Re: Aphorisms

Subject: Re: Aphorisms
From: <puff -at- guild -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 4 Feb 2001 18:47:02 -0500


> Howard writes:
> > I have oft quoted whoever it was wrote something like:
> > "A work of art is never complete, but merely abandoned."

Mark L. Levinson replies:
> I remember it as John Ciardi, "A poem is never finished, it
> is given up in despair," but I can't find confirmation on the
> Internet.
>
> Documentation, on the other hand, is never completed but,
> like software, it is merely released.

Which is the perfect cue for me to reply with one of my favorite
aphorisms:

"No software is ever released, it escapes."

No idea on the attribution, I read it on a button a former
coworker bought for the release manager at that company.

To bring it around to a more philosophical bent, I believe the
underlying meaning of finished vs. abandoned is in fact true for
software, although not in the same sense as it is true for art. The
Extreme Programming movement is perhaps the embodiment of this; the
idea that any piece of software is intended to solve a human problem,
and like human problems, must be ever-evolving to stay relevant (thus
the subtitle of the XP bible, "Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace
Change").


Steven J. Owens
puff -at- guild -dot- net

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