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How do you make a platform/language switch agile?

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  • Anthony Kaufman
    I don t work on an XP team but I try to infuse XP/Agile ideas when I can. Recently, my team decided to switch from a LAMP environment to Rails. So far our
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 4, 2006
      I don't work on an XP team but I try to infuse XP/Agile ideas when I can.

      Recently, my team decided to switch from a LAMP environment to Rails. So far
      our decision has been stuck on the launch platform as lots of projects keep
      coming up and no one wants to roll a full-fledged 3-6-9 month Rails port
      into their one week task :-).

      So, one of my co-workers (I'll call him John) has started trying to champion
      this project on his own by starting development of some new features in
      Rails. I like doing things incrementally rather than in one shot so I
      thought that I'd help him out here. However, only a couple of tasks down the
      road we've run into a potential road block: duplication.

      We're trying to do a task that modified some existing PHP source while
      adding some new development in Rails. The problem is that there's some new
      logic that has to be added that both code bases would need access to. I know
      some ways that we could get around these issues (web services, SOAP, etc.)
      but it brought the more fundamental question to my mind: "How do you make a
      platform/language switch agile?" I'm guessing that the answer is, "it
      depends on the platform/language" but I wonder if there are any, more
      generic, rules of thumb gained from seasoned experience that you folks could
      offer me.

      Thanks,
      Anthony


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Charlie Poole
      Hi Anthony, ... First thing: make the team as a whole responsible for answering the question. Learning is such a personal thing that it has to be a personal
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 4, 2006
        Hi Anthony,

        > I don't work on an XP team but I try to infuse XP/Agile ideas
        > when I can.
        >
        > Recently, my team decided to switch from a LAMP environment
        > to Rails. So far our decision has been stuck on the launch
        > platform as lots of projects keep coming up and no one wants
        > to roll a full-fledged 3-6-9 month Rails port into their one
        > week task :-).
        >
        > So, one of my co-workers (I'll call him John) has started
        > trying to champion this project on his own by starting
        > development of some new features in Rails. I like doing
        > things incrementally rather than in one shot so I thought
        > that I'd help him out here. However, only a couple of tasks
        > down the road we've run into a potential road block: duplication.
        >
        > We're trying to do a task that modified some existing PHP
        > source while adding some new development in Rails. The
        > problem is that there's some new logic that has to be added
        > that both code bases would need access to. I know some ways
        > that we could get around these issues (web services, SOAP,
        > etc.) but it brought the more fundamental question to my
        > mind: "How do you make a platform/language switch agile?" I'm
        > guessing that the answer is, "it depends on the
        > platform/language" but I wonder if there are any, more
        > generic, rules of thumb gained from seasoned experience that
        > you folks could offer me.

        First thing: make the team as a whole responsible for answering the
        question.

        Learning is such a personal thing that it has to be a personal
        responsibility. People need to think about how they can learn best. Some
        people will be able to work on PHP while learning Rails. Others may ask to
        be allowed to focus on learning the new stuff. Whatever someone needs in
        order to learn, ask the entire team "How can we make that happen?"

        If you can get a whole team to be responsible for its own growth, with
        individuals taking responsibility both for their own learning and for
        helping others on the team to move ahead, you've already won. Don't take it
        all on yourself.

        Regarding duplication: consider it as the price for the learning. You can
        remove it in the future.

        Charlie
      • Adrian Howard
        On 5 Aug 2006, at 01:33, Anthony Kaufman wrote: [snip] ... You might find of interest. Adrian
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 6, 2006
          On 5 Aug 2006, at 01:33, Anthony Kaufman wrote:
          [snip]
          > "How do you make a
          > platform/language switch agile?" I'm guessing that the answer is, "it
          > depends on the platform/language" but I wonder if there are any, more
          > generic, rules of thumb gained from seasoned experience that you
          > folks could
          > offer me.

          You might find <http://www.martinfowler.com/bliki/
          StranglerApplication.html> of interest.

          Adrian
        • Jim Standley
          Thanks for that link. I m just now looking into this topic. We currently run in a vendor framework that hides most of EJB and a good deal of servlet
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 9, 2006
            Thanks for that link. I'm just now looking into this topic. We currently
            run in a vendor framework that hides most of EJB and a good deal of
            servlet programming behind its own abstractions. The question has come
            up how we would untangle ourselves from this thing if we wanted to go on
            our own. I very much like a gradual approach. We're lucky, it will all
            be Java, no language switch.

            Adrian Howard wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            > On 5 Aug 2006, at 01:33, Anthony Kaufman wrote:
            > [snip]
            > > "How do you make a
            > > platform/language switch agile?" I'm guessing that the answer is, "it
            > > depends on the platform/language" but I wonder if there are any, more
            > > generic, rules of thumb gained from seasoned experience that you
            > > folks could
            > > offer me.
            >
            > You might find <http://www.martinfowler.com/bliki/
            > <http://www.martinfowler.com/bliki/>
            > StranglerApplication.html> of interest.
            >
            > Adrian
          • Anthony Kaufman
            And I forgot to thank everyone for the advice. The StranglerApplication sounds like a good pattern. The problem that we re running into is that, so far, we re
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 10, 2006
              And I forgot to thank everyone for the advice. The StranglerApplication
              sounds like a good pattern. The problem that we're running into is that, so
              far, we're still trying to actively develop on our PHP apps leaving no one
              with any time to do the Rails applications. I wonder if frozen, or at least
              really slushy, source would be a requirement for making anything like this
              work. You'd at least need some folks fairly consistently devoted to the new
              project.

              Thanks,
              Anthony

              On 8/9/06, Jim Standley <jimstandley@...> wrote:
              >
              > Thanks for that link. I'm just now looking into this topic. We currently
              >
              > run in a vendor framework that hides most of EJB and a good deal of
              > servlet programming behind its own abstractions. The question has come
              > up how we would untangle ourselves from this thing if we wanted to go on
              > our own. I very much like a gradual approach. We're lucky, it will all
              > be Java, no language switch.
              >
              >
              > Adrian Howard wrote:
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > On 5 Aug 2006, at 01:33, Anthony Kaufman wrote:
              > > [snip]
              > > > "How do you make a
              > > > platform/language switch agile?" I'm guessing that the answer is, "it
              > > > depends on the platform/language" but I wonder if there are any, more
              > > > generic, rules of thumb gained from seasoned experience that you
              > > > folks could
              > > > offer me.
              > >
              > > You might find <http://www.martinfowler.com/bliki/
              > > <http://www.martinfowler.com/bliki/>
              > > StranglerApplication.html> of interest.
              > >
              > > Adrian
              >
              >
              >


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