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Re: [XP] [Slightly OT] OOP Article on DevX

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  • Robert Watkins
    ... Umm... it is (or was) a fairly common mis-representation. A number of the early GUI builders were OO in nature. The early OO environments were highly
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 1, 2005
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      Dave Rooney wrote:
      >
      > I saw a reference to this article on TheServerSide.com this morning...
      >
      > http://www.devx.com/DevX/Article/26776/0/page/1
      >
      > Thoughts anyone?
      >
      > The author seems to equate GUI components to objects, which is
      > something I have seen before.

      Umm... it is (or was) a fairly common mis-representation. A number of the
      early GUI builders were OO in nature. The early OO environments were highly
      graphical (especially Smalltalk). Because objects are often presented in
      real-world terms, there are usually UI components that map to those objects
      (at least the core domain objects).

      I remember having this delusion when I started looking at OO programming at
      uni. I'm not sure how long it lasted... but it was gone by the time I
      finished uni.

      Then I stumbled on the Naked Objects approach, which turns it all around
      again...

      > "And the profession is now guarded by a priest class that benefits
      > from OOP's murk and mystery—the fewer people who can communicate with
      > computers, the more secure their jobs." Eh?! Do I need to run out
      > and buy a frock?

      Pie Iesu Domine. Dona Eis Requiem. *bonk*.

      More seriously: OO programming extends the reach of computers and makes it
      easier for people to communicate, especially OO-base UIs. If, at the pointy
      end, it's becoming more rarified, it's because we are trying to tackle
      harder things.

      --
      "Software is too expensive to build cheaply"
      Robert Watkins http://twasink.net/ robertdw@...
    • George Paci
      ... Pretty standard stuff, although he persistently misspells XP as OOP . --George Paci Having a precise definition of XP is
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 1, 2005
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        Dave Rooney wrote:

        >
        > I saw a reference to this article on TheServerSide.com this morning...
        >
        > http://www.devx.com/DevX/Article/26776/0/page/1
        >
        > Thoughts anyone?

        Pretty standard stuff, although he persistently misspells "XP"
        as "OOP".


        --George Paci <george@...>

        Having a precise definition of "XP" is as useful in
        developing software as having a precise definition of
        "rope" is in climbing mountains.
      • Gary Feldman
        ... Whenever I see stuff like this, I am reminded of a letter to a programming journal that I saw many years ago. The author praised the virtues of Forth,
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 1, 2005
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          Dave Rooney wrote:
          >I saw a reference to this article on TheServerSide.com this morning...
          >
          >http://www.devx.com/DevX/Article/26776/0/page/1
          >
          >Thoughts anyone?

          Whenever I see stuff like this, I am reminded of a letter to a programming journal that I saw many years ago. The author praised the virtues of Forth, particularly it's wonderful ability to use single character symbols -- %, #, etc. -- as words in the language, making it much easier to type than all those wordy programming languages. (I think he meant Basic). He then wanted some suggestions on how to keep these things straight when you were putting together a larger program from pieces in which a symbol meant one thing in one piece and something totally different in another.

          Some people must think that programming is nothing more than stringing together the right sequence of keys to automatically push on a calculator, and if only those programmers wouldn't produce so many typos, programs would all work perfectly.

          Gary
        • Ron Jeffries
          ... You certainly may. That word frock may have a different meaning in my lexicon than it has in yours, however. Still, people should dress as they like,
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 1, 2005
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            On Tuesday, February 1, 2005, at 3:44:04 PM, Dave Rooney wrote:

            > "And the profession is now guarded by a priest class that benefits
            > from OOP's murk and mystery—the fewer people who can communicate with
            > computers, the more secure their jobs." Eh?! Do I need to run out
            > and buy a frock?

            You certainly may. That word "frock" may have a different meaning in
            my lexicon than it has in yours, however. Still, people should dress
            as they like, that's my belief. :)

            The article and the one it references both remind me of "topmind", a
            famous anti-OO poster on the newsgroups. I don't get it, myself: I
            kind of like OO, because it lets me program in ways that I find to
            be more clear.

            The author does mention the incredible morass of the object
            libraries, and I agree with that. But I guess I'd rather have them
            than not, though they could be simpler, and better abstractions,
            than they usually are.

