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Re: Online book: Extreme Programming with Perl

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  • chudpi
    After reviewing the list of things I marked, there is only one which would qualify as constructive. In Chapter 2, the last sentence in the Feedback section
    Message 1 of 16 , Apr 26 8:13 PM
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      After reviewing the list of things I marked, there is only one which
      would qualify as 'constructive.' In Chapter 2, the last sentence in
      the Feedback section is an observation by Johannes Rukkers, that "XP
      uses feedback to integrate towards a solution, rather than trying to
      get it through a discontinuity." I'm not sure if I follow exactly
      what Johannes means by discontinuity. I was wondering if you wouldn't
      mind expanding on that statement?
      Admitedly, XP is a concept quite new to me (hence my enthusiasm), so
      this could be something obvious to the dwellers of this group. In
      that case, I apologize for introducing redundancy.

      The rest of what I had marked were simple formatting errors I noticed,
      which will probably get hashed out in editing anyway. Please let me
      know if you would like me to send you a list of these anyway.

      Thanks,
      Pete.

      --- In extremeperl@yahoogroups.com, Rob Nagler <nagler@b...> wrote:
      > Well, we're not exactly flooded with msgs on this list, and I enjoy
      > the kind of feedback public discussion provides. Why not try
      sending
      > a point or two to this list, and we'll see how it goes.
      >
      > The reason I put the book online is that it was sitting offline too
      > long without much constructive feedback. I was falling prey to
      Major
      > Release Syndrome. The only way this book is going to get better is
      if
      > people read it and tell me (us) what they think about it.
      >
      > I've had a few side discussions recently, but they're mostly about
      > typos or word choice. Probably best to send those directly to me.
      >
      > BTW, our little group has doubled in size in the last few weeks.
      >
      > Thanks,
      > Rob
    • Lance Wicks
      Rob, I would just like to say how much I enjoyed reading your online version of the book. (I lost track a bit on some of the code examples, I have to confess)
      Message 2 of 16 , Apr 27 12:47 AM
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        Rob,

        I would just like to say how much I enjoyed reading your online version of
        the book. (I lost track a bit on some of the code examples, I have to
        confess)
        It is one of the best resources I have struck to introduce Extreme
        Programming to newbies. I have found that most references to Extreme
        Programming are not overly helpful when you are trying to get started down
        the XP path.

        If I can help with the development of the book in anyway do let me know.

        Lance




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      • Karl Scotland
        ... I m a recent joiner. I got a pointer to your site out of the blue - not from one my usual XP sources - so I suspect word is spreading. I ve not seen an
        Message 3 of 16 , Apr 27 1:43 AM
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          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Rob Nagler [mailto:nagler@...]
          >
          > BTW, our little group has doubled in size in the last few weeks.
          >

          I'm a recent joiner. I got a pointer to your site out of the blue - not
          from one my usual XP sources - so I suspect word is spreading. I've not
          seen an email on main xp yahoo group. There's also a perl unit yahoo
          group. Have you thought of 'advertising' there for feedback?

          I've scanned the book, but not had time to review it properly yet. I'll
          definitely do so though as its precisely the book I've not been able to
          write myself - we use perl and XP a lot! One thing I wondered was
          whether it might be easier to review as a pdf - or is that just me being
          too lazy to print out all the chapters separately?

          Karl

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        • Adrian Howard
          Hi, ... [snip] While I still have not had the time to read the book (sorry Rob :-) I would guess that Johannes means that feedback is integral in the XP
          Message 4 of 16 , Apr 27 1:44 AM
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            Hi,

            On 27 Apr 2004, at 04:13, chudpi wrote:

            > After reviewing the list of things I marked, there is only one which
            > would qualify as 'constructive.' In Chapter 2, the last sentence in
            > the Feedback section is an observation by Johannes Rukkers, that "XP
            > uses feedback to integrate towards a solution, rather than trying to
            > get it through a discontinuity." I'm not sure if I follow exactly
            > what Johannes means by discontinuity. I was wondering if you wouldn't
            > mind expanding on that statement?
            [snip]

            While I still have not had the time to read the book (sorry Rob :-) I
            would guess that Johannes means that feedback is integral in the XP
            process: from the fine-grained feedback you get during TDD, the
            continual feedback you get from having an onsite customer, the feedback
            from regular iterations and releases, etc. With some more traditional
            processes the feedback is separate from the development (now we do the
            development, throw the application over the wall to QA, QA do some
            testing, feedback eventually comes back to the developers - usually by
            the time that they're working on the next bit).

