Howard Rogers has been very vocal on a few of points recently. I would link to his blog entries on the subject, but he’s thrown his toys out of the pram and blocked his blog for the time being.
The blog tag game. I love it. I like reading stupid stuff about people and I’m really glad Jake started it. It’s nice to see that we don’t all take life too seriously. I would hate to think that one person making a mountain out of a mole hill would stop people from trying new (for this community) things.
None of these blog posts are unsolicited. These blog posts are not being forced on anyone. If people don’t want to read them they can just switch off. I don’t remember ever asking for my blog to be included in one of the many aggregator sites, so I’m not going to apologize about writing lots of off-topic blogs. If you don’t like it, don’t subscribe.
Alternatively, just subscribe to the Oracle catagory of my blog, which probably will be on-topic:
Crediting other people. I would like to take this opportunity to say something about crediting the work of others. I got some grief from Howard because I did not reference his article, or give him any sort of credit in my article on rlwrap. There is a single very big reason for this. I didn’t know his article existed and I hadn’t read it when I wrote the piece. I Googled the term “rlwrap”, clicked on the first link returned, downloaded the utility, installed it as was obvious from the “./configure” output, and used it. Simple as that. It’s not exactly rocket science so I didn’t bother to search the net for other examples of how to do it. As a result I have no reason to credit him in this article.
If I had read his or anyone else’s article on this subject, I probably wouldn’t have written it in the first place, but I would certainly have credited them if I had.
You are not duty bound to search the net looking for similar articles and give credit where credit is not due. It’s good to credit people if their work has helped your understanding while writing your article. It’s important to credit people if you are quoting directly from them. It is illegal to republish information without permission.
Conclusion. Have fun with your blogs. That’s what the internet is all about. Write what you want to write. Don’t worry if someone has already done something similar. As long as you are not stealing it’s no big deal. Most of the articles the Oracle community write, including Howard’s, are variations on a theme, so to claim some form of ownership of the subject is wrong. Different people like different viewpoints and writing styles. There’s room for us all.
A request. Please don’t use the comments for this post for “me-too” posts. It’s only my opinion and it’s no more or less valid than anyone else’s. I’m not looking for support or validation because I’m secure enough in my self to not need it. 🙂
28 thoughts on “Quick note about publishing…”
>> There is a single very big reason for this. I didn’t know his article existed and I hadn’t read it when I wrote the piece.
Great minds think alike?
In this world where people steal entire web sites and claim them as their own, I wonder if there will ever be professional courtesy?
Just look at these sites that have stolen your work:
I liked reading them too. But I think it was too many, too fast. The whole thing would have been more fun and palateable imho if you could only tag one person, max two.
I agree, I enjoyed reading them, but it quickly became a *lot* to read.
Perhaps (in hindsight), it could have been done on a single blog somewhere (or perhaps the Oracle Wiki) so that there was a single place to go to view all the info, rather than having to suddenly check dozens of blogs.
Although, as you correctly point out Tim, nobody was forced to play or read the posts, so I don’t see any harm in it and it has been a nice diversion!
Thanks for the heads-up Don. I’ll look into them.
Thanks for chiming in with your thoughts and for being a good sport. I plan to post some thoughts on this experiment later in the month once it’s died down a bit.
As the top of the pyramid, let me say that I did not consider the aggregation spam this caused. That said, I ignore a lot of content in my Reader without getting annoyed.
Steve Chan had a plagiarism incident last year. He may have advice to share. Unfortunately, it’s a part of the game.
Jake: I like what you guys are doing. Don’t be discouraged by this.
I’ve had several plagiarism incidents myself over the last few years. So far they’ve always got resolved without too much fuss. Usually contacting the hosting provider is enough to spur them into action. 🙂
Thanks for the pep-talk, we’ll forge ahead regardless.
I didn’t know his article existed and I hadn’t read it when I wrote the piece.
This would be Dr. Tim Hall, would it? The guy who, presumably, wrote a PhD to get his academic title? And if I’m not much mistaken, a PhD has to be an *original* piece of work -so presumably, before writing it, you would have researched the current state of knowledge about topic X so that your thesis didn’t simply reinvent the wheel?
It would seem that researching skills (or at least reading the fifth link on the first page of a Google search) have deserted you lately, then.
