In my line of work I am constantly confronted by hype of some new silver bullet technology, that will solve all the worlds problems, make coffee and let any idiot jump in and program up the best thing ever. Java, XML, J2EE, anything.NET and then as I got more involved with Java I see pieces of it hyped so much that I can never find a clear understanding of what they are examples are JSF, Portlets, Annotation, Inversion of Control. It actually seems to happen quite a bit with all kinds of products that aren't even necesarily IT related (Have you tried to buy a television lately?). And this is one reason I hate advertisement. On the flip-side I have to "work" for a living, and I understand the need to somehow advertise, to let people know you are there. I take advantage of some Firefox plugins to block ads from the pages I browse, and someone asked me, "How do you find out what's out there?" Currently I guess I find out through reading various blogs and slashdot and this is probably something that would be of great interest to people, because how do you advertise? But this is a rampant tangent to my original thought, probably fit for a different post. The original thought was, I hate advertisement hype, and how do I get past that to find out what new technology is worth investigation and what is just a bunch of noise.
Well I have heard much lately about Java Portlets and Portals. And in the interest of trying to figure out what it is so I can either dismiss it or pay some attention I took a look at the spec, JSR-000168 Portlet Specification. In about 4 paragraphs of direct writing I have a good feel for what was meant to be acomplished with this technology, that 100,000 words of hype couldn't even bring me close to understanding. So my advice to myself, is next time I am hit with hype that may be of some interest, if there is a spec available, read it first. At least the first few pages. This also leads to a second point the Java Community Process is a good thing.
Sure the hype eventually led me to the real meat. But wouldn't it be possible for the purveyors of hype to give me some real information first, rather than the pie in the sky crap that everyone knows is bogus?