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From: Derek Denny-Brown [mailto:email@example.com]
>XML is easy, so long as using XML means picking your XML tools/libraries
>off the shelf and using them. The problem I run into is that so many
>people (here) have the NIH syndrome, and would rather write their own
>XML library than use an existing one.
Same here. Yes, we use MS tools, but we have plenty of custom code.
We have had to beat programmers over NIH and convince others they
are using the wrong API (DOM and SAX). It happens here too.
>You come from the Mil/Gov Contract world, where everything is tightly
>spec'd and conformance to spec is often more important than
Not quite. I live in a world where large organizations who happen to
be city or county agencies buy products we assemble from components.
Some are tightly spec'd; others are loose. I have to figure out how
to sell them moreorless the same system without so much customization
as to remove all profit. Yes, there is a difference between selling
to a big organization over a desktop, but given that opsys and other
tools often come packaged with the computer, the difference isn't as
big as one thinks. You have to sell to Dell and since coercive tactics
aren't kosher, you still have performance/ship-date issues similar to
mine. The problem may be, your colleagues don't feel that pressure
as keenly as we do because we have to deliver ready-to-rock systems,
wall-to-wall, CPU-to-Mouse. We can only do that if we build over
ready-to-rock components and we buy most of those from you.
SO THIS IS YOUR CUSTOMER SAYING, GET IT RIGHT OR ELSE. :-)
>Talking/Working with developers and their leads is the only level of
>contact I have. (Next time Bill Gates asks me over for lunch I'll talk
>to him about it... <g>)
You won't have to. My Big Boss does that. Actually, I think Gates
is a good engineer and well aware of what kinds of problems he has
with his products at the component level. Up to now, the market hasn't
made him focus on that but that is changing. He keeps about a six to
eight month lead and that is a slim margin particularly if the turtle
can be dressed as the rabbit and acquire enemies that way. MS dominance
is not as secure as one might suppose. Two bad seasons, and suddenly
the world goes topsy turvey given the rate at which we have to
replace computer systems these days. That is why reliance on the
standards works for MS, not against them. It is in the murky world
of system specifications that things become dodgy. Emerging tech is
always a bet on a horse that has no previous wins.
>My angle is to work the grass-roots side of
>things, since I can get a fellow developer to listen to my arguments
>much more easily than I can his manager's manager.
True enough. My experience is that the average programmer is more
focused on impressing his immediate peers and superior than understanding
his individual contributions really do affect the bottom line. We've
been trying to get that across down here in cottonpatch land and as
we have, our stock has risen from one foot in the grave to one foot
on the landing. It is harder in my world to get the waaaay above
average programmer to do it right. Big egos; closed minds.
>Lock-in is inevitable, no matter what you do.
If I have to base QOS on known components with
known numbers, that is so. It may not be market
lock-in; it is enthrallment.