hope all the code has well-named variables and is fully commented!

pb, you worked miracles here. Our community owes so much to you it would be hard to ever express it all. I hope you know, anytime I run into you, I will happily buy you a beer. Offer good in perpetuity.

Thanks for your hard work and best wishes for your next adventure!
posted by hippybear at 9:37 AM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


But seriously, all the best and thank you for everything. Metafilter was lucky to have you for as long as it did.
posted by Phire at 9:38 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


*silent sobbing*
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:38 AM on April 26, 2016 [17 favorites]


In 5 minutes: mefite: "pb should make a button on MeFi that says 'bye pb' and when you press it, it sends pb a free pizza"

In 15 minutes: pb: "okay, it's done and also if you think a choice of toppings while pressing it, they should arrive as well."

Godspeed, fair wizard.
posted by griphus at 9:38 AM on April 26, 2016 [77 favorites]


*end theme from Incredible Hulk plays*

Can we get a description from the other mods about what kind of terrifyingly powerful creature pb becomes when he's coding?
posted by Greg Nog at 9:38 AM on April 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


So much to say but I'm not gonna bother to say it. Just... thanks. Thanks for keeping this place running, thanks for all the features you've added over the years (including one that I suggested, which was implemented in just a few hours after I suggested it!) and for generally appearing to be some sort of super-human programmer person.

Best to you, pb!
posted by bondcliff at 9:39 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


This site and this community have been incredibly lucky to have you, pb, and we are grateful, even as we move into an uncertain future where somebody new will be caring for our backend.

Wait, that came out wrong...
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:39 AM on April 26, 2016 [12 favorites]


Thanks, pb!
posted by zamboni at 9:39 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks pb!
posted by rustcellar at 9:41 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh wow. We'll miss you, pb!
posted by ODiV at 9:41 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


aw, thanks for the warm send-off cortex and thanks everyone for the kind words! I was just thinking back to May 2006 when mathowie asked me to come up one day a week to help work on MetaFilter. That year we added favorites, Music, and Jobs. The following May he asked me to work full-time and I posted about it on my blog: MeFi and Me. (remember blogs?) I'm proud of the work we've all done over the years. I think MeFi is in great hands and I'll continue to lurk and learn as always.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:42 AM on April 26, 2016 [153 favorites]


thank you!!
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:42 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


oh wow. pb, thank you so much for everything you've done for us for all these years—the work you've done to keep a community like MetaFilter running is no small task! You were also a major part of making my MetaFilter research possible; I literally could not have done any of it if you hadn't taken the time to help me out with those surveys and such. Thank you thank you thank you.

Best of luck to you and know that you will always be thought of fondly and missed here!
posted by iamkimiam at 9:43 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


PB has a permanent link to my heart. He's a lovely gentleman and I'm sorry he's dead now. Wait. What?
posted by ColdChef at 9:44 AM on April 26, 2016 [24 favorites]


what is happening to our beautiful cabal?
posted by a humble nudibranch at 9:47 AM on April 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


Thanks, pb!
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:47 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thank you for all your work, and taking criticisms so well. You'll be missed. I admire your ability to stay well 'out of the fray' and remain a high-road-taking tech wizard. All the best.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:47 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thank you, pb!
posted by Shepherd at 9:47 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Any chance of getting pb as the special guest for the May podcast, as a sendoff?
posted by hippybear at 9:49 AM on April 26, 2016 [34 favorites]


Oh man. This is the most bittersweet news. All the best luck to you, pb. Wherever you're heading next is going to be so damned lucky to have someone of your caliber on their team. Thank you for the eighty billion things you've done to make Metafilter a better place. We will miss you.
posted by shiu mai baby at 9:49 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow. Best wishes!
posted by odinsdream at 9:50 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I feel like a sailor on an aircraft carrier, hearing the chief of engineering is leaving. Of course it's absurd to ask whether the giant machine will continue to run, but still... *gulp*

Good luck, pb! From one nerd to another, this is an amazing system and you should take great pride in it.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:51 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Aw. Thanks for everything, pb.
posted by yhbc at 9:52 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


If more sites had people like pb working on them, the internet would be a much better place.
Thanks for everything pb and best of luck in your future endeavors.
posted by NoraCharles at 9:53 AM on April 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


pb now that you're leaving, can you please show me the brick that if you hit it right all of MeFi comes tumbling down?
posted by griphus at 9:55 AM on April 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


This is not a very good birthday gift for cortex!

Thanks for all of your amazing work here, pb, and best wishes in all future endeavors. Please don't be a stranger.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:56 AM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


We will miss you and your wizardry!
posted by ocherdraco at 9:56 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


all the best PB, you're a real mensch and hell of an engineer. Wherever you are headed off too, they are getting gold. I wish it was where I worked hahahaha I've long wanted talent like yours around my workspaces.
posted by Annika Cicada at 9:57 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Congratulations pb, excited to hear what you do next.

I say this as a colleague: Paul is a remarkably talented and capable engineer. Metafilter has been incredibly lucky to have someone with his skill and maturity making the engines go. Best of luck, and may your next job not involve ColdFusion ;-)
posted by Nelson at 9:57 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Paul, you're a developer who does things right and I'll miss having your good example around. Best wishes!
posted by michaelh at 9:58 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Congratulations, thank you, and all the best to you, pb. It was a pleasure to work with you and I look forward to whatever you do next.
posted by matthewmcvickar at 9:59 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


pb, you're still invited in perpetuity to campouts!
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:59 AM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


WHAT
THE
FUCK
PB?

Seriously, congratulations! Very, very best wishes to you and know that you will be immensely missed!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:01 AM on April 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


Thank you, pb. You helped make this amazing thing work.
posted by MonkeyToes at 10:08 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


pb, thanks so much for all that you've done to make MetaFilter great. Good luck!
posted by tonycpsu at 10:09 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow. Besides being just really skilled and thoughtful, you're one of the most responsible high-profile developers I can think of. Not a lot of people are living in code they wrote nine years ago (and with code made 16 years ago by others) and taking care of it well, despite how their brains and the world around them has changed. You are an inspiration to me, and I hope that you both enjoy being free of MetaFilter legacy and that you build something else that lasts as long!
posted by ignignokt at 10:10 AM on April 26, 2016 [29 favorites]


I just thought pb was sort of part of the MeFi machine. I never thought you could leave. Now that you are, I want to thank you for all of the ponies and your amazing patience with all of us.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:10 AM on April 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Congratulations on shaping something so many people consider a core part of their lives. We all should be so lucky in our careers.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:11 AM on April 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


Best of luck in future endeavors, pb!
posted by tofu_crouton at 10:12 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....well, okay then.

