Have you noticed that there are an enormous number of articles available to the Modern Oracle Professional (MOP) that highlight and praise other articles? It’s sort of like a scientific citation of a previous work, I suppose.
But who, I ask you, is drawing attention to the less-than praiseworthy articles? The articles that represent documentation dumps, or which give you no useful information whatsoever. You know the ones I mean — you read them and are then left with a hollow, empty feeling inside. “What did I just learn from that?”, you wonder. “What information did this give me that I can take away and make use of?”, you cry.
No-one, that’s who. Well actually some people are but it’s often an incidental exercise, not the major thrust of their article.
Maybe that is the niche that the Sponge can occupy — the fair and balanced debunkings of bad articles. Nothing distasteful* you understand, nor anything disrespectful to the author, but an honest appraisal of both good and bad points.
Ground rules are obviously essential, and here’s a few off the top of my head.
- Spelling mistakes will be penalised heavily
- Bad grammar is inexcusable, except where English is the second (or third etc) language of the author. (OK, so it is excusable by that then).
- There will always be a right-of-reply. No exceptions.
- It is acknowledged that the authorship of a Bad Article is not a sign of moral degeneracy or bad character.
- Extra penalty points shall be awarded if the article was publically presented.
- False conclusions, straw men, non sequiturs*, and that Latin phrase that TK quoted are inexcusable.
- Citing other articles that are not publicly* available in support of your advice is a Very Bad Thing.
- Citing other articles that do not support your advice, in support of your advice is also a Very Bad Thing.
- Erm …
- That’s it
Additional ground rule suggestions are always welcome.
So what about it, MOPs? Can you go for such a trend?
* Spelling corrections courtesy of a man who spells his name with a Y instead of an I. Grrrr.