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Re: [XP] open-source and agile followers

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  • Phlip
    ... CVS or Subversion. They are so obvious we don t always list them... -- Phlip http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596510657/ Test Driven Ajax (on Rails)
    Message 1 of 27 , Jul 1, 2007
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      David Carlton wrote:

      >> - a system to verify each change
      >> - version controllers
      >> - a community of modifiers
      >> - a wider community of users
      >> - tiny iterations.
      >
      > I think that there are many healthy open source projects without tiny
      > iterations. Nightly builds, sure, but that's continuous integration,
      > not true iterations. (The builds aren't formal releases, and
      > frequently aren't release quality.)
      >
      > I mostly agree with the other points, though I'm not so confident
      > about the first one, and not sure quite what you mean by "version
      > controllers".

      CVS or Subversion.

      They are so obvious we don't always list them...

      --
      Phlip
      http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596510657/
      "Test Driven Ajax (on Rails)"
      assert_xpath, assert_javascript, & assert_ajax
    • William Pietri
      ... Although I think that s incorrect, it does occur to me that open-source programmers often make great additions to agile teams, as their habits and thinking
      Message 2 of 27 , Jul 1, 2007
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        aidy wrote:
        > Would I be correct in saying that most developers who contribute to
        > open-source software have an agile background?
        >

        Although I think that's incorrect, it does occur to me that open-source
        programmers often make great additions to agile teams, as their habits
        and thinking integrate well.

        William
      • David Carlton
        ... Gotcha. Yes, use of those is universal in open source projects. One of the weird things about reading Weinberg s _Quality Software Management_ is the
        Message 3 of 27 , Jul 1, 2007
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          On Sun, 1 Jul 2007 19:22:57 -0700, "Phlip" <phlip2005@...> said:
          > David Carlton wrote:

          >>> - version controllers

          >> I mostly agree with the other points, though I'm not so confident
          >> about the first one, and not sure quite what you mean by "version
          >> controllers".

          > CVS or Subversion.

          > They are so obvious we don't always list them...

          Gotcha. Yes, use of those is universal in open source projects.

          One of the weird things about reading Weinberg's _Quality Software
          Management_ is the amount of time he spends talking about situations
          where a company can't even find the source code for a released piece
          of software! Boggles the mind. But CVS itself, it would seem, was
          first released a mere 17 years ago (though of course RCS and SCCS
          antedate that), and that series came out in the nineties; I just have
          to remember the context. And, to be sure, we still have problems of
          people keeping long-lived non-checked-in code in their home
          directories...

          David Carlton
          carlton@...
        • Carfield Yim
          I see a lot of opensource project without single unit test, not sure how do you think about that. Of course, a lot OSS project consist of a lot unit test
          Message 4 of 27 , Jul 2, 2007
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            I see a lot of opensource project without single unit test, not sure
            how do you think about that.

            Of course, a lot OSS project consist of a lot unit test


            On 7/2/07, aidy <aidy.lewis@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Hi,
            >
            > Would I be correct in saying that most developers who contribute to
            > open-source software have an agile background?
            >
            > aidy
            >
            >
          • David H.
            ... Ok, I ll bite. What has the absence of a unit test to do with their ability to develop software in a manner which follows agile principles. Arguably it
            Message 5 of 27 , Jul 2, 2007
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              >
              > I see a lot of opensource project without single unit test, not sure
              > how do you think about that.
              >
              Ok, I'll bite. What has the absence of a unit test to do with their
              ability to develop software in a manner which follows agile
              principles. Arguably it will make their engineering a lot harder, but
              surely it would not make it impossible for them to be following agile
              principles.


              --
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            • Ron Jeffries
              ... The XP values are Communication, Simplicity, Feedback, Courage, and Respect. Programmer tests, it seems to me, support a number of these: Communication -
              Message 6 of 27 , Jul 2, 2007
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                Hello, David. On Monday, July 2, 2007, at 4:43:32 AM, you wrote:

                >> I see a lot of opensource project without single unit test, not sure
                >> how do you think about that.
                >>
                > Ok, I'll bite. What has the absence of a unit test to do with their
                > ability to develop software in a manner which follows agile
                > principles. Arguably it will make their engineering a lot harder, but
                > surely it would not make it impossible for them to be following agile
                > principles.

