Friday Jan 18, 2008

Billy Goats Gruff Reply

Third Opinion: Perennially Mistaken Tech Journalist Overreacts

Honestly, is anybody more consistently wrong in his assessments than John Dvorak? He's like the drunken blowhard uncle of the tech industry: he's family, so he's always invited to the party. But he always makes a scene after his third Dewars.

John Dvorak
John Dvorak

The tradition of the troll is a long and storied one, and Dvorak has to be considered one of the old pros. He got his start with opinion pages in the cheap-newsprint free monthlies you'd find at the local mom & pop computer shop, but nowadays, well into the Participation Age as our Fearless Leaders like to call it, he's got to compete with every young buck that has access to a WiFi connection and a blogging service.

Like watching Rod Carew in the '80s at Angel Stadium, we should just sit back and marvel at the hyperbole (worst acquisition ever?) and odd asides (umm, you're still bitter about a marginal acquisition from 1987?), how effortlessly and economically they come. It takes years to shut up the mind's internal censor enough to make clumsy, inappropriate, oh-so-close-to-bigoted comparisons to Mao Zedong, and ominous conspiracy theories darkly hinted at through mid-story headings, so keep practicing kids! The upstart trolls of this generation are as free swinging with the facts as ol' Johnny D, but the kind of willful ignorance of the modern rules of the game he displays (in this case, how the terms of the GPL precludes any company, including Sun, from "wresting control" of MySQL's codebase; also, suggesting that Oracle and Sun have some sort of back-handed and massively illegal accounting pipeline being used to fund the MySQL acquisition)? Well, that's just audacious. He's enshrined under the Big Bridge at Cooperstown for good reason.

So Mr. Dvorak, from this young troll just starting out, I say, "Master."

About

I am a writer on the Java EE team at Oracle, primarily working on the Java EE Tutorial. My areas of expertise are enterprise beans, Java Persistence, web services, and the case studies.

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