August 22, 2004

Why do we say these things?

Why do computer scientists acquiesce in publishing things we know aren't right?

Take, for example, a paper in the latest JODI describing The PlumbingXJ Approach for Fast Prototyping of Web Applications. The paper looks mildly interesting, although it ignores a decade of important work in hypertext structure. But lets look at the motivation (section 3):

If you read and review computer science papers, you'll see homespun homilies like this all the time. I'm not unsympathetic, The only problems is: we know this is untrue.

In other words, the authors got carried away here, and the editors and peer reviewers didn't bother to check.