Best wishes, pb!
posted by briank at 10:12 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Change is good. Enjoy the change.
And thanks!
posted by heyho at 10:12 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks, pb.
posted by jedicus at 10:13 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thank you pb for all your hard work marshalling the Internet elves who keep this place running. They can be tricky little gits and you have commanded them with a firm, fair hand. I can't imagine any other wizard person being able to deal with their shenanigans as calmly and quickly as you. Very best of luck in all your future endeavours, don't be a stranger.
posted by billiebee at 10:13 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


In 15 minutes: pb: "okay, it's done and also if you think a choice of toppings while pressing it, they should arrive as well."

Now wait a second, this brings up a valid point about why pb can't leave yet. We're still waiting for that feature that allows us to instantly transport food (mainly burritos) over TCP/IP.
posted by loquacious at 10:14 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Greg Nog: "Can we get a description from the other mods about what kind of terrifyingly powerful creature pb becomes when he's coding?"

"...what will you become?"
posted by Chrysostom at 10:17 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh man, I can't believe it. I guess there's no point clutching at your coattails and wailing "Don't go!!" so I'll just wish you the very best of luck, which is the least you deserve.

> Thank you for all your work, and taking criticisms so well.

Did... did someone criticize pb?

*shakes fist at someone*

You bastard! You drove pb away!
posted by languagehat at 10:19 AM on April 26, 2016 [12 favorites]


pb, you're still invited in perpetuity to campouts!

Camping with pb would be awesome! :)
posted by hippybear at 10:20 AM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Leaving behind some real big shoes, pb. Bigger than cortex's giant doughnut, even. Thanks so much for everything you've done to make MetaFilter better!
posted by EvaDestruction at 10:20 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Best of luck pb. You will be missed.
posted by nubs at 10:20 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


So long and thanks for all the fish!
posted by grouse at 10:23 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I have no idea how you did what you did, consistently, and so well, and with seemingly little or no ill will (even when the community demanded crazy unrealistic things, which it did often). You'll be missed!
posted by naju at 10:23 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


So this means MeFi is perfect now, right?
posted by ODiV at 10:24 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Let me guess: mathowie recruited him and now pb is going to work at Slack. Great.
posted by slogger at 10:24 AM on April 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


What? NO!

[sob]

This is one of my favorite MetaFilter things ever.

It has been amazing and wonderful having you here, pb. Thanks for everything you've done. I hope your next nine years are fantastic!
posted by kristi at 10:26 AM on April 26, 2016 [15 favorites]


Oh, man. Thanks, pb!
posted by minsies at 10:26 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I routinely brag about our toolset to other mods on other sites, and it's entirely because of pb's brilliance, speed, and consistency. We're really gonna miss you, man.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 10:26 AM on April 26, 2016 [14 favorites]


Let me guess: mathowie recruited him and now pb is going to work at Slack. Great.

Untrue.
posted by mathowie (retired) at 10:27 AM on April 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


pb is the technical wizard that we all aspire to be: level-headed, inexplicably beloved, frequently invisible, and responsible for a now-ubiquitous and completely-obvious-in-hindsight web feature. MetaFilter will be a poorer place by having literally anyone else behind the scenes. Good luck wherever you end up, Paul.
posted by Plutor at 10:28 AM on April 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Thanks for all your work making this site what it is, pb.
posted by dazed_one at 10:28 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh no! pb has always been my platonic ideal of a developer (all the ones I work with are...not pb), and I know that great things surely await but I am sad for us.

Best of luck, Paul!
posted by Lyn Never at 10:30 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I submit that from now on, in honor of pb, "pony request" be replaced with "pony bequest".
posted by Pyrogenesis at 10:31 AM on April 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


pb, I don't even know where to start with this. When you first started helping out, it was a little over a year after I started doing MeFi full time and the code was absolute shit, and at first you could only work part-time one day a week to chip away at the cruft and slowly rework the site into something much more powerful and manageable. Then it became two days a week, then thankfully full-time.

To give you an idea of how bad the codebase was in the early days, I used to store passwords as plain text in the database so I could email reminders when you forgot yours. It was utterly stupid and when someone noticed in 2007, pb scrambled and produced a new password system in just a day or so of work that we used for many years after until we bulked the security up again, and that next time pb concocted an amazingly clever system for converting old cookied users into new ones, without having to force tens of thousands of people to log out and back in (along with all the support nightmares of people forgetting their logins/passwords and burdening the entire staff).

That kind of work epitomizes pb's time here -- sensitive to technical needs and security, but also figuring out ways to deploy on a live site with thousands of users in the least disruptive way possible.

The site is enormously more stable and more complex these days and when we first started talking about his replacement, it quickly sounded like the work of at least 2 if not three people. That gives you an idea of how much pb has shouldered all these years.

Paul, thanks for 9 years of technical precision and empathy for the user, your shoes will be impossible to fill, and I wish you great luck in future next adventures.
posted by mathowie (retired) at 10:34 AM on April 26, 2016 [110 favorites]


pb's presence was always more of an annoyance for me, because whenever it arrived it meant chat was being restarted.

WHY DID YOU NEVER STAY AND TALK :(

Clearest of paths, and best of luck in the future!
posted by isauteikisa at 10:45 AM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Lemme tell you, 2016 is turning out to be a real hum-dinger. Best wishes, pb - you are part of the staff that makes this community a delight.

I move that pb be granted an official [retired] tag.
posted by kimberussell at 10:46 AM on April 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


pb, you're amazing. Thanks for your incredible response time and your remarkable talent. I wish you success in everything you touch.
posted by eamondaly at 10:46 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bon voyage, pb. Some of the best dev work I've seen, and for such a lousy bunch of ingrates too.

Now you can finally pursue your dream to transition healthcare.gov to ColdFusion.

"Let me guess: mathowie recruited him and now pb is going to work at Slack. Great.

Untrue.
"

Failure on your part, chump.
posted by klangklangston at 10:47 AM on April 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


👍👍 pb. Thanks.
posted by GuyZero at 10:47 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thank you, pb! Good luck to you in your future endeavors!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:51 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I move that pb be granted an official [retired] tag.

Oh for sure, once we're done wringing a few more ponies out of him.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:51 AM on April 26, 2016 [12 favorites]


Thanks pb, for everything you've done for the site! I'm sorry you're leaving, all the best of luck in your future ventures. (And yes, maybe this means you can come camp again!)
posted by Secretariat at 10:51 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


edit window

*more sobbing*
posted by infini at 10:52 AM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Aw pb we will miss you! *sniff*
posted by IndigoRain at 10:55 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


pb, I've thought more than once that you were living inside the server. You were so quick with bug fixes and pony implementations. It was like having The One in the Mefi-trix.

I'm happy for you, and thank you so much for everything!
posted by CancerMan at 10:56 AM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


We're all going to be worse off for pb leaving, but still wish him all the best!

