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Definition of XP

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  • Ron Jeffries
    There has been a lot of discussion around the definition of XP, and apparently in trying to make what I thought was a simple point, I ve added to the
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 1, 2005
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      There has been a lot of discussion around the "definition" of XP,
      and apparently in trying to make what I thought was a simple point,
      I've added to the confusion.

      One meaning of the word "definition" is the statement of a precise
      meaning. People look to the definition of "bird" to tell them
      whether a Penguin, a {arrot, or a Pomeranian is a bird. I hold that
      it is not possible to look at a project team and say whether or not
      they are "doing XP". In my opinion, XP does not have that kind of
      definition. (Whether "bird" does, I do not know.)

      Another meaning of the word refers to statements conveying the
      fundamental character of a thing. XP has those: the fundamental
      character of XP has been delivered first and best by the books of
      Kent Beck on the subject.

      Other people have tried also to convey the fundamental character, or
      specific characteristics of the things that they believe, which they
      may call "XP". It has been my choice and my honor to be among those
      people.

      And here is where it gets confusing regarding "definition" of the
      first kind, and perhaps even of the second.

      Today, there are many people in the world who have an understanding
      that they call "XP". So if one of these people says "XP is like a
      bird," or "XP is about process efficiency," or "XP is about customer
      satisfaction," what are they saying? I think they're saying "In my
      opinion, as I understand XP, XP is ..."

      I'm not dissing anyone who writes about XP, least of all its First
      Speaker, Kent Beck. Kent has given us a precious gift, and we have
      all learned from it, adopted it, lived it, and polished it a bit in
      our own way. It remains his gift, and it always will.

      I'm merely saying that if we're looking for some razor-sharp
      mathematical clarity on whether XP is or isn't some thing, could or
      couldn't do some thing, we are barking up the wrong tree. XP, //as I
      understand it//, is not an entity that lends itself to answering
      that kind of question.

      My understanding about that could be wrong.

      I think XP is wonderful, I respect and honor everyone who has
      contributed to it, I'm delighted to have been a part of it. I think
      I'm very unlikely to be wrong about all that.

      Ron Jeffries
      www.XProgramming.com
      One test is worth a thousand expert opinions.
      -- Bill Nye (The Science Guy)
    • SirGilligan
      ... I too am thankful for those that share the experiences and opinions. I do not know Mr. Beck, or even you (Mr. Jeffries), but I am glad there are those that
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 1, 2005
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        > I think XP is wonderful, I respect and honor everyone who has
        > contributed to it, I'm delighted to have been a part of it. I think
        > I'm very unlikely to be wrong about all that.
        >
        > Ron Jeffries

        I too am thankful for those that share the experiences and opinions.
        I do not know Mr. Beck, or even you (Mr. Jeffries), but I am glad
        there are those that try to improve things (what ever thing that may
        be).

        May we all learn something and then share it.

        Geoff
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