How to explain this to non-geeks? Basically, the kid took his ball and went home. Except that the same ball was being used in several thousand games. The 'games' in question were some of the most widely used pieces of software on the internet and the 'ball' is the left-pad module: 10 lines of simple code that any of the players could have written themselves if they could be bothered.
What makes this a Gate isn't the temporary disruption caused by the unpublishing of left-pad, but the permanent little puncture it left in the open-source dream. It reminded us all that this vast utopia of free information was ruled by basically the same group of guys that lose their shit when a woman tries to join in.
Fortunately, here at GateCrimes.com, we don't use a left-pad. We just let our tables look messy and we sleep like fucking logs.