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:
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:
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:
Now it seems somebody reposted the link to dzone in september 2008. Here is the new link on dzone:
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?
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).
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?
- Jakob Jenkov