Can we get a description from the other mods about what kind of terrifyingly powerful creature pb becomes when he's coding?

He turns into pb. Isn't that terrifyingly powerful enough?!
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:57 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


🍻
posted by exogenous at 10:58 AM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


I guess Oregon is going to light all the bridges in blue?
posted by AFABulous at 10:59 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've said it a few times, but MeFi's mobile site should be held up as an example to every other site on the Internet. There has never been a time that I visited a site and didn't think "Eh, this could be better / more useful / closer to the desktop version", except for here.

Godspeed, you magnificent bastard.
posted by Etrigan at 10:59 AM on April 26, 2016 [16 favorites]


I can't help but worry that we are all somehow little dreams pb is happening and he's about to wake up from a long winter's night.

thanks for everything!
posted by selfnoise at 11:01 AM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Thank you pb.
posted by audi alteram partem at 11:01 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


But who will feed and exercise our ponies??!

Thank you, pb. We will miss you a lot.
posted by rtha at 11:03 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Chat will be a poorer place without your willingness to give us ridiculous headlines.

DUN DUN DUNNNNN PENTOPUS 🐙
posted by Existential Dread at 11:06 AM on April 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Aw, hell. Quick, somebody break something so he feels compelled to stay!

Thanks so much for your work here, pb. Best wishes for the future, and I'd love to see you lurk less and comment more. If we can't have you wielding the metaphorical wrench behind the scenes, we can at least get you dropping knowledge and humor on the site itself. Cheers.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:07 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


My goodness! Thanks for everything! All the best to you!
posted by crush-onastick at 11:09 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure that pb is the nicest person I've ever met. Which is good, because if he were evil he'd probably use his wizardry to rob us of our hearts. The pang I have in my heart is a sign it's still there.
posted by Kattullus at 11:10 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Immediate gut reaction to this?
"Holy shit!"
*pause*
"2016 sucks!"

I'm sure you're heading on to bigger and better things, and for that I am v. v. happy for you.

But man, is this what it feels like when your kids go off to college?!
posted by romakimmy at 11:13 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh for sure, once we're done wringing a few more ponies out of him.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't understand this metaphor
posted by beerperson at 11:13 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


pb is basically a Shamwow full of small horses, I'm not sure what the confusion is
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:14 AM on April 26, 2016 [55 favorites]


you're gonna get a real bad polish on your car is all
posted by beerperson at 11:16 AM on April 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


It's going to be weird when I ask for a pony and wonder if it can be done, not how quickly it can be done.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:19 AM on April 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


AFABulous: "I guess Oregon is going to light all the bridges in blue?"

Half of them blue, half of them blindingly white.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:19 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'll be the first to admit that I don't understand this metaphor

pony
posted by EndsOfInvention at 11:23 AM on April 26, 2016


Everyone's gone to the moon.

Adios, pb.
posted by jonmc at 11:25 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


OMG, this day was inevitable and so is my sadness to learn that pb is moving on. However! We have been made
the better, thanks to your mad skillz and some lucky new organization (maybe your own?) is going to reap the benefits of having you on staff. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you've done here. Good luck in your future! I ♥ pb
posted by Lynsey at 11:25 AM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Thanks for all the hard work and amazing technical tricks to both assist and entertain us all! Big shoes to fill indeed.
posted by meinvt at 11:25 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Aww, we'll miss you. Best of luck in your future endeavors!
posted by JiBB at 11:26 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Good luck in whatever you do pb. You did such a good job here that we probably can't properly appreciate how good a job you did.
posted by nom de poop at 11:26 AM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Everyone's gone to the moon.

No, pb's just going to live on a big farm upstate somewhere.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:27 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Fair winds and following seas, pb.
posted by stevis23 at 11:28 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


OMG, this day was inevitable

uh, maybe to you. I assumed he would be around until the heat death of the universe. pb is eternal.
posted by AFABulous at 11:28 AM on April 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


I am very concerned that without pb in the boiler room, MetaFilter is going to crash into the sun and we're all going to die.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:29 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


The GOP has recruited him to run against Trump.
posted by beerperson at 11:31 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


The big features are great and all, but I'm sure I'm not the only pedantic hypernerd here who deeply appreciates all the zillions of fiddly little cosmetic glitches that pb has cleaned up with alacrity and aplomb.
posted by aubilenon at 11:32 AM on April 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


Oh man. Is there no continuity any more!

Well, um. *Straightens smock* Thanks pb! You're unmissable.
posted by Namlit at 11:35 AM on April 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think MeFi is in great hands and I'll continue to lurk and learn as always.

Great hands, of course, but you're the one who put tools in them.

Many, many thanks for all your work, pb.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:37 AM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Hail and farewell, pb. Fair seas and the wind always at your back.
posted by Splunge at 11:37 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


We wish our hero godspeed, and honor his memory by telling children of the dark days before his arrival, when Jrun errors prowled the land...
posted by the mad poster! at 11:39 AM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


NOOOOOOOOOO
posted by Going To Maine at 11:41 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 11:43 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:45 AM on April 26, 2016 [12 favorites]


Such sad news! Thank you pb for everything you've done for the site and for your fast helpful responses on the contact form. Best of luck with your next adventure.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:52 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thank you for all you've done, pb. Wherever you're going next will be lucky to have you.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:57 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Just be sure to use your time traveling abilities to come back to us from the future after you finish your next gig, pb.
posted by Kabanos at 12:10 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I always appreciated that not only was pb Metafilter's technical wizard, but that Matt was wise enough to recognize that and allow him to remain so: pb's role was very well defined and never bled over into "backup moderator."

Best wishes in your next endeavor, pb.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:22 PM on April 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Thanks for everything pb. You've been an inspirational pony shepherd and a true human being. You have my best wishes for a lifetime of joy.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:27 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Thanks pb for all the amazing work you've done over the years and for putting up with us and our dank ponies.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:28 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


"pb" always sounds like peanut butter when I read it.

I have never ever been frustrated when loading a Metafilter page, even when on my rickety, out-of-date telephone browser. Thanks, pb!
posted by aniola at 12:30 PM on April 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


Yes. No matter how remote or rural the context, or whether it was 2G or EDGE, Metafilter ALWAYS loaded.
posted by infini at 12:32 PM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


As much as I as a dev appreciate pb's talents and efforts, it's perhaps a greater testament to Mat and pb and their technical and social achievements is that this "place" (community, organization, site) seems to be constructed to live on as a dynamic organism, maintaining so much that is good but having a robust enough zeitgeist/code-base that it seems to continue with a life following the spirit rather than locked into a rigid single vision. So many good "places" do not survive the change of the initiators.