                The XP values are Communication, Simplicity, Feedback, Courage, and
                Respect. Programmer tests, it seems to me, support a number of
                these:

                Communication - Programmer tests communicate clearly and
                unequivocally what an object is to do,

                Simplicity - and are a really easy way to do it,

                Feedback - while providing instant information when things go
                wrong,

                Respect - providing object users the information they need when
                they need it.

                In addition, Beck's rules of simple design imply the tests:
                1. Runs all the tests;
                2. Contains no duplication;
                3. Exprsses all the idea;
                4. Minimizes code entities.

                Finally, XP and agile projects must evolve the design: there is no
                way not to and to still proceed incrementally. The tests are
                critical to the support of design improvements without inserting
                defects.

                So, while it might be possible to follow "agile principles" without
                such tests, it seems to me that it'd be pretty difficult.

                Ron Jeffries
                www.XProgramming.com
                Anyone can make the simple complicated.
                Creativity is making the complicated simple. -- Charles Mingus
              • Tim Ottinger
                Absolutely not, sadly. Many of my own open source friends can t imagine it working in their situation. Requiring test before code would alienate a lot of
                Message 7 of 27 , Jul 2, 2007
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                  Absolutely not, sadly. Many of my own open source friends can't imagine it working in their situation. Requiring test before code would alienate a lot of developers, pairing is generally very difficult when you have never had a face-to-face. No standups, etc. Open source contributors tend to be isolated and working whenever they can, not gathering together at specified times and places and working together. When there is a customer, it is because the developer is also a user of the software. They go by recommended fixes and changes, or do what they want, instead of planning games. Velocity isn't measured.



                  ----- Original Message ----
                  From: aidy <aidy.lewis@...>
                  To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Sunday, July 1, 2007 1:29:42 PM
                  Subject: [XP] open-source and agile followers

                  Hi,

                  Would I be correct in saying that most developers who contribute to
                  open-source software have an agile background?

                  aidy



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                • Tim Ottinger
                  You give too much credit to open source. A lot of it is not so readable. ... From: William Pietri To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                  Message 8 of 27 , Jul 2, 2007
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                    You give too much credit to open source. A lot of it is not so readable.

                    ----- Original Message ----
                    From: William Pietri <william@...>
                    To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Sunday, July 1, 2007 3:55:34 PM
                    Subject: Re: [XP] open-source and agile followers

                    Phlip wrote:
                    > aidy wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >> Would I be correct in saying that most developers who contribute to
                    >> open-source software have an agile background?
                    >>
                    >
                    > Free Software predates Agility by a decade. [...]
                    > Look at any successful project on its online repository - CPan, SourceForge,
                    > RAI, etc. - and you generally see a steady stream of small version ticks.
                    > Not the great risky leaps that corporate software endures.
                    >

                    I'd also add that open-source projects, at least those that rise beyond
                    the just-one-guy level, are generally communication-intensive,
                    feedback-driven, collaborative, have a shared set of code standards, and
                    place a premium on readability of code. Those are all things that I see
                    in good agile projects.

                    William


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                  • Phlip
                    ... You say all that like it s a bad thing... -- Phlip
                    Message 9 of 27 , Jul 2, 2007
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                      Tim Ottinger wrote:

                      > Absolutely not, sadly. Many of my own open source friends can't imagine it
                      > working in their situation. Requiring test before code would alienate a lot
                      > of developers, pairing is generally very difficult when you have never had a
                      > face-to-face. No standups, etc. Open source contributors tend to be
                      > isolated and working whenever they can, not gathering together at specified
                      > times and places and working together. When there is a customer, it is
                      > because the developer is also a user of the software. They go by
                      > recommended fixes and changes, or do what they want, instead of planning
                      > games. Velocity isn't measured.

                      You say all that like it's a bad thing...

