Saturday May 07, 2005

Beyond My Wildest Expectations: The Butterfly Effect

You never know what reactions a simple action might produce. On April 25, 2005, I wrote a 'blog entry entitled What's New in Solaris Express 4/05 (Nevada Build 10). As is my custom, I posted a reference to said entry to OSNews, since I believe that it's the sort of content generally of interest to readers interested in operating systems... news.

A full on flame-war erupted in the comments of the OSNews article, mostly centered around OpenSolaris. Fintan wrote one response (and another). And so did Alan, on his 'blog. Ok, so far, a big yawn. The thread continued on at more or less the same level of hostility. But things get a little strange from here on out. Several days later Renai LeMay, a journalist for ZDNet Australia, produced an article entitled OpenSolaris developers defend their baby, documenting the debate. Next, slashdot stepped in with a story entitled Sun Developers Refute OpenSolaris Vaporware Claims. Taking a further turn for the bizarre, OSNews yesterday posted an article entitled OSNews Troll Succeeds Beyond Wildest Expectations, which rehashes the entire thing! So the butterfly effect is that my one post to OSNews generated 57 comments, which generated a news story (10 comments), at least one 'blog entry (18 comments), a slashdot story (279 comments), and another OSNews story (62 comments as of this writing). And all of that led to me writing this 'blog entry.

Careful reading of the posts also reveals a tendency of the media to inflate the emotions involved in the story. Alan and Fintan's strongly but carefully worded statements became "furious" and "angry" in subsequent stories. I wonder what will happen when I post news about Solaris Express 5/05? To be honest, I find it tough to stay positive under the barrage of negativity coming at us. Well, back to my Saturday-- working on the web pages for the OpenSolaris.org launch.

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