[linux-elitists] advocacy ad hoc

Rusty Foster rusty@kuro5hin.org
Mon Sep 11 17:23:31 PDT 2000

Deirdre Saoirse wrote:
> On Mon, 11 Sep 2000, Heather wrote:
> > So what we have here is an evolutionist vs. creationist issue.  Where
> > the open coders are evolutionists (creating things that work in their
> > local niche, then releasing them "into the wild" to be accepted and/or
> > remolded) and the "established engineers" are creationists, accepting
> > the rules of the Good Books.
> Actually, I think that's a bit of overgeneralizing. There are people,
> particularly those in larger organisations, where the formal process is
> more important than the work. And there's the rest of us.
> I personally think a lot of people missed the point in some books where it
> says that the documentation is supposed to only be 1/n of the duration of
> the project. If it's a six-week project, two weeks is the *maximum* you
> can allocate to design time. 1 week is better, especially if in 2 stages.
> :)

In my experience, (short though it may be, so take it for what it's
worth), the best you can hope to achieve with an initial project design
and architecture is something that's relatively easy to throw away,
because you're always going to anyway. Something that can be thrown away
a bit at a time is best, because starting over from scratch is *much*
harder then replacing everything one piece at a time.

I think Free software development lends itself very well to this,
overall, because things tend to get written a piece at a time, rather
than intricately crafted and intertwined all at once, and therefore lend
themselves better to piecemeal replacement.

Basically, my experience has been that free software gets written better
and faster than commercial software. People can analyze ad infinitum,
I'll believe what life has shown me. :-)

    Rusty Foster            "Salmon and gas station attendants haven't
  rusty@kuro5hin.org         been at war since 1972."
  rusty@opensales.org                     --The Brunching Shuttlecocks

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