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Re: [xml-dev] Use-cases are the bane of orthogonality

Mike is formally wrong I think: orthogonality typically belongs to the world of implementation and design while use-cases relate to requirements and test extraction.

For example, consider the use-case "users can construct complex functions by piecing together arbtrary functions". That is a use case that will lead to an orthogonal interface for users. You could have similar use-cases that apply to designers and developers, to influence that the design and implementation also are done orthogonally.

i think Mike is correct, however, that the problem with use cases (and this can be the same with waterfall) is how to build a system that supports current requirements but does not limit emerging requirements. Or how to build a system with a lot of low-hanging fruit : new ways to do things easier. Use-cases need to encourage orthogonality where appropiate.


On 07/06/2015 10:35 PM, "Costello, Roger L." <costello@mitre.org> wrote:
Hi Folks,

[Definition] Bane: a thing that ruins or spoils.

[Definition] Orthogonality: if a tool is orthogonal, it can be added, replaced, or removed, in favor of better tools, without screwing everything else up. The classic example is Unix command line tools: you have one tool for getting the contents of a disk (dd), another for filtering lines from the file (grep), another for writing those lines to a file (cat), etc. These can all be mixed and matched at will. [1]

Michael Kay wrote this extraordinary statement: [2]

        Use-cases are the bane of orthogonality. Any system with
        good orthogonality can do things for which it is very difficult
        to find a use case. Design focused excessively on use-cases
        leads to a lack of orthogonality.

Then, without focusing on use-cases, how does one approach design? Is this the right approach: Develop a few use-cases for inspiration and then work on creating simple components that can be connected to any other component?


[1] See the answer from Lee B on this stack overflow post: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1527393/what-is-orthogonality

[2] http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/201506/msg00007.html


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