                      --
                      Phlip
                    • William Pietri
                      ... I think if you compare multi-person open-source projects with multi-person commercial projects, the open-source code is, on average, much better. I m not
                      Message 10 of 27 , Jul 2, 2007
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                        Tim Ottinger wrote:
                        > You give too much credit to open source. A lot of it is not so readable.
                        >

                        I think if you compare multi-person open-source projects with
                        multi-person commercial projects, the open-source code is, on average,
                        much better.

                        I'm not saying there isn't room for improvement. It's just that with
                        commercial projects people will rely more on person-to-person
                        communication. And, tacitly, I suspect they rely on the fact that people
                        are relatively unlikely to quit their jobs just because the code is
                        terrible.

                        William
                      • Tim Ottinger
                        True, I did, and that was unjust. It s an amazing system and a tremendous value-generating machine. I would like to have my cake and eat it too. I got some
                        Message 11 of 27 , Jul 2, 2007
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                          True, I did, and that was unjust. It's an amazing system and a tremendous value-generating machine. I would like to have my cake and eat it too.

                          I got some open source software and started unit testing it, and when I talked to the originators about mocking, he treated me like I was an idiot. Clearly I am stupid to want to run it without input files and configuration files, and what kind of idiot am I? Eventually, after the abuse, he got around to answering my question. It is sad that they don't understand the whole TDD thing, indeed, but it's amazing what they do without it.

                          Tim

                          ----- Original Message ----
                          From: Phlip <phlip2005@...>
                          To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Monday, July 2, 2007 9:46:50 AM
                          Subject: Re: [XP] open-source and agile followers

                          Tim Ottinger wrote:

                          > Absolutely not, sadly. Many of my own open source friends can't imagine it
                          > working in their situation. Requiring test before code would alienate a lot
                          > of developers, pairing is generally very difficult when you have never had a
                          > face-to-face. No standups, etc. Open source contributors tend to be
                          > isolated and working whenever they can, not gathering together at specified
                          > times and places and working together. When there is a customer, it is
                          > because the developer is also a user of the software. They go by
                          > recommended fixes and changes, or do what they want, instead of planning
                          > games. Velocity isn't measured.

                          You say all that like it's a bad thing...

                          --
                          Phlip


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                        • Phlip
                          ... Thou shalt automate thy feedback. Note that many successful open source projects come with large reference implementations and flagship products. The
                          Message 12 of 27 , Jul 4, 2007
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                            David H. wrote:

                            > Ok, I'll bite. What has the absence of a unit test to do with their
                            > ability to develop software in a manner which follows agile
                            > principles. Arguably it will make their engineering a lot harder, but
                            > surely it would not make it impossible for them to be following agile
                            > principles.

                            Thou shalt automate thy feedback.

                            Note that many successful open source projects come with large reference
                            implementations and flagship products. The project lieutenants apply patches
                            to their bench versions, and debug these in the presence of the reference
                            implementations. Then they submit what works. This system has many points in
                            common with our

                            Of course true unit tests would be so much better. They are one reason the
                            post-Agile open source projects are kicking the butts of the old-school
                            projects.

                            --
                            Phlip
                            http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596510657/
                            "Test Driven Ajax (on Rails)"
                            assert_xpath, assert_javascript, & assert_ajax
                          • Chris Wheeler
                            ... Probably not. But, a lot of agile developers like using open source tools. Chris. [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            Message 13 of 27 , Jul 4, 2007
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                              On 7/1/07, aidy <aidy.lewis@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Hi,
                              >
                              > Would I be correct in saying that most developers who contribute to
                              > open-source software have an agile background?
                              >
                              > aidy
                              >

                              Probably not. But, a lot of agile developers like using open source tools.

                              Chris.


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Kelly Anderson
                              ... Others have answered this no. I think they are correct, at least at the moment. The more interesting question for me is whether open source is compatible
                              Message 14 of 27 , Jul 5, 2007
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                                On 7/1/07, aidy <aidy.lewis@...> wrote:
                                > Hi,
                                >
                                > Would I be correct in saying that most developers who contribute to
                                > open-source software have an agile background?

                                Others have answered this no. I think they are correct, at least at the moment.

                                The more interesting question for me is whether open source is
                                compatible with Agile or XP?