I've seen pb respond to the wackiest impractical ideas with respect and go with things that may not have seemed good at first glance.
posted by sammyo at 12:41 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks for everything pb and I hope what you're up to next is amazing.
posted by Miss Matheson at 12:45 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


pb, you're amazing, and you've been a great part of the site!
posted by OmieWise at 12:46 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks for all your hard work, pb! Best of luck in your new venture and adventures!
posted by xingcat at 12:49 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Godspeed to you, pb!
posted by notyou at 12:56 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks and best wishes!
posted by beagle at 12:58 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


(Also: That is such a charming and heartfelt send-off you have written, Cortex.)
posted by notyou at 12:59 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Good luck, pb, and many thanks!
posted by dhruva at 12:59 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks and best wishes, pb!
posted by une_heure_pleine at 1:04 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


You've helped build a hell of a thing, pb. Good luck and godspeed.

'); UPDATE TABLE USERS SET ADMIN_FLAG=0 WHERE UID=191;
posted by Mayor West at 1:07 PM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Good luck pb - always had time to spare to help out with the unofficial wiki, even amidst all his other work!
posted by adrianhon at 1:08 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nooooo
posted by theora55 at 1:09 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


also, thank you for the stable full of ponies, and I wish you the best.
posted by theora55 at 1:10 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ah, well, this sucks. Good luck, pb, and thanks for all the work you've done here.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:12 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]




On the bright side, I'm sure I'll keep thinking of ponies that pb has already implemented for years to come, maybe forever even. And when I ask for something, only to be told that it already exists; well that's pb's way of saying that he's still with us, one way or another.
posted by Ned G at 1:24 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Among other things, thanks for recommending a kick-ass laptop bag. Now maybe that poor ship can stop iterating. You're a mensch.

cortex smiled as the last of the pieces fell into place; with all the responsible long-timers gone, his repellent desire for mass-market keg beer at company picnics could at last be fulfilled
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:25 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks for everything, pb.
posted by PearlRose at 1:36 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


You shall be missed. Thanks for all you have done here, technically and in so many other ways.



I am halfway expecting the place to start falling apart the minute you depart. Big shoes, indeed.
posted by Michele in California at 1:40 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


This news is more terrifying to me than the news of mathowie leaving because there's not a stable full of experienced specialists to be there for us.... who can even begin to match his wizardry?

I surely hope his next place can appreciate his amazing abilities and good humour but can imagine how grueling the work on this site can be.

Be well. God speed and prosper, pb.
posted by mightshould at 1:46 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yes, thank you for your speed, grace, and, well -- pony-like capabilities in dealing with mefi over lo these many years, pb. Whoever gets your talents next is very lucky indeed (and we hope they appreciate you even More than we did, if that's possible)!
posted by ldthomps at 1:57 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's like losing Scotty and Geordi.

God speed sir.
posted by clavdivs at 2:00 PM on April 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Sad news for MetaFilter. We've been incredibly lucky to have you for as long as you've been here, pb. I wish you nothing but success in all that you do.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 2:15 PM on April 26, 2016


I feel like we should take up a collection and buy the man a pony.

Everyone wants a pony.

How could that possibly go wrong?
posted by jacquilynne at 2:18 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Nothing. Nothing ever goes wrong with pb around.


Secretariat: maybe this means you can come camp again!

Again? He fixed bugs while out camping, nothing stops him.

Since we can't possibly replace pb, can we at least get a dog?
posted by filthy light thief at 2:19 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thank you and the very best of wishes, pb. I have always associated you with this place and with the glorious early days of blogging, and appreciated your handiwork on This Old Site.
posted by epersonae at 2:24 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


pb: if and when you feel comfortable sharing, I'm sure I'm not the only one here who would love to know what you're planning to do next.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 2:39 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh no. This is going to end up like the old ESPN Y2K commercial, isn't it? pb will sign off, and cortex will hit some button somewhere, then just absolute madness.

Farewell, pb, your work on this site has been amazing. Now I think I need to stock up on canned goods.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:40 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Awwwwww.....

Well, Good Luck in whatever you do next, and may all your ponies be granted.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:41 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


*Rips Incredible Hulk record off turntable, puts far superior Canadian equivalent on*

In my culture, this is a great honour. Thanks and all the best to you, pb.

"pb" always sounds like peanut butter when I read it.

I know, it was bad enough when we lost the j! There's nothing in this sandwich now*! This is just bread!

*Well there is, but who the hell would want to eat a sandwich with eyebrows or mittens in it?!?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:43 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I feel like we should take up a collection and buy the man a pony.

Fat Plush Pony
posted by Going To Maine at 2:46 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I hate change of things I like, but I like pb, so I'm just going to thank him for his service.

(and hate change silently)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:58 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh noes. Thank you so, so much, pb, for making life around here much more wonderful. You will be sorely missed. Enjoy what comes next!
posted by bearwife at 3:02 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


One week from now...

CORTEX: Huh, when did the IMG tag get re-enabled? Should be easy to fix... wait, you do you mean "access denied?!"

PB: *maniacal cackling and mustache twirling*
posted by Panjandrum at 3:02 PM on April 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


pb, I'm not ready for this jelly!
Good luck on your future endeavors and thanks for all your work.
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 3:14 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Good luck, Paul!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 3:40 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks for everything, pb!
posted by box at 3:45 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks for all your hard work, pb. Best of luck with the future!
posted by agatha_magatha at 3:50 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


So long, and thanks for all the fix.

Seriously, you've been great! Thanks for everything.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:50 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


From caring for all the ponies to being one of the wild horses? You will be missed, but we wish you well.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 3:50 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Godspeed.
posted by absalom at 4:00 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


A little bit of history.
pb you're a rock star. Thank you so much for making this website more amazing.
Fair winds where ever you go.
posted by adamvasco at 4:10 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Thanks pb! I hope you look back on those nine years with pride and satisfaction.
posted by postcommunism at 4:14 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm really happy for you pb. You've been such a great member of the community and I wish you nothing but the best of luck in the future. I'm hoping we'll still see you around here every now and again.
posted by triggerfinger at 4:17 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Being a life-long not-life-threateningly-peanut-allergic person, I've always considered MeFi's pb to be the one pb that doesn't give me hives.

It hasn't been said enough but most of us obviously want to know what you're going to be doing next, and where.
As long as it isn't Facebook or Twitter or Reddit - not even you can save those troll pits... but if you'd like to work at one of them just for the purpose of sabotage, I'd throw a couple bucks in for your defense fund.

Ride on, PonyBoy...
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:25 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks pb, you've been awesome. All the best to you and yours!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:31 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sort of feel like I can't touch the bottom of the pool anymore.

Thanks for everything you do and all you are pb.
posted by carsonb at 4:38 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


pb was one of the very first internet people I got in touch with back in the day, when that felt like a slightly odd thing to do -- I can't even remember exactly why, but it was through his blog, all the way back into the last millennium I think.

