Baby Punching or Not Loving Enough

One of things that kind of pisses me off about blogging is that when you discuss something that is inherently your view of a subject, particularly a technical one, the most common comments are: a) have you tried doing something else entirely (yes, but y’know the point of the post was talking about this thing) and b) how can you say X about Y?

The weird thing is that sometimes in the latter case you can say all this positive stuff and what gets commented on is the couple of things you didn’t like. Evanglists or just frothing converts can’t seem to consider that the thing they support is anything less than perfect. I’ve decided to call this Baby Punching. Every parent considers their baby to be the most special thing in existence; any kind of negative feeling is like punching that baby in the face.

These parental feelings are strongest early on when perhaps people are concerned that any kind of negative feedback from early adopters will kill their favourite outright. Which is a ridiculous attitude, feedback from early adopters is a chance to change things before it gets out to the wider public. The truth is that once something is established no-one goes back to look at what the early adopters thought.

Look at Steam, today its an invaluable tool that trys to balance the needs of game developers and gamers. Who remembers how awful it was initially? It was slow, Half-Life 2 took forever to decrypt and authorize and if you didn’t have always-on broadband then it was a pain to play, authorisation for other games was broken. It was not fun. Steam has improved over the years and not because it tried to stomp on the complaints of the early adopters.

So please, just because I don’t think your baby is as perfect as you do, don’t think I’m punching it.


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