If I had read his or anyone else’s article on this subject, I probably wouldn’t have written it in the first place
Right. So had you done a little research before putting fingers to keyboard, you wouldn’t have wasted your time producing unoriginal work: see, I knew there was a point to doing a little research after all!
You are not duty bound to search the net looking for similar articles
Indeed not… but, as you’ve just said, doing so will likely save you the effort of producing unoriginal work.
As a result I have no reason to credit him in this article.
Fortunately, someone else saw fit to do the crediting for you.
It’s OK, Tim. If you have forgotten how to do basic research; if you enjoy wasting your time; if you don’t mind producing unoriginal work… well, it’s seems a perverse way of doing things from where I’m sitting, but if that’s what you choose to do, far be it from me to try and stop you. At least we are all now familiar with your own particular choice in the matter.
Dan Norris tagged me so I will be doing my “8 things” entry this weekend. I hope everyone isn’t totally burnt out on the tag game yet. I’ve been enjoying it.
I’m not overly concerned with original subjects in my blog. I figure almost any subject I chose has been written by someone else, even if it’s just the user manual. It’s my point of view, style of writing and the originality of the individual post that make what I do different from anyone else.
Ten people can write an article on, say, NVL(). All ten will say basically the same thing but hopefully the differing experiences and viewpoints behind the writers will create a greater base of knowledge, even though some of the concepts will be identical. My entry may be total gibberish to someone who might then read yours and gain enlightenment. Isn’t that why we all blog?
I guess I kind of just said, “Me too.” Sorry. 😉
But I will be returning Dan’s tag this weekend anyway! I just need to find 8 bloggers that haven’t already been tagged. That’s the tough part now.
@LewisC: Well said. Take a look at Techmeme, whose sole purpose is to aggregate coverage on particular topics. Apparently some people enjoy gathering different takes on the same subject, as well as providing their own. Blogging does not pass itself off as academic writing, and therefore should not be judged that way. I’m looking forward to reading your 8 things.
@Howard: Why did you take down your blog, and why are you so angry? I honestly want to know. My email is listed on our blog if you’d prefer to flame me in a private channel.
I guess my email isn’t listed, but it’s easy first.last at oracle.
Seriously I’m all for it.
It’s a nice change from all the technology we all immerse in each day.
It’s nice to know that there is an actual person behind that page/product etc.
If you don’t like it don’t read it if you do like it do.
Now if it starts happening all the time it will be a problem, but one easily filtered week or two isn’t going to hurt anyone. Heck I just found out there are more people at Oracle that like snowboarding as much as I do!
Can I have my 23 cents change back now 🙂
If you don’t like it don’t read it if you do like it do.
I wish I had that choice, Carl but OraNA doesn’t work like that. As the flood comes in one end, so it pushes any substantive posts lower and lower until they drop off onto second and subsequent pages. To find anything meaningful, at times, I have *had* to read the stuff.
And you, like everyone else, seems to have missed the point that I don’t mind reading stuff that tells me “there’s an actual person behind that page”. That is, after all, what blogs are largely about. Hell, there have been enough wallabies and melbourne museum visits on my blog in its time, so it’s not as if that sort of stuff is a stranger to me. But when I am forced to wade through 136 ‘things you never knew’ items, none of them sink in. None of them register. I know no more about anyone as a result of this balls-up than I did before. Whereas if 17 people had each posted 1 thing about themselves over a period of 8 weeks, I wouldn’t have to play ‘hunt the Oracle-related material’ and the lower rate of personal-information overload would probably mean I read each one carefully.
Now if it starts happening all the time it will be a problem, but one easily filtered week or two isn’t going to hurt anyone.
Take a look over at http://www.orana.info, please. Tell me how to filter this stuff, and then tell me when the three or four a day is likely to become one or two a week. And then explain to me how a pyramid scheme which was explicitly designed to achieve an exponential growth in material is magically going to turn into a ‘one or two a week’ enterprise? And bear in mind as you try to do that, please, that there is nothing about this which is restricted to Oracle blogs. Which means this thing will be rumbling around the entire blogosphere for a long, long time to come, no doubt periodically re-infecting the Oracle sub-sphere from time to time.