He was and is still: the best.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:39 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Farewell, pb, Master Manipulator of Time!
posted by h00py at 4:39 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks pb!
posted by Roger Dodger at 4:55 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Aw man. May your ride be smooth and your ponies attentive.
posted by galadriel at 5:00 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks for everything, pb. Have fun in your next adventure!
posted by blurker at 5:25 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks, pb, for being such a steady presence and for helping to make this such a good place to be on the Internet.
posted by veggieboy at 5:44 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


pb, you are sincerely awesome, give ridiculously good tech support while juggling many more important duties, and I hope that your next endeavours are rewarding.

Ten years ago, it would have been preposterous to picture MetaFilter with mathowie and jessamyn and pb having all moved on. It's still a little hard to remember sometimes and that's just the first two. This site is an incredible legacy.

(also, I spend a decent number of hours every semester explaining the concept of the permalink and so a genuine thank you for that, too).
posted by librarylis at 5:49 PM on April 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


You have done wonders! May your next adventure be grand.
posted by stoneweaver at 6:23 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks for making MetaFilter a more vibrant and enjoyable place to spend time inside of. All the best.

:)
posted by Fizz at 6:36 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thank you, pb for all your hard work and effort into making this site the best place on the web.

Long live the day when your and mathowie's paths crossed to build this wonderful site, and long live MeFi:)
posted by invisible ink at 6:46 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks for everything pb. You will be sorely missed.
posted by gwint at 6:47 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow, big shoes to fill indeed. Best of luck in whatever is next!
posted by Dip Flash at 6:57 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


pb, you've been one of my very favorite people on the site, for all of the reason that others listed already. I've always appreciated how you always took my questions seriously, although I sometimes worried that they betrayed my ignorance in an unflattering way. You will be missed. Best wishes for a very prosperous future.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:06 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


But, but, only pb got the jRun locked up deep inside a vault in a salt mountain with the signs and sigils and triple layer of pentagrams intact! And he made sure that the four sacred objects of Metafilter (the plate of beans, the $20 (SAIT), the cameras and the Used Car) are carefully scattered so that nobody can ever combine them and let the devil loose. Because if he's not here and it gets out. . .noooooo!

pb we will miss you!
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:16 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Thank you for everything you've done here, pb, and all best wishes for wherever the future takes you!
posted by Quietgal at 7:36 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bye, PB! You will be so missed!
posted by jgirl at 7:49 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thank you for helping create this site that means so much to so many, and good luck in your future endeavors!
posted by Fig at 7:59 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I never know what to say in these threads, especially as a sort-of lurker. Mostly I feel like putting periods (.) in them. I guess: thank you, many times over. I'm bummed to see you go, and I wish you the very best.
posted by moira at 8:03 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Remember that time pb went way the hell out of his way to make things work beautifully for the hundredth of a percent of us who regularly use text browsers? I sure do.

Many thanks, for that and for all the genuinely useful, not-at-all-silly, making-shit-work things you've done, pb. Farewell.

What' the happy equivalent of a dot? Crap. . . did I just ask for emoji support? I take it back.
posted by eotvos at 8:09 PM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Huge respect for your hard work, quietly performed, in a way that was not visible to most of us, except in that it made this site work every day.
posted by latkes at 8:24 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


good luck w the new job.
posted by andrewcooke at 8:25 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Good luck, here's hoping your replacement is even half as competent.
posted by Mitheral at 8:36 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Thanks for all your hard work, pb. Good luck on your next endeavor!
posted by radioamy at 9:24 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


ALSO

ALSO

The mobile stylesheet for phones is really good. Big kudos for that pb.

Unless Matt did it or something.
posted by GuyZero at 9:45 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Pb, best of luck for the future. You've been an astonishing asset to the site. The only thing that eclipses your technical knowledge is the warmth, courtesy and care you demonstrate in every interaction. Godspeed, friend.
posted by smoke at 10:04 PM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Thanks for everything. You've been fantastic. :)
posted by mordax at 10:34 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Awwww shit. This is why we cant have nice things. Seriously without pb will we still have nice things being built on mefi?

All our/my best!!
posted by chasles at 10:39 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Tell us the truth! pb isn't really leaving... it is simply time... his time...he is... changing... becoming... the matrix of his consciousness stretches, shifts, aligns itself with the vast structures of MetaFilter he grew and shaped himself, gently pulsing with posts and favorites and edits. Then, a blinding flash and his physical self is gone. But we know he is still here with us, flowing through the servers, speaking to us through subtle changes, hidden fixes and inexplicable ponies.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 10:39 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


pb, you have my deep respect for all you've done for us. I wish you the very best and still hope to shake your hand someday.
posted by wallabear at 10:58 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


*breathes into a paper bag*
posted by corb at 11:23 PM on April 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


Thank you so very much for all your work. Metafilter has been lucky to have you: whenever I see reference to the Mr. Haughey I tip my hat too you as well, as the engineer who made e whole thing work so well for so long.
Have a great day!
posted by From Bklyn at 11:25 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thank you for all your quiet patient toiling behind the scenes, pb...all the best as you leave for new horizons!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:07 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


HOW DO WE LIIIIIVE WITHOUT YOU? (HOW DO WE LI-VE?)

So long, pb, and thanks for all the fish ponies.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:20 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I always sort of pictured there being about 10 people working behind the scenes as "pb" because pb always answered technical-matter-related MeTas within 2 seconds they were posted it seems. And the one or two (can't remember exactly, sorry) times I sent a message via contact form asking about a technical glitch or something, I got replies so quickly it was awesome.

You will be missed, thanks for keeping MetaFilter running smoothly for so long! Best of luck in your new endeavors!
posted by misozaki at 12:54 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


pb, I know I've said this elsewhere in the past -- you're amazing.

Thanks for linking to your blog post from way back -- the last lines, though, the last lines...
Matt has some cool stuff coming up for the site, and it's going to be great to help him build it. The only remaining question for me is, how will Metafilter react?
Like a lot of MeFites, I work in the web dev field, and there have countless times where I've been impressed by your work and your responses here on MeFi: we've been so lucky to have someone who can manage so many different aspects of development/dbs/servers, *and* someone who's also thoughtful about design and how something will affect the people using the site, *and* someone who's open to listening and communicating directly with us, *and* someone who does it all so well, with good humor (btw thank you again for your part in the comics podcast; I still love it), *and* can bend space and time!

I've said before that I've learned a lot from the moderation here; I've also learned a bunch from the site planning and building process here. I can't tell you how many times I've said, "Well, here's something similar they did it at MetaFilter, and I think it works pretty well" or "pb and the mods actually discussed this type of feature with the MetaFilter community and here's why they didn't implement it" or "Interestingly, MetaFilter tried out something like that and then changed it to this after user feedback."