            More feedback and tighter feedback loops are one of the main reasons
            that XP works so well in my experience.

            Adrian
          • Adrian Howard
            Hi, On 27 Apr 2004, at 09:43, Karl Scotland wrote: [snip] ... [snip] Another vote for a downloadable version (although a .tgz of the HTML would be just as
            Message 5 of 16 , Apr 27 2:28 AM
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              Hi,

              On 27 Apr 2004, at 09:43, Karl Scotland wrote:

              [snip]
              > One thing I wondered was
              > whether it might be easier to review as a pdf - or is that just me
              > being
              > too lazy to print out all the chapters separately?
              [snip]

              Another vote for a downloadable version (although a .tgz of the HTML
              would be just as useful as a PDF for me).

              I get the most time for reading on the train - where there is an
              annoying lack of connectivity.

              (and if I was less bone idle I'd use wget - I know :-)

              Adrian
            • Rob Nagler
              ... The best example of this I can think of is the development book itself. As far as you (the customer/user) are concerned, the introduction is a
              Message 6 of 16 , Apr 27 5:01 AM
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                chudpi writes:
                > uses feedback to integrate towards a solution, rather than trying to
                > get it through a discontinuity." I'm not sure if I follow exactly
                > what Johannes means by discontinuity. I was wondering if you wouldn't
                > mind expanding on that statement?

                The best example of this I can think of is the development book
                itself. As far as you (the customer/user) are concerned, the
                introduction is a discontinuity, a major release. That's bad, because
                it is a disruptive event.

                Disruptions can be good with books, because they are outside of the
                flow of your work. That's what is fun about books. They make you
                think (hopefully :-).

                Disruption is bad with software, because software is hard to get
                right. If you continually disrupt people with big changes (Windows
                98, SE, ME, etc.), they won't use your software (unless you are a
                monopoly :-). If you transition with itty bitty changes, people
                accept the changes more readily. This is why Microsoft and others
                have moved to a "patch" model with automatic updates. Sure, I have to
                reboot my machine every now and then, but I don't really notice the
                change and the change isn't likely to disrupt my flow. The problem
                with Microsoft's patch model is that they aren't changing anything
                fundamentally.

                XP allows you to make fundamental changes a little bit at a time.
                This works at all levels (like Adrian mentioned).

                > Admitedly, XP is a concept quite new to me (hence my enthusiasm), so
                > this could be something obvious to the dwellers of this group. In
                > that case, I apologize for introducing redundancy.

                Discussion is good. XP is evolving. If we get to 10% of the traffic
                of extremeprogramming@yahoogroups, we can consider creating a faq for
                these types of things.

                > The rest of what I had marked were simple formatting errors I noticed,
                > which will probably get hashed out in editing anyway. Please let me
                > know if you would like me to send you a list of these anyway.

                Please do. You are the acceptance test of the book. I try to fix
                little errors pretty quickly so they don't annoy others.

                Thanks for the feedback.

                Rob
              • Rob Nagler
                ... Thanks, and yes, the examples are hard. It s a feature. :-) XP is about the code. There s a good book by Tom Cargill called C++ Programming Style:
                Message 7 of 16 , Apr 27 5:22 AM
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                  Lance Wicks writes:
                  > I would just like to say how much I enjoyed reading your online version of
                  > the book. (I lost track a bit on some of the code examples, I have to
                  > confess)

                  Thanks, and yes, the examples are hard. It's a feature. :-) XP is
                  about the code. There's a good book by Tom Cargill called C++
                  Programming Style: http://www.awprofessional.com/title/0201563657 I
                  modeled my examples after that book, that is, I tried to make the code
                  substantial so you'd have to sit down with a pencil and paper and try
                  to work out what it does.

                  This isn't a cookbook or even a patterns book. It's about how to bend
                  the software to fit the problem instead of the other way around. This
                  is a tricky thing to get across in a few pages (another goal of mine :-).

                  That being said, if you can tell me which parts are tricky to
                  understand and why, I'll try to smooth them over with more text or
                  whatever makes sense.

                  > It is one of the best resources I have struck to introduce Extreme
                  > Programming to newbies. I have found that most references to Extreme
                  > Programming are not overly helpful when you are trying to get started down
                  > the XP path.

                  Wow! Thanks. I'm glad.

                  > If I can help with the development of the book in anyway do let me know.