But you’re quite right. If it was indeed one or two easily filtered posts a week, it wouldn’t hurt. The point, however, is that it isn’t and doesn’t look like becoming so anytime soon.
And that, Jake, is why I am flabbergasted that you would be so idiotic as to start this particular snowball rolling in the form you did. The fact that you didn’t consider the blog aggregators is, I suppose, slightly better than having considered them and then decided they don’t matter, as some have done. But it does nevertheless represent a rather sad lack of foresight on your part.
Wow, I hope I never get that concerned about missing an article or two that are wedged in between some aggregator spam. I figure that if I was meant to read those articles, I’ll find them in Google someday or someone else will link to them and I’ll find it that way.
Besides, how could I ever really take a vacation if I feel completely obligated to read all the entries that all the lovely Oracle bloggers create? Maybe it’s just me, but if reading my aggregator ever becomes something I perceive as a job that I don’t enjoy, I’ll just quit doing it.
On the other hand, maybe we’re approaching the time when a market for aggregator spam filter software will become prevalent. I think I remember what life was like before email was spam filtered for me…that sort of seems like the issue in this case with the aggregators, doesn’t it? If only I knew how to write such a piece of software, I’d go start a company. Oh, nevermind, aggregator spam isn’t on the top 100 things I care about I guess.
> Take a look over at http://www.orana.info, please. Tell me how to filter this stuff
I usually find clicking the little X in the top corner of your browser does the trick…
Howard: I fail to see the relevance of my PhD to this issue. I had no need to read down to the 5th link in Google because the first link gave me everything I needed to know. I guess this is pretty typical of most people finding what they need from a search engine. After all, it’s not exactly rocket science. If this had been a complex technical matter it would certainly have needed some research, but because I have a brain and can work things out for myself it was a trivial task to just use the utility. In fact, it would probably have taken longer to read your article than just doing it myself.
As it stands, the article was a totally original piece of work on a commonly documented technique and as such does not require me to credit you. You can try and mask this by trying to talk about my education or the “research” you believe is necessary for such a trivial article, but it all comes down to the same thing. You had no influence in the creation of the article so you get no credit.
Regarding the “other person crediting you for me”. This was no such thing. All they did was point out you had already written an article on the same subject. This has got nothing to do with crediting you. Nothing in my article was taken from yours, so you don’t deserve a credit. Get over it.
As for the sideways swipe at the quality of my work, doesn’t bother me. I write for me. I was doing this long before people knew who I was and I will continue as long as I want to. The fact that other people find it helpful is great, but not my major concern. All I know is people still keep coming back.
Regarding the “spam” issue: Give it a rest. It’s not spam. People are entitled to write what they want on their blogs. If I want to contact people and ask them if they “want” to write something on their blogs I can. There was no death threat or profit in it. It was just fun between internet friends/acquaintances. If you have a problem with a blog aggregator, contact them. It is their business who and what they aggregate. They are skimming content off other people’s site for their own gain. If they or their customers have a problem with the content it is their responsibility to deal with it. We have no moral obligation to filter our blog entries for the good of blog aggregators.
Filtering is pretty simple. Read the title and use the scroll bar if you don’t like the sound of it. Better still, use the RSS feed from OraNA and put it into Bloglines or Google reader. You can list the titles only and filter to your hearts content. I’m surprised someone who does as much “research” as you hadn’t figured this out.
By the way, I love the fact you’ve turned off your blog. It says more about you than 8 things could possibly do. It’s funny how you feel the need to turn off your blog, a tool for voicing your opinion, yet you seem determined to voice your rubbish beliefs on my blog. Strange!
Have a good one.
HJR: What a galaxy-sized ego you have!
Are you really saying that if YOU write an article about how something works, then nobody else has a right to do so, without you crying “Cheat!”? Even when they haven’t SEEN your tiddly little article?
Condidering that rlwrap is a squiddly little snippity-dippity bit of kit, it is pretty funny to see the Oracle Community’s Mr. Toad has gone nuclear over it!
Anyway, I hereby add my voice to what must now be a rousing roar (to rival any of Bach’s fugues!) of cheers at your site being down.
