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RE: XP and fruit-picking
- From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: email@example.com
- Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2001 16:00:26 -0600
Just rant, so unit testers should return
to their RADE tool screens.
After doing some review. From the XP pages:
"Simplest does, however, mean a minimal solution."
It may be all you can get, but I'm not convinced
it is always the winning strategy.
It may be all you need but you have to know
the problem well enough to figure that out.
Simple at the finish isn't always simple to
do. Build fast, test often. That's fine
but that ain't news.
There is no substitute for testing, but any
programmer who hasn't figured out why a
function should ideally do one task hasn't
built many. Building in simple
integratible stages is assuredly good practice,
but it still pays to know what the stages
are and when they happen.
o Otherwise, the walks around the block
become frequent and long.
o Otherwise, hype takes over and Simple
Is Better becomes Listen To Me Only.
o Otherwise, when you write the proposal, it
reads like a manifesto instead of a business
proposition and you lose.
"Everybody wants to rule the world." Theft
is a way to do it as long as you can convince
the jury you had the community interests at
heart. On the other hand, Nabster is going
down. Gnutella can hear the knock at the door.
Everything the "info wants to be free" and
"the web isn't subject to YOUR laws" guys said
turned out to be dead wrong. Code talks...
so do the courts.
XP isn't wrong, just not particularly novel. I
don't think I ever worked a project that used
the capability maturity model or actually used
the kind of conceptual diagramming techniques
of CASE. I've seen hardware designed like that
because it enables simulation over breadboarding and
when discussions of conceptual modeling come
up, it is useful to point out the difference
between expensive breadboarding and compiling a
software build. Still, diagramming has its place if
for nothing else, keeping notes in a brainstorming
session. I don't find UML easier to read
than code. I find it easier to use as a document
when the implementation language is not yet
chosen. Merits to both.
XP smacks of too much zedNess, the
tendancy to grab the latest trend because
one hasn't done enough or seen enough to
read the environment and inquire if the
zed really is required or even matters,
then proclaim it the final (zed) solution
and beat the bejeebers out of naysayers.
That is fanaticism at its worst and it
is the reason the web isn't the healthy
business environment it could be. But
the web is still a baby, and I suspect
it has to crawl a little longer. XP
may be part of learning to walk. It like
any method works if practiced but only
because Computers Don't USUALLY Lie.
Some people do it right because they
already know what has to be done. They
have already done it wrong, done the unit
tests, and are now simply trying to do
the next generation. They don't need a new
religion or even a coding partner. They
need to get it done sooner, they know where
the stumps are and they look like they
can walk on water. Truth is, their Bozo
shoes are inflated as they get off the
bus and enter the showfloor. Their noses
are already red.
Competition enables products to duke it out.
But don't be so cherry as to think the best code always
wins or even should. The sharpest competitor, enshallah,
usually does. Or as they say,
"the race is not always to the swift
but that is the way to bet". That is
why Microsoft continues to cream
most competitors. They are simply the best.
They made hash of Netscape and many others
because they did not hesitate once they
understood the rules of the game. they
mastered them and executed relentlessly.
That gets it done. Regardless of emotions,
they win on merit time and time again. It
keeps the bucks flowing toward Redmond and
that keeps the code flowing back. Go ahead
and pick the low hanging fruit and enjoy
them. But if a crew of expert pickers with
automated ladders shows up and picks faster,
you may go hungry, and you know, that is life.
The grove guys had the right idea. The Simple
Is Better guys didn't know what right was.
If a simpler better idea has surfaced, do it.
For now, the incomplete and incompatible data models
are biting XML and the SimpleFirst guys made that happen.
Try again. If you think XP is the way, go
extreme. But don't think that wins of necessity
unless you are ready to go where the iron
crosses grow, to borrow a movie phrase,
and don't whine. Complexity is often
just what one doesn't understand yet.
That is why we duke it out on this list:
to help everyone see what it is we
don't understand yet.
That is community. Not shared goals,
but shared understanding.
Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h