(I admit, I've also said things like "I really want this pony" and then had to explain where I got that definition of "pony" from.)

As folks have said many times already, MetaFilter wouldn't be what it is today without you. Thank you for fielding my handful of questions and requests over the years. Thank you for building and feeding the site -- from small text changes, to brand new themes, to security improvements, and everything in between -- that helped make the community and the Internet (and my life) better. As an example, I can't imagine reading the site now without the in-thread notifier to show new comments (I can't believe it's over 5 years old!).

I could go on and on so for now I'll end with this: pb, you have taken on and accomplished so much here, and I'm grateful. I wish you well in your next chapter, and look forward to seeing you here in the future!
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 1:21 AM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Three cheers for pb!

This is not a very good birthday gift for cortex!

Well, cortex's birthday present was the experimental Robopb3000, who has promised not to unleash its onboard weaponry for at least a couple of months.

I mean, what could go wrong? Plus, those plasma cannon will come in handy when that rogue election thread accidentally gets elected president.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:05 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Holy crap.
posted by pracowity at 3:08 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Good bye. o/

You are the standard I hold other community WebDev's up to. It is a HIGH bar.

Thank you for all you've done and the grace and charm you have always done it with.

::Hip Hip Hooray:: ::raises glass::

You sir are QUALITY, and shall be missed.
posted by Faintdreams at 3:09 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Totally disagree with pb taking his leave as MetaFilter's technical wizard. And I, for one, think that it will inevitably lead to the destruction of our society.

Let's face facts: our party has managed to survive numerous dungeons and dragons - and even some quite advanced dungeons and dragons - by taking advantage of the unique blend of skills and abilities that its members possess. When fighting was required, we turned to our fighters. When light wounds required curing, we sent an email to our clerical staff. When locks required picking, we had someone with the relevant skill-set for that. And when wizardry was called for, we relied solely on our 20th level technical wizard, a.k.a the archmage pb.

But now we stand to lose our greatest magical asset, and MetaFilter will never again be able to call on his magic missiles, colour sprays or fireballs. We will be reduced to employing regular missiles and black-and-white sprays instead, and our balls will no longer be inflamed.

Luckily quidnunc the Halfwit snuck into the village tavern last night, and met a wizened old man sitting alone in a corner nursing a tankard of ale. He struck up a conversation with this local stereotype, and learned that pb's well-deserved retirement from the MeFi Party might create an interesting opportunity. Instead of using pb's "good" magic, we now have the chance to employ an evil wizard - possibly even a lich - in his place. By utilizing the power of evil, our Party could become even more powerful than before and totally disrupt the adventuring marketplace with a game-changing paradigm that will lead to greater experience-point returns for our diceholders.

In that context, I say we thank pb for his tireless brilliance, but also look forward to a radical alignment change for MeFi. A Chaotic Evil MeFi may threaten the entire world, which I think we can all agree sounds like a good idea. I mean, everyone else is trying to destroy our world - Trump, climate change, capitalism, quidnunc the Halfwit - surely it's time we got a part of that sweet action!

And that's why I totally agree with pb taking his well-earned leave as MetaFilter's technical wizard. And I, for one, hope that it will inevitably lead to the destruction of our society.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 3:26 AM on April 27, 2016 [31 favorites]


Well well well!
posted by Drexen at 3:26 AM on April 27, 2016


(I admit, I've also said things like "I really want this pony" and then had to explain where I got that definition of "pony" from.)

Hopefully that explanation included the actual source :-)
posted by effbot at 4:40 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


🐎🐎🐎 pb, you are brilliant. Thank you for all the ponies! 🐎🐎🐎
posted by mochapickle at 5:14 AM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've always had this sense of pb as some sort of code shark, gliding along beneath the Metafilter waves and going silently about his mysterious code shark business, only to surface just when the timing was right and the music was swelling - only instead of annihilating seals, he'd pop up with neat new features or ridiculously fast fixes. He didn't just take care of Metafilter's code, he did it in a way that was cool.

Thanks for everything you've done for Metafilter, pb, and best of luck in the future!
posted by DingoMutt at 5:20 AM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


So long, and thanks for all the ponies!
posted by bjrn at 5:34 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


01100010 01111001 01100101
posted by RolandOfEld at 5:41 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Leaving behind some real big shoes, pb. Bigger than cortex's giant doughnut, even.

A donut isn't a type of shoe.

... Sorry, I'm just upset & lasting out at random, I guess.

Dang. I had the pleasure of shaking pb's hand and exchanging brief pleasantries at an Austin meetup back when SXSW was still cool. My takeaway is that he's a really damn nice guy. Thanks for handling what little feedback I've been able to suggest, & for tolerating my requests over the years- you've really made this site a pleasure to interact with, and I suspect that's your personality showing through as well as your pretty awesome technical prowess.

Good luck out there, we're all counting on you.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:54 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Thank you for all your excellence, pb.
posted by introp at 6:51 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


pb, thank you for all of your work, and good luck with your future endeavors!
posted by needlegrrl at 7:04 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


We didn't really deserve him, and he finally figured that out!

Damn. Thanks so much for keeping this place running and growing.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:41 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Thanks pb! You will be greatly missed.
posted by vacapinta at 7:49 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks pb! Good luck in your future endeavors and I hope they're for a website I already use since you'd surely just make it better.
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:51 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Really overwhelmed by the responses here. Thanks everyone for the kind words and encouragement. I couldn't ask for a better going away present.

It has me thinking about what a group effort MetaFilter is. If I was able to do good work it's because everyone else was doing great work. Behind the scenes everyone is working hard and improving things before they ever become a part of the site. I feel really lucky to have worked with people who are extremely dedicated to what they do. Not to mention their partnership with a community of folks who are invested and care deeply about this place. The whole environment makes this place work. Thank you!
posted by pb (staff) at 8:10 AM on April 27, 2016 [29 favorites]


insert nasal whine

then why are you leaaaaaaaaaaaavvvvvvvvvvvvvvvinggggggggggggggggggggggggggg?

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
posted by infini at 8:27 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Best of luck, pb! I truly appreciate all the work you've done for this site over the years.
posted by capricorn at 8:36 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Best wishes and thanks for making this such a great site!
posted by TedW at 8:51 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Anyone who indulges the nostalgia of us old-tyme lynx & gopher users is a first-class mensch in my book. Anyone who does this and more seamlessly, with the nimble aplomb of waving a magic wand, is a wizard.

You're amazing, pb, and you've made MetaFilter amazing. We'll miss you. Best of luck!
posted by Westringia F. at 9:37 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Best of luck to you good sir. Your mad skills will be missed.
posted by humanfont at 9:45 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


So, pb, what are you going on to?