No Richard. Try learning to read before passing judgement. I’m saying (indeed, Tim has said) that if he’d bothered to do a tiny little bit of research before putting fingers to keyboard, he would have found no need to write his stuff in the first place. But if he was so pleased at having re-discovered this little snippity-dippity of kit (if it’s that snippity-dippity, why did Tim bother writing (incorrect) installation instructions for it, hmmm?), then he could have penned something either truly original with a nod in my direction, via Lutz and Tom, or simply pointed people in the right direction.
Try getting your facts right, too. No-one has cried ‘cheat’. I’ve criticised re-inventing wheels when they don’t need re-inventing. Re-inventing them rather more poorly than they were originally invented. And not being able to do a little research before deciding on the things you want to write about.
It’s got nothing to do with ego, beyond the natural and entirely appropriate desire for due acknowledgement. It’s got everything to do with wanting good quality information disseminated as widely as possible, as efficiently as possible.
I fail to see the relevance of my PhD to this issue
Yes, well, I rather thought you would. The point is: you research your topics before writing about them. That’s all. You obviously have some difficulty doing that, so that’s fine.
the article was a totally original piece of work on a commonly documented technique
Well, it’s original in getting the installation instructions wrong (no mention of root, as I recall). It’s original in not mentioning a search capability. It’s original in not mentioning a duplicate elimination capability. I suppose if you count the absence of information as originality, you could indeed call it original. Like much of your work, Tim, it’s about as original as the man page. It pushes no further than the obvious.
You had no influence in the creation of the article so you get no credit
But by your own admission, I did. Lutz reminded you about it. And Lutz’s blog piece says he was inspired by Tom. And Tom was inspired by littl’ old me. A chain of influence, Tim. Plain as day.
But let’s not let the facts get in the way of a convenient line, eh?
We have no moral obligation to filter our blog entries for the good of blog aggregators.
No you don’t. But you are (allegedly) part of an Oracle ‘community’. And community members have all sorts of mutual obligations to each other, including being aware of the consequences of their actions. That you don’t care about the consequences of your actions in this regard is manifest. It doesn’t make it right, however. I wonder exactly how much money Eddie makes from “skimming” your work, incidentally. Have you asked him?
Better still, use the RSS feed from OraNA and put it into Bloglines or Google reader.
I see. Yes, I can just change the way I use OraNA because you and your silly friends have ruined it. Personally, I don’t see why I should. I’ve used OraNA the way I’ve used it for a long, long time and it worked just fine until this nonsense turned up. I do actually know about RSS readers Tim: I just prefer not to use one. But people other than yourself having preferences that you’ve now denied them don’t count, we can see that.
By the way, I love the fact you’ve turned off your blog.
Well, that says a lot about you, doesn’t it? It’s more than a blog. It’s all the articles and old forum threads, too. And that you love the fact that none of that is now available to those getting started with Oracle is indicative of quite a lot and your attitude toward the ‘Oracle community’.
It’s funny how you feel the need to turn off your blog, a tool for voicing your opinion, yet you seem determined to voice your rubbish beliefs on my blog.
Oh, I see. It’s only you that is allowed to come to my blog and abuse me, is that it?
Well, the fact is, it’s not a question of belief. What you’ve helped do to OraNA is a fact, not a belief. That you don’t care about the effects on OraNA is a fact, not a belief. I can understand you wanting to dismiss those facts as ‘rubbish’. I wouldn’t be too proud of them if they applied to me, that’s for sure.
Howard: I may well have written the article anyway because I never know when individuals will choose to close down their sites, or alter all the URLs. As for incorrect installation instructions, there was nothing incorrect about how I chose to install rlwrap.
“Reinventing them poorly”: Funny that. It works just the way I want it to. If you mean I didn’t include as much information as you did, isn’t that what the original rlwrap website and man page are for. Sounds like you are more derivative than me.
“It’s got nothing to do with ego”: I think it’s pretty obvious to the world that this is a total crock.
Love it. Now you’ve forgotten a few facts that were written previously:
“Lutz reminded you”: As I said previously, I saw Lutz using it in a demo at OpenWorld. He didn’t explain how to install or say he had blogged about it. I didn’t see his blog entry until Laurent pointed it out to me. So once again, I credited Lutz for reminding me. I did not credit his blog post for the same reason I didn’t credit your article. I hadn’t seen it at the time of writing the article. For someone so interested in “research”, you don’t seem to be researching your arguments very well. You didn’t get credit because you didn’t deserve it.