            Ron Jeffries
            www.XProgramming.com
            First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you,
            then you win. -- Gandhi
            I'm on track. When do I start to win? -- Jeffries
          • Dave Rooney
            ... Naw, I have fat ankles. :) ... I m a firm believer that you can have too much of a good thing in any programming paradigm, not just OO. I ve seen crap in
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 1, 2005
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              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Ron Jeffries [mailto:ronjeffries@...]
              > Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 6:42 PM
              > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: Re: [XP] [Slightly OT] OOP Article on DevX
              >
              > On Tuesday, February 1, 2005, at 3:44:04 PM, Dave Rooney wrote:
              >
              > > "And the profession is now guarded by a priest class that benefits
              > > from OOP's murk and mystery-the fewer people who can
              > communicate with
              > > computers, the more secure their jobs." Eh?! Do I need to run out
              > > and buy a frock?
              >
              > You certainly may. That word "frock" may have a different
              > meaning in my lexicon than it has in yours, however. Still,
              > people should dress as they like, that's my belief. :)

              Naw, I have fat ankles. :)

              > The article and the one it references both remind me of
              > "topmind", a famous anti-OO poster on the newsgroups. I don't
              > get it, myself: I kind of like OO, because it lets me program
              > in ways that I find to be more clear.
              >
              > The author does mention the incredible morass of the object
              > libraries, and I agree with that. But I guess I'd rather have
              > them than not, though they could be simpler, and better
              > abstractions, than they usually are.

              I'm a firm believer that you can have too much of a good thing in any
              programming paradigm, not just OO. I've seen crap in the OO world, and
              truly beautiful C code that expressed itself clearly.

              What I have experienced myself, and see on a daily basis, is that people
              first learn how to "use" objects but they don't necessarily understand
              them. At some point a light bulb comes on, and you find that you're
              actually thinking in terms of the abstractions, relationships, etc., and
              moving beyond simple inheritance. IME, that light doesn't come on for
              everyone. I suspect that's the case with the author of the article.

              I had a look at the web site the article's author references, and had a
              flashback to my Clipper days in the early 90's! A company I worked for
              had an almost completely data-driven application engine that worked OK
              as long as the rules for the data were straightforward. Of course,
              there were always exceptions to the straightforward rules, and the 80/20
              rule kicked in.

              Besides, the data dictionary shown in the Table Oriented Programming
              example looked to me to be full of repeating groups, especially if an
              item had more than one pre or post-validation rule. When I learned
              relational theory, I was taught that duplication was a very bad thing
              (funny how that followed to the OO world). Of course, the author
              doesn't like relational theory either, which is almost as bad as not
              liking puppies. ;)

              Dave Rooney
              Mayford Technologies
              http://www.mayford.ca
            • Jeff Grigg
              ... His arguments are just so far off in left field, they re not even on the field any more. I m an OO advocate, but I m quite willing to admit that there
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 1, 2005
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                --- "Dave Rooney" <dave.rooney@m...> wrote:
                > I saw a reference to this article on TheServerSide.com
                > this morning...
                > http://www.devx.com/DevX/Article/26776/0/page/1
                > Thoughts anyone?

                His arguments are just so far off in left field, they're not
                even "on the field" any more. I'm an OO advocate, but I'm quite
                willing to admit that there are cases where other techniques are
                more appropriate. But he just rants against everything and everyone
                he can see. ;->

                Something that seems to explain the behavior and opinions of some
                people in our industry is that some people develop strong
                abstraction skills, while others focus their abilities on
                more "concrete" thinking. "Concrete" thinkers are typically stable,
                reliable, hard-working individuals; they get lots of code written,
                and are good at working through legacy code and tweaking it here or
                there to fix bugs or add requested functionality. But they
                generally don't see abstractions as valuable, as abstraction "gets
                in the way" of seeing all the code and its procedural execution.
                And abstractions complicate the act of patching code in arbitrary
                ways to achieve given desirable procedural results.

                The most successful developers I've met, however, have very strong
                skills at understanding, introducing and managing abstractions in
                the programs they write.


