I am a PhD student working in Europe in the stem field, and I have recently told my supervisor about an unpleasant email (-reply) which I received from his previous PhD student. He is currently working as a postdoc within our research team, but is not located nor in our lab or city. By working within our research team I mean that he works with similar topics/data as we do, and attend some meetings that we also do.
I will briefly summarize the situation and how it lead to his unpleasant reply only to me: After an online meeting with all the three of us (and a few other collaborators), I was given the task to do work which involved reproducing his models he has created but using a newer software which we all agreed on. This task was also emailed by my supervisor to everyone after the meeting ( in the "zoom invitation email"). In the thread I asked for the set of parameters his post doc used for his models, and also some "non-physical/technical parameters" (for example mesh size of simulation). His reply was that some of my requested non-physical/technical parameters should not be necessary, because he stated that working in his software the parameters I requested were not used or worked differently, giving a vague explanation, and really no solution. I then explained that this is independent of software and if I will not be able to have them, it might introduce a source of error when reproducing his models. Continuing in this email thread, he insisted on not giving them to me and that if I need them I should look for them myself in papers explaining the software, following another vague explanation. Reading a little bit I figured out that probably those parameters are "hidden for the user" in his software, while in my software they are not, which he might have not been aware of and might explain why he said they are "unnecessary" (he is not the author of the software, so in the sense it's not his software). He then replied in a separate email only to me, that my progress is going too slow, adding that other team members are disappointed in me, while at the end of his unpleasant email reply he also stated that all he want is to help me. I told him firmly that I don't expect from him interpretations of other people and that such emails are not helpful.
After telling my supervisor the whole story, my supervisor's first reply was that the post doc is a nice and good person. After my supervisor's reply, I added that I would prefer to work on a PhD with as little (communication) friction as possible, and explained ways my supervisor could approach the problem. I felt this addition was necessary because I felt neglected or misheard from his reply.
Maybe after this addition and my disappointment in my face, a moment later he said that he can "go and talk with him". I am not sure what that means and what outcome I was expecting, given that the post doc is currently not located near us so he can't physically visit him, nor that my supervisor never asked for reading the email. I am also not sure what power he has. My perception was that he was/seems not really interested in taking this matter anyway further, and I might have now just made it more difficult for myself. I am very hesitant to ask my supervisor if he has talked with his post doc.
Side note: Same post doc told us after been part of several of our meetings regarding a specific data set, where we all discuss each other's research, that he wants to publish his work, as a single author paper to boost his career (while not rejecting himself from being a co-author on my and other people's papers). During the meeting on which the post doc announced it, my supervisor didn't say anything against him. His current advisor, and my co-supervisor present at the meeting, supported his decision, based on the reason that he has trouble finding a position. Despite my supervisor's approaches which I don't agree with, I find the post doc troublesome. Very recently I have found out that he got a new position and will start doing research in our lab.
Was it necessary of me to ask about the parameters, with everyone on the thread? Was it really necessary telling my supervisor about this? Is there anything I can do to improve the situation? I might be able to avoid future work with him.