Research, blah, blah, blah. You can’t even follow the argument without fabricating facts. Read my previous replies because they more than answer this ridiculous line of questioning.
It seems to me that most of the blogging community are having fun with this. The fact they are all continuing the blog-tag thing knowing you attitude shows they think it’s not detrimental to the community. I am in agreement with this.
“money”: No one said anything about finances. Gain can be judged in several ways. Hit rates being one.
You asked ow you could filter. I gave you an answer. 🙂
Switching off your site: Once again you try to attribute a different meaning to suit yourself. I think it’s obvious this was relating to the fact it proves everything everyone is saying about you. It’s my ball and I’m taking it home if you don’t play by my rules. I hope you switch the site back on, because I think you have something to offer. Will life stop if any of us turn off our sites? No. Do most of us believe we are so important that taking such action is a meaningful threat? No. Are you so arrogant that you think this gesture is important? Yes. Grow up dude.
Abuse: If I’ve abused you what do you think you have been to me? If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. The only reason most people can’t be bothered to argue with you is they know they will inundated with the blog equivalent of verbal diarrhoea. Of course, you take their boredom on a topic as a victory. A trait that has been displayed many times over.
OraNA: Get over it. Most of the people who are aggregated on that site will end up tagging. If that’s not an admission of it being fun I don’t know what it.
>> Try learning to read before passing judgement.
That’s so deliciously “Pot calling Kettle” that I shall treasure it forever in my museum of poncy nonesenses! You have passed judgement (and not retracted it) on Tim’s publishing of his article, in spite of his saying that he knew nothing of yours.
>> … with a nod in my direction, via Lutz and Tom, or simply pointed people in the right direction.
Why would Tim nod in your direction? He’s said (several times) that your article was unknown to him when he penned his. You are saying that because you wrote an article, everybody should know about it! Perhaps we should all make Dizwell (or, as I call it, Headswell) our Home Page? Perhaps, too, we should all call for some sort of international… no! interplanetary commission to be instated to look into ordaining you as Oracle Commander In Chief?
>> Try getting your facts right, too. No-one has cried ‘cheat’.
Looked for all the world like it to me.
>> I’ve criticised re-inventing wheels…
Howard, your whole life is one long criticism.
>> It’s got nothing to do with ego, beyond the natural and entirely appropriate desire for due acknowledgement. It’s got everything to do with wanting good quality information disseminated as widely as possible, as efficiently as possible.
Once again, a Holy Relic of poncy nonesense destined for my museum!
HJR: I wish I had that choice, Carl but OraNA doesn’t work like that. To find anything meaningful, at times, I have *had* to read the stuff.
Howard – Why don’t you simply subscribe to the RSS feed from orana.info ? Then, skipping 8**4 articles form people telling you that they once killed a man in the Burmese jungle with their bare hands is as easy as hitting ‘Next’. It sounds like you are actually scanning the orana Web site for relevant articles which, with respect, sounds like madness (even without the tag-fest).
Howard: I’m genuinely curious as to why you have disabled your blog.
Reading your ‘explanation’, it appears that this measure is a punishment to the Oracle ‘community’ for this tag-fest ? This seems like an extreme over reaction and punishes a much wider audience than those who participated in the tag-fest.
Or could it be that don’t you want your blog contaminated by ‘critical comments’ and would rather this lengthy discussion took place here ?
I’n not trying to stoke the dying embers of this thread, however just to point out that even though Howard has disabled his blog, the articles (albeit without many images) are still available via Googles cache.
I actually wanted to look something up (that I recalled Howard had written about) and a few seconds later, Google very helpfully offered to show me the cached version.
So, whilst it’s certainly Howard’s right to choose to disable his site, the information is still out there for anyone who needs it (at least until Google decides to purge the cache).
You have passed judgement (and not retracted it) on Tim’s publishing of his article
No I didn’t, actually. I pointed out that the article was not original. That a glance at the fifth link on the first page of Google searches on the word ‘rlwrap’ would have alerted him to the prior existence of a work on the subject. Tim agreed that had he clicked that fifth link, he probably wouldn’t have written his piece. So pointing out that is not “passing judgement” on anyone or anything, but merely stating facts. Asserting I have a galaxy-sized ego, however, is not a statement of fact but of personal (abusive) judgement and opinon. You are, of course, entitled to have whatever opinion you like about me -but I repeat my earlier request that before forming your judgements and opinons you should try reading my actual words carefully.