                Beyond that, some people just seem to be filled with hate. 'do'no
                what to do about them. ;->
              • Michael Feathers
                ... When I read it, I had terrible deja-vu. I swear, it was just like reading critiques of OO in the late 1980s. Michael Feathers author, Working Effectively
                Message 7 of 10 , Feb 1, 2005
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                  Jeff Grigg wrote:

                  >--- "Dave Rooney" <dave.rooney@m...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >>I saw a reference to this article on TheServerSide.com
                  >>this morning...
                  >>http://www.devx.com/DevX/Article/26776/0/page/1
                  >>Thoughts anyone?
                  >>
                  >>
                  >
                  >His arguments are just so far off in left field, they're not
                  >even "on the field" any more. I'm an OO advocate, but I'm quite
                  >willing to admit that there are cases where other techniques are
                  >more appropriate. But he just rants against everything and everyone
                  >he can see. ;->
                  >
                  >

                  When I read it, I had terrible deja-vu. I swear, it was just like
                  reading critiques of OO in the late 1980s.

                  Michael Feathers
                  author, Working Effectively with Legacy Code (Prentice Hall 2005)
                  www.objectmentor.com
                • Jim Standley
                  As so often is the case, Ron said it better than I would have. OO seems to work for me. There are bits that aren t perfect, but they re still better than most
                  Message 8 of 10 , Feb 2, 2005
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                    As so often is the case, Ron said it better than I would have. OO seems
                    to work for me. There are bits that aren't perfect, but they're still
                    better than most other things I've tried.

                    That article ends with a glowing link to the "OopBad" page. I thought
                    parts of the article sounded too familiar. Somebody was quoting this
                    stuff on another discussion board last year. It's mostly unreadable but
                    if you suffer from too-low blood pressure ...

                    http://www.geocities.com/tablizer/oopbad.htm

                    Ron Jeffries wrote:
                    > On Tuesday, February 1, 2005, at 3:44:04 PM, Dave Rooney wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >>"And the profession is now guarded by a priest class that benefits
                    >>from OOP's murk and mystery—the fewer people who can communicate with
                    >>computers, the more secure their jobs." Eh?! Do I need to run out
                    >>and buy a frock?
                    >
                    >
                    > You certainly may. That word "frock" may have a different meaning in
                    > my lexicon than it has in yours, however. Still, people should dress
                    > as they like, that's my belief. :)
                    >
                    > The article and the one it references both remind me of "topmind", a
                    > famous anti-OO poster on the newsgroups. I don't get it, myself: I
                    > kind of like OO, because it lets me program in ways that I find to
                    > be more clear.
                    >
                    > The author does mention the incredible morass of the object
                    > libraries, and I agree with that. But I guess I'd rather have them
                    > than not, though they could be simpler, and better abstractions,
                    > than they usually are.
                    >
                    > Ron Jeffries
                    > www.XProgramming.com
                    > First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you,
                    > then you win. -- Gandhi
                    > I'm on track. When do I start to win? -- Jeffries
                    >
                    >
                    > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                    >
                    > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                    >
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                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Gary Feldman
                    ... That s my take, too. Still, I think it s a legitimate question to ask whether practices appropriate to team development are also appropriate when dealing
                    Message 9 of 10 , Feb 3, 2005
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                      Jeff Grigg wrote:

                      > His arguments are just so far off in left field, they're not
                      > even "on the field" any more. I'm an OO advocate, but I'm quite
                      > willing to admit that there are cases where other techniques are
                      > more appropriate. But he just rants against everything and everyone
                      > he can see. ;->

                      That's my take, too. Still, I think it's a legitimate question to ask whether practices appropriate to team development are also appropriate when dealing with a programming project that is being done by exactly one person, will always be done by that same person, and will never be given to a different person. Certainly that's what I expect from the type of business he seems to be in; it's unlikely anyone would ever take over his code.

                      > Something that seems to explain the behavior and opinions of some
                      > people in our industry is that some people develop strong
                      > abstraction skills, while others focus their abilities on
                      > more "concrete" thinking. "Concrete" thinkers are typically stable,
                      > reliable, hard-working individuals; they get lots of code written,
                      > and are good at working through legacy code and tweaking it here or
                      > there to fix bugs or add requested functionality. But they
                      > generally don't see abstractions as valuable, as abstraction "gets
                      > in the way" of seeing all the code and its procedural execution.

                      I'd have to think about this a bit. I tend to be a very abstract thinker, and not the sort who gets lots of code written. But it's because of the latter point that I tend to do much better with legacy code. When writing from scratch, without being very strict about TDD, I'm always finding new abstractions or other ways to improve my never-ending design. In other words, I do better with legacy code because it suppresses my abstract distractions.

                      Your description of concrete thinkers makes me think of the sort of programmer who's quite happy working in a shop where the designs get thrown over the wall by the architect/design/analyst team, and they're just coding to spec.

                      Gary
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