Re: Release notes: term for bugs

Subject: Re: Release notes: term for bugs
From: Sandy Harris <pashley -at- storm -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 13:39:41 -0400

Sean Hower wrote:
> Johnathon West wrote:
> In some small shops, it is only as they write the code
> that they *discover* how they want it to work. The
> design follows the writing of the code, not the other
> way around....There was *nothing* in the entire place
> written down as to what the product was meant to do.
> --------------------------------------
> You're the third person, aside from myself, who has
> mentioned working in a place that operated like that.
> I'm wondering how many places out there are like this.

For some problems, that may be the right method. You need
an iterative approach. Build a prototype, play with it,
learn some things, build a better one, ...

You don't know enough at the start to write a good spec,
and you're better off trying to learn more than writing
a bad one.

The best discussion of this I've seen is in a paper by
Beau Sheils called "Power Tools for Programmers", which
I read in a mid-80s book titled "Interactive Programming

A quick search didn't turn up the full paper online, but
did get this quote:

" To those accustomed to the precise, structured methods
" of conventional system development, exploratory
" development techniques may seem messy, inelegant, and
" unsatisfying. But it's a question of congruence:
" precision and inflexibility may be just as dysfunctional
" in novel, uncertain situations as sloppiness and
" vacillation are in familiar, well-defined ones. Those
" who admire the massive, rigid bone structures of
" dinosaurs should remember that jellyfish still enjoy
" their very secure ecological niche.

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RE: Release notes: term for bugs: From: Sean Hower

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