                                The fact that you can't co-locate seems to me to be a critical issue.
                                I've heard of pairing over the network, and I suppose with the right
                                supporting tools, this would be doable. (BTW, I would REALLY like to
                                hear if anyone has found a really good tool that supports this.
                                Especially if it's an open source tool ;-)

                                TDD could clearly work in a distributed open-source environment. I've
                                done it, I know it works. It helps a lot.

                                Planning and iterations seem dicey, as does the concept of a
                                "customer". The fact that everyone is their own "customer" in the
                                typical open source project is exactly why open source is so good at
                                producing programming tools like NUnit, and so limited in producing
                                most other kinds of programs. (I know there are now good open source
                                browsers, I'm using one now, office products, but they were delivered
                                many years later than their closed source counterparts).

                                I think that there is a good way to work in open source that
                                incorporates more Agile and XP principles, but as long as open source
                                == distributed programming, I think it's going to require more
                                discipline than the average project. And it will have to have a
                                "Customer". One of the reasons Linux worked so well is that Linus
                                Torvalds filled the Customer roll so very well.

                                Nevertheless, I'm anxious to try to combine the concepts of open
                                source, TDD and as much Agile as I can manage in a real project. I
                                think it will be fun!

                                -Kelly
                              • Jason Nocks
                                ... First issue: What process do you see developers who contribute to open-source software using? Is there one? Are there several? Are you interested in
                                Message 15 of 27 , Jul 9, 2007
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                                  On Sunday 01 July 2007 02:29:42 pm aidy wrote:
                                  > Hi,
                                  >
                                  > Would I be correct in saying that most developers who contribute to
                                  > open-source software have an agile background?
                                  >
                                  > aidy

                                  First issue:
                                  What process do you see "developers who contribute to open-source software"
                                  using? Is there one? Are there several? Are you interested in discussing
                                  whether or not the principles behind a particular process within the FOSS
                                  (free / open-source software) community overlaps with Agile principles?

                                  Next:
                                  As another poster mentioned, the Free Software movement generally predates
                                  Agile. So, I'd be curious, do most Agile-minded developers have an
                                  open-source background? Most of the successful tools I'm familiar with in the
                                  Agile community seem to have Open Source licenses. This is just an
                                  observation (clouded by my own leanings), not based on any conclusive study.

                                  Other thoughts?

                                  --
                                  Cheers,
                                  Jason Nocks
                                • Jason Nocks
                                  ... Arrogance is a human trait that Open Source contributors are not immune from. ... I get the impression from *they* don t understand the whole TDD thing ,
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Jul 9, 2007
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                                    On Monday 02 July 2007 05:55:01 pm Tim Ottinger wrote:
                                    > True, I did, and that was unjust. It's an amazing system and a tremendous
                                    > value-generating machine. I would like to have my cake and eat it too.
                                    >
                                    > I got some open source software and started unit testing it, and when I
                                    > talked to the originators about mocking, he treated me like I was an idiot.
                                    > Clearly I am stupid to want to run it without input files and configuration
                                    > files, and what kind of idiot am I? Eventually, after the abuse, he got

                                    Arrogance is a human trait that Open Source contributors are not immune from.

                                    > around to answering my question. It is sad that they don't understand the
                                    > whole TDD thing, indeed, but it's amazing what they do without it.

                                    I get the impression from "*they* don't understand the whole TDD thing", that
                                    you think *nobody* in the FOSS (Free / Open Source Software) community is
                                    doing TDD, or that TDD is beyond them. Have I misunderstood your post?

                                    I often use the KDE project as a FOSS example. It just happens to be the one
                                    I've studied the most. For anyone not familiar, KDE is the "K Desktop
                                    Environment", one of the two full desktop environments on GNU/Linux that I'm
                                    familiar with. It's a very large project that has been going on for quite
                                    some time.

                                    I googled "KDE unit test". I do not go to the European KDE conferences, but
                                    was very pleased to see a recent TDD presentation by members of the KDE
                                    community I've never met before:

                                    http://akademy2007.kde.org/conference/talks/20.php

                                    So, there's at least one FOSS project that the TDD infection seems to still be
                                    spreading.

