You can read all the details here, but to make this a very short story I'll summarize the issue as:
Site A decides to collaborate with site B; they do; it goes so well that site B decides it can do the service of site A, but even better; site B steals the name of site A and stops communicating with site A
(Got that? Again, this is a very brief one sided view of the story - but for our purposes it should work)
At this point, site A is pissed and publishes his whole side of the story - including personal e-mails - on the web. Things get ugly. While some readers of site A are supportive, a great many are not.
My Two Cents
After much thought, I've come to the conclusion that I think the owner of site A was out of bounds - he shouldn't have publicized the argument and gone all guerrilla warfare on site B. Why? Two reasons:
Reason 1: Normally, I should try to explain this point with a sports analogy. But what do I know about sports? I know programming, so here ya go. In programming, the programming language sets the rules, not the programmer. While the programmer might like to assume the following is true:
"2" == 2 == 2.0
(In english: the string with the letter 2 equals the integer 2 equals the floating point number 2.0)
Depending on the programming language, this may be true or false. In other words, just because you're used to PHP where the above is true, doesn't mean that you can say the above in C and expect it to work.
What the heck does this have to do with our controversy? Everything. Let's say the rules of business in the US require that if you want to use a name exclusively you have to trademark it - well, then, if you didn't trademark it, and your competitor starts using it, tough noogies. Doesn't matter if you own the domain name, or you were using it first - what matters is the law of the land.
If site A's name was so precious, he should have talked a lawyer and got it protected properly. If he didn't, and he loses the name, he has no one to blame but himself.
Naturally, if A did have his name properly protected, and B started using it, the way to handle the issue isn't publicly, but through proper legal proceedings.
Reason 2. I'm sure the owner of site A was beyond bummed when he thought he had been swindled out of his name and concept. But here's the thing - in my opinion what's going to make his site, and businesses in general, successful isn't a name, or idea in general. No, it's two words: endurance and innovation.
OK, so site B is now offering the same service as site A. The service, in this case is publishing interesting programming examples. This, for a geek is fun to do. But, in a month, or 6 months, or a year, will it still be fun to do? That's where the endurance part comes in. If site A is in it for the long hall, he really doesn't have much to worry about - because offering the service he does is something that takes effort, and statistically speaking, his competition (site B) probably doesn't want to put in all that effort.
Let's suppose though, that site B is just as serious as site A and they both have the endurance side of things down. That's where the innovation part comes in. Sure, site B may be able to coast by on their name or reputation for some time, but if site A is truly being innovative, people will find their way back to site A.
While I sympathize with owner of the site who feels like he was cheated, in the end, I think he was handed a terrific teaching moment - and handled it poorly. If something is important to you in business (or life) don't assume it's protected - invest the time and money to know this. And at the end of the day, it's not the name idea that decides the success of your business, it's just how hard you're will to work, on how creative you're willing to get.
Incidentally, the issue has been since resolved. Site B is no longer using site A's name. Huh, maybe site A's approach was effective after all?