[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Excavators [was: A language idea: Elle]

Reginald Braithwaite-Lee said:
> --- Bruce Lewis <brlewis@alum.mit.edu> wrote:
>> If success is a hard sell to the decision-makers, you're working with
>> the wrong decision-makers.
> The eternal debate! See this musing:
> <http://www.braithwaite-lee.com/opinions/doctor.html>.

1. On one project, I spent two days arguing with my supervisor
so that I could include encryption in a security module.  He
thought that if I left out encryption, the coding would get done
faster, even if the module didn't provide any security.

2. On a different job, a new guy created a standard desktop,
installed it on all the client PCs and Macs, thus eliminating
a backlog of problems and truly delighting our clients.  He
was fired because the clients wanted to know why our boss
hadn't do this long before.

3. After several years of development, a software project
was stopped and discarded -- even though it had user acceptance
and was on the verge of entering full production -- because a
new head of IT decided that he didn't like THE OPERATING SYSTEM
and bought all new servers.

In all these cases, being right was not much of a consolation.

What "success" means is subjective:  in case 1, it was meeting
the schedule.  In 2, it was preserving face.   In 3, it was maintaining
a familiar environment.

There are constraints that no reasoning can conquer.

And by the way, although I am not a Java devotee, I don't find
the "J2EE compliant" constraint absurd.  It is a choice, and we
can't assume it was made out of ignorance.

I remember the pleasure I experienced in writing some scripts using
DEC's very limited DCL commands because there was no real
programming language available to our project.  Constraints
can evoke inventiveness.

Kevin Kelleher <kkell@znet.com>