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Re: [XP] Use cases in XP

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  • yahoogroups@jhrothjr.com
    From: Dominic Williams To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
    Message 1 of 6 , May 6, 2005
      From: "Dominic Williams"
      <xpdoka.at.dominicwilliams.net@...>
      To: "extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com"
      <extremeprogramming.at.yahoogroups.com@...>
      Sent: Friday, May 06, 2005 2:23 AM
      Subject: Re: [XP] Use cases in XP


      > John Roth wrote:
      >
      > > It occurs to me that use cases could also help with
      > > two other issues:
      > >
      > > ... Pulling a lot of dispariate features together in
      > > a more intellectually manageable form.
      >
      > Is a collection of use cases more intellectually
      > manageable than the running software? If so, I'd be
      > concerned about the software's usability.

      It all has to do with building the mental model, and
      with the fact that our short-term memory capacity
      is finite. Some people have more than others, and
      software developers are probably on the high end
      as a group, but it's still finite. Once we exceed that,
      we need other ways of organizing things that will
      keep consistency.

      Use cases pull everything concerning one issue
      (usually stated the same way the first sentence of
      a story is stated) in one place so they can be examined
      together.

      I'm not a fan of use cases in the sense of "the one way."
      I'm a fan of them in the sense that they are a workable
      way, and also one that is fairly widespread and well
      thought of in the industry. I'm in enough disputes that
      I prefer to pick my fights carefully, and disputing the
      utility of use cases in certain high-complexity areas
      is not one of them.

      > > ... Checking that the feature set for a release is
      > > "complete" in some meaningful sense, such as the one
      > > in "Effective Use Cases": all stakeholder's interests
      > > are protected.
      >
      > Sounds like a recipe for all those unused features we
      > keep hearing about...

      Did you read what I actually said, or did you just emit
      something that sounded good?

      "Protecting a stakeholder's interests" has a very specific
      meaning, and Alistair gives a number of examples in
      "Effective Use Cases." None of them come under the
      heading of "unused features." All of them come under
      the heading of "will inevitably generate high priority
      change requests if neglected", and sometimes "will cause
      serious legal problems if neglected."

      John Roth
      >
      > Regards,
      >
      > Dominic Williams
      > http://www.dominicwilliams.net
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