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Re: [xml-dev] XML As Fall Guy

> I would be interested if yourself or others have anecdotes of Agile
> applied to large, complex development projects for tailored software
> solutions. We may be going a bit off-piste for xml-dev here so please keep
> it relevant to the list if you do have feedback.

I had some slight involvement a couple of years ago with a successful system developed for online scientific publishing (with MarkLogic at the back end). I don't know the project budget but I would guess over 10m. TDD and Agile played an important part. Although successful, it made me aware of some of the weaknesses: for example it was the only project I have ever seen that was over-tested. In the final stages we were doing performance tuning and it was seriously difficult because (a) internal changes that didn't break any external functionality caused dozens of tests to fail (because they were testing non-visible behaviour), and (b) running a commit took well over an hour.

The other problem with the project was unnecessary proliferation of technologies: the XML pipeline took data through XQuery, JDOM, XSLT, DOM4J, freemarker, ... inhibiting reuse of code and causing much serialization and reparsing. Basic cause was that when software components are free, it's quite difficult to stop each developer choosing their own favourites.

Michael Kay

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