Computers have been my hobby since I was 12. Now I'm a freelance Java developer. Like many other developers I am working on various private projects. Some are open source components (Butterfly Components - DI container, web ui, persistence api, mock test api etc.). Some are the tutorials at tutorials.jenkov.com. Yet others are web projects. I hold a bachelor degree in computer science and a master degree in IT focused on P2P networks. Jakob has posted 35 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

When Good Developers Go Bad 2

12.23.2008
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In September 2008 James Sugrue posted an excellent article titled "When Good Developers Go Bad". If you haven't read it, you should. Here it is:

 http://java.dzone.com/articles/when-good-developers-go-bad

I agree a lot with this text. A lot of the negative comments come from people who have no clue what they are talking about, or haven't read the article properly before commenting etc.

I am writing this follow up because I noticed some rather strange behaviour concerning votes on some of my own texts on my website. More specifically, on this text here:

http://tutorials.jenkov.com/java-persistence/dao-manager.html

If you look at the dzone voting numbers on the page you will notice that the text has 0 votes for, and 1 vote against. I originally posted the link to this text to dzone in july 2008. At that point it received 6 votes for, and 0 against. You can see the original link posted here:

http://www.dzone.com/links/java_persistence_dao_manager.html

Now it seems somebody reposted the link to dzone in september 2008. Here is the new link on dzone:

http://www.dzone.com/links/dao_manager_in_java.html

What is strange (at least to me) is that the person posting it could easily see on that page that it was already posted to dzone, and had 6 votes in favour. If he wanted to vote it down he could have done so rather easily. Why go ahead and repost it? Furthermore, the person who added it (ashishwave) did not vote it down. Nor did he vote it up. He simply added the text, and then removed his vote up again (normally when you add a text to dzone, dzone automatically assumes you want to vote it up). Why do you want to add a text to dzone if you don't think it is good? I have never added a text to dzone that I thought was bad. And why even do this, when the text was already submitted to dzone?

What is also a bit strange is that the user ashishwave seems to have only 4 activities in total on dzone, and all 4 of them are on that same date - the date he/she resubmits this link. Then NO FURTHER ACTIONS. There is even an up vote for the predecessor text of mine - "Dao Design Problems".

And now it becomes stranger. Motion Control  goes ahead and votes it down. Motion Control has been voting several of my stuff down, usually with no, or rather clueless comments. Check out the votes down / comments for the links below. Anyways, can one help but wonder if the user ashishwave is really MotionControl's little puppet user, to carry out exactly this kind of stunt? Anyways, lets not focus on MotionControl, but more on the general fact, that THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOUR *IS* POSSIBLE ON DZONE. Should it be?


http://www.dzone.com/links/8_reasons_why_xml_sucks.html

http://www.dzone.com/links/butterfly_container_220.html

http://www.dzone.com/links/butterfly_di_container_240.html

Yes, I know I wrote a rather clueless comment myself too: "I don't like XML" ... but I expressed my opinions in the text already (8 reasons why xml sucks). 

Again, I don't really care about a few down votes. One thing I have learned from consulting is that developers have very individual preferences and development style, and that one style can be as good as any others, for the developers who agree to this style. Therefore, expecting everyone to agree with you on a certain topic is probably a utopian thought. Therefore, voting down is cool with me. I prefer a short explanation of why, but I can live with the 1-2-3-4 down votes my posts usually get, because they usually get 10+ votes up. Especially when some of these down votes are based on clueless arguments. And, once in a while a down voter posts a really useful comment, that I learn something new from. I wouldn't want to be without these comments either.

But reposting the article is not cool with me. There is no sound explanation for doing this, when it is evident the text has already been posted. I don't even know why dzone allows reposting? It seems odd to me.

Strange people vote your stuff down for no aparent reason, I know that. This is also evident from both the text of this story, and the people voting it down afterwards (I actually agree with the author).

http://www.dzone.com/links/surprised_and_dismayed_by_two_down_votes.html

So, what is the point of this story? Well, simply to put focus on the fact that "freemdom of speech" is not always to the benefit of the collective :-) Especially not when the one's shouting the most have only clueless things to say. The second world war is an excellent example of this. We don't even *have* full freedom of speech in the western world. You can't just accuse someone of something in a news paper without risking a lawsuit. You can't speak racism either. And the list goes on. A little censorship is not always bad. And I think we should get a bit of censorship here on Dzone. Clueless comments should be deleted! Even mine :-D Clueless users should be kicked or temporarily banned. I have been banned from other sites for breaking the rules (without actually knowing that I did). I learned from that.

Here are the rules I try to live by here on DZone:

1) I Never use an anonymous user name, like "TheKillaDeveloper" or something like that. I use my real name, Jakob Jenkov. If you have anything to say that is worth reading for anyone else, you should have no problem associating your real name with it. If you are afraid to be proven wrong, or to be ridiculed online, you have an ego-problem. Usually the really good people can spot who has someting sensible to say, and who don't.

