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Re: [XP] Theologists and missionaries

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  • John Roth
    ... From: Paolo Bizzarri To: Sent: Monday, April 30, 2007 11:41 PM Subject: Re: [XP] Theologists and
    Message 1 of 31 , May 1, 2007
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Paolo Bizzarri" <pibizza@...>
      To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, April 30, 2007 11:41 PM
      Subject: Re: [XP] Theologists and missionaries


      > On 4/30/07, John Roth <JohnRoth1@...> wrote:
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> There's a very straightforward answer to this question.
      >>
      >> The personal computer.
      >>
      >> I'm absolutely serious. When I started in the middle '60s,
      >> I had a separate department that put my programs onto
      >> punched cards, and I got one run a day (overnight), with
      >> a pile of paper on my desk the next day.
      >>
      >
      > Hi John,
      >
      > I am not convinced. Things like PCs and Turbopascal were already
      > available in the '80. I got my degree in Computer Science in the 1994,
      > and there were (apparently) no idea of something like TDD.

      I agree to the specifics of TDD - that was invented right here on
      this mailing list a few years ago when several of us noticed that
      the combination of practices that XP advocated melded into something
      quite new. To use a very hacknied phrase, it was not just the sum of
      its parts.

      It did, however, come out of the Smalltalk environment. Most of
      what we think of as XP came out of the Smalltalk environment.
      Your mention of Turbo Pascal almost guarantees you never
      worked in that environment, so it's not surprising that you never
      saw anything resembling TDD.

      On the other hand, everything else you mention is from the era
      of the PC - the expectation that you have a personal workstation
      on your desk is so utterly pervasive that, if you haven't worked in
      an environment where this isn't true it's very hard to imagine the
      consequences.

      My first paying job was in '65, which makes me a couple of years
      younger than Ron. It was impossible to get anything resembling a
      personal workstation for over 20 years, and I have never worked
      in a mainframe environment where a personal workstation was
      anything other than a dumb terminal emulator for a mainframe. Such
      exist, but I've never used one. The first time I even had that was in
      the late 70s, and you don't want to hear some of the stories about
      the early mainframe time sharing environments.

      Now consider the environment that Wirth, Djikstra, Hoare and their
      collegues worked in. They did not have personal workstations
      at their disposal, neither did their students. They did not grow up
      in that environment. Their entire background, and their day to day
      working environment was the batch compile and test environment.
      Is it any wonder that the problems they worked on, and the results
      they got, fit the batch compile and test environment and consequently
      have little relevance to people who have personal workstations that
      can do an edit, compile and test run in a matter of a minute or two?

      John Roth

      "The present is the child of the past."
      -- Quote from someone, somewhere.

      >
      > Ciao
      >
      > Paolo
      >
    • Steve Freeman
      There are actually a few. Sheffield has been running a very interesting programme for several years now (that s why the XP conference was held there). I ve
      Message 31 of 31 , May 3, 2007
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        There are actually a few. Sheffield has been running a very
        interesting programme for several years now (that's why the XP
        conference was held there). I've been teaching a few bits and pieces
        with Ivan Moore at University College. I think Huddersfield does
        something. It's not exactly a landslide, but it's catching on.

        S.

        On 1 May 2007, at 16:49, Elizabeth Keogh wrote:
        > IIRC Aberystwyth is the only university in the UK which teaches any
        > of the
        > Agile practices - there may be a second by now (?).
        >
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