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RE: Oracle 911 Article - An apology to DBAZine

From: Niall Litchfield <>
Date: Mon, 08 Mar 2004 09:30:54 +0000
Message-Id: <>

-----Original Message-----
> From:
> Sent: 06 March 2004 08:38
> To:;
> Subject: Re: Oracle 911 Article - An apology to DBAZine


> The second sentence is a statement of fact,
> clearing up a misunderstanding by a previous
> poster. However I recognise that the medium
> of the internet does require an extreme attention
> to detail of wording, and it is easy to read into
> a sentence more than the author was trying
> to say. I am sorry that this sentence caused
> Don some concern.

<And also>  

> As a closing note, Don pointed out in the same
> email that he has often been tempted to criticize
> my articles, but has refrained from doing so. I
> have informed him that he (as with anyone else
> on the internet) is free to criticize, and I am
> quite happy to learn from my critics.

It will come as no surprise to those that know me that I largely agree. I have been thinking though in the light of the reaction to Juan's "obligatory" thread and in the reaction to some of the criticism of the tuning paper that he wrote which (at least in my case ) was offered in the same spirit as you suggest above that there is a very definite human factor here, that perhaps those of us who are pre-disposed to critical thinking and argument sometimes miss. It is remarkably easy to read criticism of something you write as criticism of you. I suspect that when we use words such as 'I don't like it very much' as I did that can easily be read as 'my opinion of the author is not good'.

That all said I - I know that I am a much better DBA than I would otherwise have been as a result of the sometimes somewhat blunt correction I have received here and elsewhere. Particularly where technical articles or opinions are concerned getting at the facts, and especially the conditions where the facts might not apply, be affected by bugs or peculiarities etc is an important service that forums like this list provide. I'd hate to see folk intimidated either by technical criticism or by the suggestion that the opinions that they express threaten others.

Looking at the above I think what I am saying is lets keep the technical discussion going - this is after all a technical list not a vendor assessment list, but be aware that folk have different communication styles and first languages. Doing this should ensure that there is no danger of anyone's reputation being anything other than that which is earned by what they themselves write.

Niall Litchfield
Oracle DBA
Audit Commission
+44 117 975 7805

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Received on Mon Mar 08 2004 - 03:33:12 CST

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