OH GOD TRUMP PICKED YOU AS VEEP DIDN'T HE?

"I'm gonna build a filter on the Mexican border! It's gonna be the greatest filter of all time! It's going to be 'uuge!"
posted by klangklangston at 9:51 AM on April 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


So, pb, what are you going on to?

I'm going on to some completely-off-the-grid camping! (And I'm going to take some time to figure out what's next.)
posted by pb (staff) at 10:14 AM on April 27, 2016 [19 favorites]


We've never interacted - I have no ponies.

Your work is appreciated, though.

o7
posted by mikurski at 10:16 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Good luck for the future, pb! Don't be a stranger, post if you want, lurk if you don't. Hope your future employers appreciate your knack for code miracles (not least of which the unglamorous maintenance stuff that must go into keeping a site like MetaFilter running smoothly).

Explicitly seconding the suggestion made above that it would be great to hear your voice if you wanted to be a guest on the podcast.
posted by comealongpole at 10:18 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Good luck to you pb, whatever you decide to do next. I'm sure no one will mind if you pop back in to install new ponies from time to time.
posted by jet_pack_in_a_can at 10:37 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah #youcancheckoutanytimeyoulikebutyoucanneverleave
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 10:42 AM on April 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


Get that money son. Jk but seriously go get a bunch of money.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:48 AM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Oh man. Thanks for everything, pb. You will be missed. Best of luck in whatever you move on to next.
posted by homunculus at 11:37 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks for your tireless decade of service, pb. I will never forget how you fixed my Lynx login issue within 24 hours. Godspeed and good luck with whatever journey lies ahead.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:10 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah #youcancheckoutanytimeyoulikebutyoucanneverleave

Recycling from way back when (and my profile page):

In a dark Metatalk thread, trolls posting for lolz
Complaints 'bout deletions, arguments 'bout the polls
Down below in the textbox, I typed a clever insight
My mouse grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
cortex deleted my post
I heard jessamyn yell
And I was thinking to myself,
’this could be heaven or this could be hell’
Then mathowie stepped in with the banhammer raised
There were comments calling me a troll,
I thought I read them say...

Welcome to the hotel gonna scorn ya
Such a lovely site
Such a lovely fight
Plenty of room at the hotel gonna scorn ya
Any time of year, you can find it here

This thread is tiffany-twisted, it's got the Metatalk bends
There are a lot of snarky, snarky folks, that we call friends
How they post before thread-end, thread ain't closed yet.
Some posts to remember, some posts to forget

So I emailed mathowie,
with my 'WHAT THE FUCK’ whine
He said, ’we haven’t had that spirit here since nineteen ninety nine’
And still those Mefites are posting from far away,
Hit the site in the middle of the night
Just to read them say...

Welcome to the hotel gonna scorn ya
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
They're livin’ it up at the hotel gonna scorn ya
What a great big mess, bring your snarkiness

Hurf durf butter eater,
Commenting PUI's not nice
Jess said ’we are all just prisoners here, of our own device’
And on mathowie's website,
Arrange meetups in the park
We drink and we make shoutouts,
But we just can’t kill the snark

Last thing I remember I was
Closing my brows0r
I had to click my history back
To that site I knew before
’Relax,’ said the night mod,
The site's programmed to receive.
You can drop 5 bux any time you like,
But you can never leave!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:50 PM on April 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


Oh man, pb. You will be much missed,and written into the mythology of the good part of the internet. So long, and thanks for fixing all the bugs!
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:56 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hey little pony, why the long face?
pb is leaving town, I'm un-stable, out of place.
He was always a good neigh-bor when we knocked on his door,
but now I've fallen down, and I can't giddy-up anymore.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:05 PM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


The pb stands for Pony Buckaroo.

Thank you, pb, for everything! Best wishes to you!
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 4:29 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


pb, I hope you are leaving because you have found a way to copy yourself many times so all communities and development projects can have a dev as good as we have had!

I have to say the new site design bugged me at first and so I switched to Classic pretty quickly. But after the recent discussion of adding color to Classic for IRL and FanFare, I tried the mobile site again on my phone-- and it's great! All of the things that bothered me at first have been fixed and that's what I use on my phone now.
Don't worry though I still appreciate the Classic in color- I use Classic colors on my tablet (and Classic professional white at work). So I am appreciating as many ponies as I can!
posted by nat at 4:47 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also I am now worried that all our ponies will die on their vines
posted by nat at 4:53 PM on April 27, 2016


Another huge heap of thanks, pb. You are definitely one of the very most talented and good-natured developers I've ever experienced, and I sincerely appreciate all that you've contributed here. I hope your next adventures are superb!

And please forgive me, all, but this fable from Ian A.T. is what first came to mind on reading this news.
posted by vers at 4:55 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is like hearing that Geordie LaForge is leaving the Enterprise, or Chief O'Brien is leaving DS9!! Godspeed, you young tech wizard! Good luck for the future!
posted by marienbad at 4:59 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I started lurking MeFi as a high school student who was just dipping his toes into programming. Joined as a member as a broke college student learning everything but programming, and realizing how thoroughly knowing to code changes your perspective on anything else. Less than a month ago, I started my second job as a full-time programmer, and learned last week that one of my coworkers just left a company where she worked alongside a MeFite of my acquaintance.

pb, you are close to as exemplary an example as I've ever found of the kind of programmer who reveals the sheer joy of computers. Watching the way you addressed user complaints and requests, and seemingly converted them into an actual part of the MetaFilter universe on the fly, was and is a kind of magic to me. As a non-programming-y programmer, I sometimes lose perspective on how fantastic a thing computing is, especially as bogged down in all the fiddly bits as it tends to get; you, meanwhile, made it look easy and delightful. Or maybe the delight was just in watching people's reactions as, time and again, you pulled rabbits out of hats, in a realer sense than I think is possible in most any other sort of environment.

Thank you for everything you've done and how you've done it, and I hope you're heading towards something equally magical next.
posted by rorgy at 5:15 PM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


So many ponies will be lost, like tears in the rain.

Seriously, good luck pb, thanks for keeping this place running for so long.
posted by Hactar at 5:37 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks pb! And good luck with whatever comes next!

P.S. On my crappy 8-year-old computer, MeFi is orders of magnitude faster than pretty much any other website. It's truly impressive how everything has remained so rock-solid and usable over the years.
posted by equalpants at 6:04 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Thank you for putting so much into this site and making it the best of the internet. May the winds of change blow you to happy harbors (and beautiful off-the-grid campgrounds!).
posted by jabo at 8:34 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


On my crappy 8-year-old computer, MeFi is orders of magnitude faster than pretty much any other website. It's truly impressive how everything has remained so rock-solid and usable over the years.