2) If I don't have anything constructive to say, I don't say anything at all. If I cannot argue why I don't like some framework or some text, I don't vote it down, and I don't comment. I just let the text get the "benefit of doubt". If I can't even explain why I disagree, it might as well be ME who is wrong. And, no matter what, a clueless comment from me benefits NO ONE! Not even me. In fact, it probably reflects worse back on myself than on the text I comment.

Perhaps it is time Dzone enforce rules like these, to raise the quality of the comments here on DZone?

 Merry X-mas.

- Jakob Jenkov

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Jakob Jenkov.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

Comments

Christoph Kutzinski replied on Tue, 2008/12/23 - 8:53am

Whoa, in September 2009? I'm really looking forward to it ;-)

But seriously, I think if you cannot stand 2 down votes, you shouldn't post at DZone at all.

What makes this even more unbelievable is, that you try to construct some weird conspirancy theory about  ashishwave and Motion Controlallying allying against you. Maybe ashishwave was just to stupid to see your story was already added (plain stupidy is in my experience often the explanation)? Maybe he/she removed the up vote, because he/she thought your article was interesting, but he/she didn't (fully) support the views expressed in it?

Freedom of speech obviously does not cover everything, but giving down votes with 'clueless' comments (who decides what is clueless? You?)  is IMHO certainly covered by it.

Anyway, nice X-mas to you, too.

Porter Woodward replied on Tue, 2008/12/23 - 10:55am

Looking at the up/down ratio - it looks like your article is scoring in the 75% range.  It's a solid "C" or "C+" type article if it were being graded in school.  That's not a bad score when being graded by your "peers" (consisting in this case of a likely number of internet "randoms" who didn't bother to read, just saw Java and DAO and said "ewe, yuck" - as well as probably an equal number of knowlegable people who just don't bother to vote one way or the other).

Myself - I've just skimmed the tutorial.  It's good on a technical level - but it's nothing I'd take the time to vote up or down.  For instance:

That the demarcation of the connection and transaction scopes still leak out from the DAO layer into the business layer / domain layer / service layer (or whatever layer you have ontop of your DAO layer). 

That statement really depends on where you think those scopes reside.  Perhaps transaction scopes belong in the  business layer.  Transactions typically exist due to business rules - the fact that databases implement transactions is probably more due to the fact that they were the only place anyone could do so at the time earlier business systems were being built when DBMSes were introduced.  In other words transaction support was added to databases to support business logic.

Hence you start to see things like annotation support for marking transactional logic.  People are finding it handy to have that out in the business layer on a method like sendShipment() which transactionally decrements inventory, and charges the customer, and prints the shipping label.  Declarative transactions like that are handy - in that they can be added or removed - as the business rules dictate.  Baking transactions into the data layer seems less intended to support busines logic - and more to deal with making sure the database stays coherent.

Michael Duffy replied on Tue, 2008/12/23 - 1:57pm

I'm not sure I agree.

It's like people who think that (naked) short selling in the stock market is harmful.  They say that people are just saying mean things to drive the value of a stock down.  But what if they're telling the truth?  When pointing out mistakes or harmful practices become forbidden, a useful source of information is lost.

True, it means that we have to filter out the shouting and boorish behavior and rudeness, but I can't agree with "say nothing unless you're going to go along".

Bernd Eckenfels replied on Tue, 2008/12/23 - 4:15pm

Man, all this text and nothing about Java. Why do you even care about those votes and comments?

Mark Haniford replied on Tue, 2008/12/23 - 4:35pm

Not only was this a pointless article, but I reject his calls for censorship.  And the censorship laws that he alludes to (I guess he lives in Europe) don't apply to me.

Christoph Kutzinski replied on Tue, 2008/12/23 - 5:45pm in response to: Mark Haniford

For your information: Europe consists of approximately 50 individual countries. And of these probably not 2 have the exact same laws/rules regarding censorship.

Even the USA is not free from censorship. Or how would you call it when live broadcasts are transmitted with a delay of several seconds, so swear words can be cut out?

Alex(JAlexoid) ... replied on Tue, 2008/12/23 - 7:33pm

Add a rule #0:
    No posts on Javalobby should be meaningless and not Java related.

If need be, the admins should probably have rants.dzone.com created.

And on a sidenote: DaoManager? Are you mad? That thing is definitely NOT a manager. Container, creator maybe, just not a manager. If it does not manage any aspect of the element(-s) it shouldnever be called a manager.

Mark Haniford replied on Tue, 2008/12/23 - 10:30pm in response to: Christoph Kutzinski

Yes,  I realize that not ever European country has the same rules regarding censorship, but his comment about "racist speech" I would assume applies to his particular European country (under hate speech laws or something), and doesn't apply to the US.

But more importantly, his wrong analogy completely refutes his entire claim since it doesn't apply to everyone.  It's better to be more liberal regarding free speech, then call for censorship just because someone's feelings got hurt.

Geoffrey De Smet replied on Wed, 2008/12/24 - 2:16am

I have already been censored for months on DZone (though not delibratly probably), as I can't vote.