In your specific case, you asked: “Are you really saying that if YOU write an article about how something works, then nobody else has a right to do so, without you crying “Cheat!”?” In the first place I never cried “cheat”. Indeed, quite deliberately and carefully I specifically said that there was no suggestion of plagiarism (i.e., cheating). In the second place, no, I’m not saying nobody else can write about something I’ve written about. I’m merely pointing out that if something has already been written about (by anyone at all), there are more productive things people (in general, *not* Tim specifically and alone) can do with their time than merely repeating the earlier work. Naturally, if the re-writing effort brings new insight, fresh ways of describing things, greater clarity, novel uses… well, those are all excellent reasons why re-documentation **should** happen. But if one is merely going to repeat what has already been said, and even repeat it rather less well than has already been said, then yes: it’s a waste of effort and everyone’s time.
In any case, no, it’s not about “rights”, it’s about productive use of time.
Once again, a Holy Relic of poncy nonesense destined for my museum!
Evidently, you don’t actually want to discuss the matter, but just indulge in some more personal abuse. Andy’s genuine curiosity about why I’ve “disabled my blog” is answered in spades, I think.
And Tim, in answer to your question, “If I’ve abused you what do you think you have been to me?”, the answer is: perfectly polite and proper in the first instance. The original blog piece mentioned your rlwrap piece in passing and used it to make general statements about originality, research, attribution. It said nothing about you personally, except the explicit point that I wasn’t in the least way suggesting you’d plagiarised my work. And similarly, in regard to the “tagging game”, I simply posted a request for you to consider contacting your ‘8’ and ask them to, by all means post their own 8 things, but please not pass it on. At that point, your response was to refuse, which is fair enough -but in such blunt terms I was genuinely surprised. Had the matter ended there, no great harm would have been done, I suppose… but you saw fit to come to my blog and start posting comments that were *all* about me and what you presumed my mood or mental state was, based on no evidence at all.
The worst I have ever said about you is that you can’t write well, your Oracle-related work lacks originality and you don’t seem able to do basic Oracle-related research properly. All of which criticisms are supported by the evidence around us as we read or are at least debatable on the facts, but NONE of which imply anything about your personality, your emotional state, your mental faculties.
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen
That’s actually quite funny. One minute, you tell me to ‘get out’, but in the next breath, you accuse me of being “so arrogant that you think this gesture [i.e., ‘getting out’] is important” Well, I wish you’d make your mind up! Another answer to Andy C, anyway: when you’ve got people telling you to get out of the kitchen, is it any wonder they decide to do so? Maybe not so much to escape the heat as the people in the room whose boorishness they can no longer stand.
I’ve been out of it for a couple of weeks, making sure the site’s locked down, materials are removed from Google’s cache and so on. I would have set the record straight on these points earlier, otherwise. But you should of course feel free to abuse away by way of response, especially since I shan’t be back to read any of it.
Once again, putting your own spin on words to suit your goals.
True, I might not have written the article if I had clicked on the fifth link, but then again, perhaps I would. You see, you can never tell when someone is going to pull all their work from the net. It looks like I made te right choice after all.
Regarding the, “if you can’t stand the heat”, comment: It was related to this argument. Nothing to do with inciting you to quit publishing. As you know, I’ve been one of the people encouraging you not to quit, but I guess it’s not worth you mentioning that or you wouldn’t be able to twist the argument in your favour.
“Set the record straight”. From your viewpoint. Not most other peoples looking at the comments. 🙂
Maybe if you want your voice heard you should start a blog…
“… especially since I shan’t be back to read any of it”
Well, just in case you relent: Howard, I recommend that you see your doctor (not Tim!) as soon as possible; you’ve apparently gone as nutty as a Sammy the squirrel’s favourite collection of nuts! Two weeks piddling about with Google caches, etc.! Please, buy a television, or take up a hobby: at this rate you’ll end up in a padded cell, dining on mashed banana and sedative pills!
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