We’ve been working on the Standard Markdown project for about two years now. As we got closer to being ready for public feedback, we emailed John Gruber, the original creator of Markdown, two weeks ago (On August 19th, to be precise) with a link to the Standard Markdown spec, asking him for his feedback. Since John MacFarlane was the primary author of most of the work, we suggested that he be the one to reach out.
We then waited two weeks for a response.
There was no response, so we assumed that John Gruber was either OK with the project (and its name), or didn’t care. So we proceeded.
Seems to me that Gruber getting pissed off is a case of sour grapes.