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Response to Critics

I know I am not supposed to let the reviews of my book get to me, but I have read a couple that really bother me, and I feel I have to get some of my feelings off of my chest lest I sound off with a response directly at a reader.

First, if you are the type of person who finds it necessary to write a review that gives an awful rating, be man (or woman) enough to indicate your name and not conceal your identity behind an Anonymous Reader moniker. It must be incredibly difficult to bad mouth someone’s hard work (two years in my case) and not put your name or face out there for criticism of your own.

Second, if you are going to write a scathing review of my book, there are two things you might consider doing so as not to lose all credibility with the rest of the viewing audience: correct your grammar and get your facts straight. Let’s face it, you are writing at most 80 to 150 words, so how hard is it to make sure that you use the word “inexcusable” and not “unexcusable” – and for the record, I had a power surge at my house which brought my servers (and the downloadable examples) down without my knowledge. I am sorry to everyone (except maybe Mr. Anonymous Reader) for the several day outage that occurred because of this happening. Next, here are some facts about my examples: there are 163 numbered examples (and god only knows how many others), eight numbered examples are CSS, 24 are XHTML or XHTML fragments, 80 are JavaScript, 46 are PHP, and five are miscellaneous.

To make these numbers a little bit clearer, 49% of the examples are JavaScript and 28% are PHP, while only 4.9% of these examples are CSS. How 4.9% of my examples constitutes the “actual focus [being] on use of CSS to produce desired page appearance with multiple browser types” is beyond me. Did the reader of this particular review even read the whole book? Did this particular reader actually read the code, and the comments included with the code that explain and discuss what is going on? Also on a side note, everyone should read the whole sentence that I just quoted from out loud just to hear how broken and “Neanderthal” it sounds – I almost expect there to be a grunt at the end.

Third (and finally for this “petite” rant of mine), do not inconvenience yourself with writing a review when you have no sense of humor whatsoever. Now that I ponder those reviews, perhaps I should not bother evaluating the reviews from the Amazon sites in other countries. After all, Germans really do not have a sense of humor (and I will be proving my point if any Germans get upset by this remark). I was attempting to be witty and intellectual with some of my chapter and section titles – maybe I am simply too droll for the common man. Either this or my cleverness must not have translated all that well when read by people in different cultures.

So much for not attacking reviews directly! Seriously, though, is it too much to ask for better reviewers (and I would not mind better reviews either, for that matter)?

Categories: Books, General Rants Tags: , ,