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RE: [extremeperl] Re: Online book: Extreme Programming with Perl

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  • 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 1 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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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




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • 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 2 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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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 3 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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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 4 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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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 5 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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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 6 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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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 7 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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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 8 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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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 9 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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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 10 of 16 , Apr 28, 2004
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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




                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • 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 11 of 16 , Apr 30, 2004
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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 12 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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