                  The feedback is great. Even the compliments help me to, because then
                  I know that the book is useful. I'm a bit egotistical about
                  controlling the source to it right now. I've put a lot of sweat and
                  buckets of tears :-( into it, and I'd like to continue with the
                  writing part myself. That's unfortunate, because I'm pretty busy with
                  other things, and the book has to take a back seat.

                  I may ask for help on the website at some point. It's a bit simple,
                  and there's no search mechanism. Adding an index might be good, too.
                  But let's see how many people actually read it, and ask for the
                  features instead of getting into "that would be useful" kinds of
                  discussions. YAGNI!

                  Cheers,
                  Rob
                • Rob Nagler
                  ... It was a bit of an experiment (I just finished reading the Tipping Point) to see how fast it would spread with two seeds (xpdenver and this list). If you
                  Message 8 of 16 , Apr 27 5:47 AM
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                    Karl Scotland writes:
                    > I'm a recent joiner. I got a pointer to your site out of the blue - not
                    > from one my usual XP sources - so I suspect word is spreading. I've not
                    > seen an email on main xp yahoo group. There's also a perl unit yahoo
                    > group. Have you thought of 'advertising' there for feedback?

                    It was a bit of an experiment (I just finished reading the Tipping
                    Point) to see how fast it would spread with two seeds (xpdenver and
                    this list). If you want to mail other lists, you're more than
                    welcome.

                    > I've scanned the book, but not had time to review it properly yet. I'll
                    > definitely do so though as its precisely the book I've not been able to
                    > write myself - we use perl and XP a lot!

                    That makes two of us who use that combination. ;-) It's been fun to
                    write. I don't think there is a big audience, but I'm hoping that it
                    helps evolve our (bivio's) internal process.

                    > One thing I wondered was
                    > whether it might be easier to review as a pdf - or is that just me being
                    > too lazy to print out all the chapters separately?

                    I had it as a PDF, but that stopped working. I was using Stas
                    Bekman's DocSet, and for some reason that broke, and I was too busy to
                    fix it. Alternatively, I could probably make the book a single HTML
                    page fairly easily. Would that work for you?

                    Rob
                  • Matthew Albright
                    Wow, looks like there s activity here now! I m also a newcomer to the group... someone on the san francisco perl mongers group pointed me here after I gave a
                    Message 9 of 16 , Apr 27 12:10 PM
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                      Wow, looks like there's activity here now!

                      I'm also a newcomer to the group... someone on the san francisco perl
                      mongers group pointed me here after I gave a talk to them (and the bayxp
                      group) about the perl/XP process we're following here at Airwave
                      (http://www.airwave.com).

                      Reading the book is something I have on my to-do list, but just haven't
                      gotten a chance yet. I'm very excited to see if there are cool ideas we
                      could use here...

                      The reason I was asked to do the talk is that the XP people thought that
                      using perl was rather unique, and the perl people thought that using XP
                      was intriguing.

                      It sounds like there are other people here that are doing perl/XP
                      professionally... so, where is everyone located, what size of group do
                      you have, what kind of product are you doing, how long have you been doing
                      perl/xp, etc?

                      I'll start:
                      Airwave is in San Mateo, CA, USA (San Francisco Bay Area)... we are
                      developing (and selling) a wireless network management application. It is
                      nearly 100% OO perl that was developed over the past 3 or so years with a
                      full XP process (pairing/tdd/2 week iterations/etc). Our group is
                      currently 7 developers, looking to get to 8 very soon (hint hint).

                      Let's hear from everyone else!

                      matt
                    • Greg Compestine
                      Hi Matt, I m Greg Compestine. I had the pleasure of working with Rob in Colorado back in 2002 and 2003. I m now in the Bay Area working for this investment
                      Message 10 of 16 , Apr 27 2:31 PM
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                        Hi Matt, I'm Greg Compestine. I had the pleasure of working with Rob in
                        Colorado back in 2002 and 2003. I'm now in the Bay Area working for this
                        investment firm called AXA Rosenberg.

                        This place is an Eiffel stronghold, and I've been involved in the Eiffel
                        Open Source community for several years. I'm now in the rather strange
                        position of promoting Perl to a collection of Eiffel and C# programmers.


                        In some respects, it makes sense for this place to use Perl. There's a
                        huge amount of legacy VMS processing, and we have Perl 5.6 running
                        there. All new development is targeting Windows, so Perl gives us a
                        cross-platform scripting language.