Such a great point; I have a 5(?) year old iPod Touch that I still use daily, but MeFi is pretty much the only thing that won't crash the browser. Thanks again, pb!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:45 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can't make what I really mean get down on the page, but it's been a pleasure to be a user of your software, pb. Good luck with whatever the future brings.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:09 PM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Thanks, pb - you helped make this a place to keep coming back to!
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:55 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


🐴
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:12 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thank you for your endless efforts, BUT HOW COULD YOU LEAVE US?
posted by Cranberry at 10:49 PM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


🐴
posted by limeonaire at 12:19 AM on April 28, 2016


Thank you thank you thank you pb!!! Your energy and work here have made my life better.
posted by riverlife at 12:52 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


So long and thanks, pb. While you are not and will never be forgiven for forsaking us, I genuinely wish you nothing but the best for the future.
posted by dg at 1:19 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


pb... many, many thanks to you.

And wishing you all the best.
posted by Mister Bijou at 2:43 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best of luck, and may your next job not involve ColdFusion
This needs to become the "May the odds be ever in your favor" of web development.

I wrote my first CF sometime around 2012, which is just a crazy thing to say, given just how outdated it was by that point. CFScript was particularly obnoxious, given that it's "JavaScript, but with a bunch of parts inexplicably broken."
posted by schmod at 5:08 AM on April 28, 2016


Good luck to you, pb, and many, many thanks!
posted by gauche at 6:12 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow pb.....many thanks....you have answered several "noob" technical questions for me over the years....and never made me feel silly.... I so appreciate everything you've done around here.. If you ever need a place to stay in Atlanta.....my door is open and my guestroom will be ready.
posted by pearlybob at 6:46 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Here's hoping that where ever you go, they already have their timezones figured out. :D

Good luck to you! Thanks for all of your hard work keeping the place up and running and lovely to look at.
posted by jillithd at 7:14 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Eyeroll. I'm sure things will be fine without #♤wk¤•🐎HzW6.;%v+€🚱b-?A☆
posted by sexyrobot at 7:59 AM on April 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


A perfect opportunity for a NO CARRIER joke missed.

Kids today.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:18 AM on April 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


Goodbye, best of luck and thanks for all the ponies :)
posted by Julnyes at 9:18 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm going on to some completely-off-the-grid camping! (And I'm going to take some time to figure out what's next.)

fwiw, you're not alone: "I want to work out what I do next and I thought spending a 120 days hiking is a good way to find out." :P
posted by kliuless at 9:26 AM on April 28, 2016


Will miss you - leaving big shoes to fill!
posted by leslies at 9:40 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


pb is basically a Shamwow full of small horses, I'm not sure what the confusion is

Okay look, a small horse is not the same thing as a pony. Jeez, is this the kind of slapdash specifications you've had to work with here, pb? I have renewed respect/pity.

Thanks for keeping the roads rolling all these years. Grodd knows it couldn't have been easy.
posted by phearlez at 11:10 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wait, what?

po·ny
[ˈpōnē]
NOUN

a horse of a small breed, especially one whose height at the withers is below 14 hands 2 inches (58 inches).
posted by Chrysostom at 11:11 AM on April 28, 2016


Thanks for everything, pb!
posted by klausness at 2:04 PM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


When it's midnight on the meadow
And the cats are in the shed
And the river tells a story
At the window by my bed
If you listen very closely
Be as quiet as you can
In the yard you'll hear him
It is the pony man

We're always there to greet him
When he tumbles into town
He leads a string of ponies
Some are white and some are brown
And they never seem to kick or bite
They only want to play
And they live on candy apples
Instead of oats and hay

And when we're all assembled
He gives a soft command
And we climb aboard our ponies
As in a row the stand
Then down the road we gallop
And across the fields we fly
And soon we all go sailing off
Into the midnight sky
posted by carmicha at 3:54 PM on April 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


For a going away gift I think we should add an honorary "&j" to your username.
posted by srboisvert at 4:09 PM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


pb is all kinds of awesome and I'm glad to have celebrated his awesomeness in person. Ride that pony into the sunset and do great things.
posted by holgate at 7:59 PM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks pb! Every single day I check the new mobile site (it's still "the new mobile site" right?) and am grateful that it allows so much more Metafilter into my life. Best of luck in your next adventure!!!
posted by Zephyrial at 8:22 PM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Late to the party. But wanted to say to pb, "You've been bonza". Next time you're in Australia, beer's on us. Xx
posted by taff at 2:00 AM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


There once was an admin called pb,
Who dealt with SQL and Apache,
He said "So long MeFi",
"You better hire a new guy"
"Or everyone will get ERROR: 403"
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:33 AM on April 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


So long and BIG thanks for all you've done here, pb. I hope your next project is all you could wish for. You will be an adornment to any enterprise.
posted by valetta at 6:39 AM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks, pb and best to you in future endeavors!
posted by Twicketface at 6:45 AM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'd put some some sort of table-throwing .gif here.... if the fascists would let me post lazy gifs.
posted by Mezentian at 7:56 AM on April 29, 2016


The role pb had was always a thankless one -- if everything goes right, no one notices. And it has gone right pretty much 100% of the time for the eight years I have been here and the few more before that I lurked. Thanks, man; you made a difference for thousands of people and few of us can say that.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:20 AM on April 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


> The role pb had was always a thankless one

In theory, maybe, but pb has sure gotten a lot of (well-deserved) thanks around here, even before he saddled up and waved his hat, leaving the audience in tears.
posted by languagehat at 8:58 AM on April 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


Thanks for everything, and don't forget to write.
posted by Bella Donna at 11:33 AM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Good luck, pb! Thank you for your stellar work and good cheer.
posted by bardophile at 1:32 PM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks for your work pb! But thanks mostly for being a good egg through it all. Have a great escape.
posted by peacay at 8:34 AM on April 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well. I go away to a software conference and this happens?
So long and thanks for all the ponies (and I can think of a few that I asked for and received).
posted by plinth at 5:13 PM on April 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks for all the work, pb. Enjoy that not-being-on-computers for a while bit.
posted by brennen at 10:08 PM on April 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


woah, thanks for everything pee bee!
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 1:05 AM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thank you for all your hard work! You will be missed.
posted by Pardon Our Dust at 10:31 AM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thank you pb, and good luck to you.
posted by torticat at 6:51 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


pb, you're leaving pretty big shoes to fill. Thank you for helping to keep Metafilter running all these years. Looking forward to seeing you around the Mefi community as a "regular" user.
posted by cynical pinnacle at 8:05 AM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks for everything, pb! Best wishes for anything you might want to tackle next.
posted by aroweofshale at 3:10 PM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh, I'm so glad I reactivated my account in time to say thank you, thank you, thank you for the world's dumbest pony. Best wishes!
posted by Room 641-A at 4:53 PM on May 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


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