The + - control iframe doesn't contain a + - control, but a 500 Servlet Exception:

...

Caused by: java.sql.SQLException: Error: executeQueryForObject returned
too many results.
...
at com.dzone.user.dao.ibatis.IBatisUserProfileDAO.getProfileForUsername(IBatisUserProfileDAO.java:33)
...
 
The website www.dzone.com gives the same result. Though I can login at java.dzone.com and javablackbelt.com. 
 I've send a couple of mails in hope they clear this up, but apparently it's not getting through to the right person who can fix it :) 

Mark Haniford replied on Wed, 2008/12/24 - 7:51am in response to: Geoffrey De Smet

Geoffrey, I've never been able to login to DZone with my Javalobby login.

Jakob Jenkov replied on Wed, 2008/12/24 - 8:19am

Thanks for the comments... again, seems some people just find one detail they don't like, and disqualify the whole article because of it :-)

 

All I wanted was to raise the question:

Is a comment like "this sucks", "you are a moron", or "never do this" acceptable without further explanation? Constructive criticism means explaining why you either agree, disagree, or believe there is an error in the text etc. We learn this in university, don't we? To give constructive criticism... Criticism that is useful to the person reading / receiving it. Not just plain negative. Then we go ahead and throw this ability away when we graduate. Sad. 

Porter Woodward replied on Wed, 2008/12/24 - 9:13am

Well - unless the posting really and truly is moronic - it's out of place.  But, that's unfortunately the nature of the Internet.  You may recall the scandal about a year or two ago with Kathy Sierra.

 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=19&entry_id=14783

Now those sorts of attacks are truly beyond the pale.  

Michael Duffy replied on Wed, 2008/12/24 - 1:50pm

The Kathy Sierra situation was most unfortunate.  I loved her writing.  We're all poorer for that loss.  I completely agree with the idea that there's a line between boorish and violent that should be avoided by a wide margin.

 

Jeroen Wenting replied on Sat, 2008/12/27 - 4:20am in response to: Christoph Kutzinski

[quote=kutzi]

For your information: Europe consists of approximately 50 individual countries. And of these probably not 2 have the exact same laws/rules regarding censorship.

[/quote]

There is an EU proposal under consideration in Brussels that would require censorship by an EU agency of all things being posted on the internet by EU citizens.
EU citizens would have to apply for a license from the EU to participate in forums and especially to write blogs (and comment on them), and submit their writings for approval by that agency before they're to be put online.

[quote=kutzi]

Even the USA is not free from censorship. Or how would you call it when live broadcasts are transmitted with a delay of several seconds, so swear words can be cut out?

[/quote]

That's not censorship. By definition censorship is something that's dictated by governments, not something citizens or companies do of their own accord.
If broadcast companies want to ensure no swearwords are put on the air during life broadcasts, that's their business as long as no government agency tells them to do so.

Of course with the whole nonsense (and highly damaging to freedom) "political correctness" that's sweeping western society (on both sides of the Atlantic) the line can become rather thin, as people are sued and convicted for non-PC behaviour even when there are no laws prohibiting such behaviour.

That however is not censorship. It's far more insidious.

Christoph Kutzinski replied on Sun, 2008/12/28 - 5:29pm in response to: Jeroen Wenting

You must know that I didn't want to turn this into a political discussion. But when we're at it, 2 questions from me:

[quote=jwenting]

There is an EU proposal under consideration in Brussels that would require censorship by an EU agency of all things being posted on the internet by EU citizens.
EU citizens would have to apply for a license from the EU to participate in forums and especially to write blogs (and comment on them), and submit their writings for approval by that agency before they're to be put online.

[/quote]

 I've not heard of that, yet. Do you have any references for it?

[quote=jwenting]

[quote=kutzi]

Even the USA is not free from censorship. Or how would you call it when live broadcasts are transmitted with a delay of several seconds, so swear words can be cut out?

[/quote]

That's not censorship. By definition censorship is something that's dictated by governments, not something citizens or companies do of their own accord.

[/quote]

Whose definition says that? I've not studied politics or s.l.t., but according to Wikipedia there are several kinds of censorship and not only those enforced by governments. There is even something called self-censorship which IMHO matches what you describe below

[quote=jwenting]

If broadcast companies want to ensure no swearwords are put on the air during life broadcasts, that's their business as long as no government agency tells them to do so.

[/quote]

Col B replied on Sun, 2008/12/28 - 5:52pm in response to: Mark Haniford

I think if you check the history books, "racist speech" has hurt a lot more than feelings.

I know that was just an exanple but i think it's a pretty bad one. 

 

Mark Haniford replied on Mon, 2008/12/29 - 4:05pm in response to: Col B

No, you're confused.   There was two paragraphs there.    The first one had to do with "racist/hate speech", and the second had to do with the OPs feelings get hurt.

I think if you check the history books, "racist speech" has hurt a lot more than feelings.

 I reject "hate speech" laws and consider them fascist.

 

 

 

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