                        I have one coworker who's quite enthusiastic about adopting Perl (he's
                        sick to death the DCL, a sort of DOS Batch language with messianic
                        tendencies). While it's not team programming, he's been having me
                        regularly review his Perl code and "Robify" or refactor it, using
                        techniques I learned from Rob. This usually leads to significant
                        reductions in the size of the scripts, and usually, greater clarity.

                        Greg

                        -----Original Message-----
                        > From: Matthew Albright [mailto:mattalbright@...]
                        >

                        It sounds like there are other people here that are doing perl/XP
                        professionally... so, where is everyone located, what size of group do
                        you have, what kind of product are you doing, how long have you been
                        doing perl/xp, etc?

                        I'll start:
                        Airwave is in San Mateo, CA, USA (San Francisco Bay Area)... we are
                        developing (and selling) a wireless network management application. It
                        is nearly 100% OO perl that was developed over the past 3 or so years
                        with a full XP process (pairing/tdd/2 week iterations/etc). Our group
                        is currently 7 developers, looking to get to 8 very soon (hint hint).

                        Let's hear from everyone else!

                        matt
                      • Lance Wicks
                        Hi all, My name is Lance Wicks. I am a general IT geek/nerd here in the United Kingdom (tho originally I am from New Zealand). My involvement in Perl is
                        Message 11 of 16 , Apr 28 12:46 AM
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                          Hi all,

                          My name is Lance Wicks. I am a general IT geek/nerd here in the United
                          Kingdom (tho' originally I am from New Zealand).

                          My involvement in Perl is primarily CGI web applications. And mainly for
                          pleasure as opposed to for work.
                          That said, the driver that had me looking for XP info and specifically XP
                          stuff for Perl is a project here to prototype a web based e-learning
                          solution for The Aziz Corporation/ Pzzaz ( www.azizcorp.com
                          <http://www.azizcorp.com> ).

                          I am also primarily a XP soloist, in other words no pair programming
                          available as I am the sole person tasked with writing code.
                          I have been using "the planning game" to manage the prototype development
                          and also to assist in getting buy-in from the sales team and trainers.

                          From my perspective, the idea of building a working application then adding
                          to it iteratively is just right. My chances of getting the time allocation
                          to do a BDUF style development was slim to naff all. As yet I have not
                          really started using the full XP range of tools/ideas. I have found Rob's
                          book the best resource so far for a newbie like me. Sites like
                          extremeprogramming.org are really good but can be intimidating IMHO.

                          Well... Thats about all about me.


                          Lance




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                        • Adrian Howard
                          Since everybody else is doing introductions... Programming since 81. Been paid for it since 86. First used Perl in 96. Started along the agile/XP route around
                          Message 12 of 16 , Apr 30 9:11 AM
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                            Since everybody else is doing introductions...

                            Programming since 81. Been paid for it since 86. First used Perl in 96.
                            Started along the agile/XP route around 2000/1. Joined the extremeperl
                            list (quick grep of the mbox) sometime in 2002. Have mostly lurked (not
                            that there has been a lot to lurk around.)

                            Not had a chance to more than skim a couple of chapters of Rob's book
                            (this annoying "work" thing keeps getting in the way), but what I have
                            seen looks jolly good.

                            Been a contractor / consultant type since 1999 so I don't have my own
                            little XP team to play with (sigh), but all my clients get the spiel
                            and a few XP practices thrown in for good measure!

                            I'm of the opinion that XP and Perl are an excellent fit. The XP
                            practices stop the creation of golf/line-noise code, allowing its nice
                            features to shine through.

                            Oh yes, I wrote Test:Class for any xUnit fans out there.

                            Cheers,

                            Adrian
                          • norbertgruener
                            Hi Rob, ... getting a single HTML page would be a real relief. --Norbert
                            Message 13 of 16 , May 18, 2004
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                              Hi Rob,

                              --- In extremeperl@yahoogroups.com, Rob Nagler <nagler@b...> wrote:
                              > Karl Scotland writes:
                              >
                              > > One thing I wondered was
                              > > whether it might be easier to review as a pdf - or is that just me
                              > > being too lazy to print out all the chapters separately?
                              >
                              > I had it as a PDF, but that stopped working. I was using Stas
                              > Bekman's DocSet, and for some reason that broke, and I was too
                              > busy to fix it. Alternatively, I could probably make the book
                              > a single HTML page fairly easily. Would that work for you?

                              getting a single HTML page would be a real relief.

                              --Norbert
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