                                    >
                                    > Tim

                                    --
                                    Cheers,
                                    Jason Nocks

                                    > ----- Original Message ----
                                    > From: Phlip <phlip2005@...>
                                    > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Sent: Monday, July 2, 2007 9:46:50 AM
                                    > Subject: Re: [XP] open-source and agile followers
                                    >
                                    > Tim Ottinger wrote:
                                    > > Absolutely not, sadly. Many of my own open source friends can't imagine
                                    > > it working in their situation. Requiring test before code would alienate
                                    > > a lot of developers, pairing is generally very difficult when you have
                                    > > never had a face-to-face. No standups, etc. Open source contributors
                                    > > tend to be isolated and working whenever they can, not gathering together
                                    > > at specified times and places and working together. When there is a
                                    > > customer, it is because the developer is also a user of the software.
                                    > > They go by recommended fixes and changes, or do what they want, instead
                                    > > of planning games. Velocity isn't measured.
                                    >
                                    > You say all that like it's a bad thing...
                                  • Phlip
                                    ... That sounds like me using unit tests last year to find entry-level C++ bugs in the ACE-TAO-CIAO implementation of the Corba Components specification. (The
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Jul 9, 2007
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                                      Jason Nocks wrote:

                                      > Tim Ottinger wrote:

                                      >> I got some open source software and started unit testing it, and when I
                                      >> talked to the originators about mocking, he treated me like I was an
                                      >> idiot.
                                      >> Clearly I am stupid to want to run it without input files and
                                      >> configuration
                                      >> files, and what kind of idiot am I? Eventually, after the abuse, he got
                                      >
                                      > Arrogance is a human trait that Open Source contributors are not immune
                                      > from.

                                      That sounds like me using unit tests last year to find entry-level C++ bugs
                                      in the ACE-TAO-CIAO implementation of the Corba Components specification.

                                      (The first paragraph there - certainly not the second one!)

                                      Just what I need - once again getting flamed in a public forum by a tenured
                                      professor... >sigh<

                                      --
                                      Phlip
                                      http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596510657/
                                      "Test Driven Ajax (on Rails)"
                                      assert_xpath, assert_javascript, & assert_ajax
                                    • Tim Ottinger
                                      It s not my understanding that all OSS people are TDD-ignorant. It is my experience that the ones I have worked with do not understand the value of it. It is
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Jul 10, 2007
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                                        It's not my understanding that all OSS people are TDD-ignorant. It is my experience that the ones I have worked with do not understand the value of it. It is my understanding that the "normal" state is that they do not require or even encourage in the majority of projects because it is unwise to create barriers for new contributors. Encouraging contribution is pretty important.

                                        There are certainly some TDD projects where unit testing is welcome, if not required. Some, like the one I described in the earlier posting, do testing but don't understand the use of test doubles and so are not really doing unit testing so much as end-to-end testing (which is certainly valuable, compared to the many projects where they do no such thing). So just as with people and companies, there are many levels of enlightenment.

                                        Of course, I suppose that all the TDD frameworks are built with heavy TDD. :-) I would not be surprised if there are some entirely TDDed OSS projects out there.
                                        But I do believe that there are barriers to TDD that are common to OSS, including the barrier-to-contribution concern, varying degrees of enlightenment, and lack of interest. I expect it to get better. I think that barrier-to-contribution is the only bit unique to OSS. The rest are common to business programming. Closed source development is not generally better.

                                        I love OSS. I use a lot of OSS, and in fact am a bit disdainful of mass-market, for-pay software. I've been using linux for over seven years, and open source longer than that. I've been programming since 79, and remember when pretty much all software was free (CP/M days). I've only lately become interested in joining projects and giving back, so I guess I'm a little slow or a little greedy, but that's neither here nor there. The relative lack of TDD hasn't damaged my appreciation for volunteer software.

                                        ----- Original Message ----
                                        From: Jason Nocks <nocksj@...>
                                        To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com

                                        > around to answering my question. It is sad that they don't understand the
                                        > whole TDD thing, indeed, but it's amazing what they do without it.

                                        I get the impression from "*they* don't understand the whole TDD thing", that
                                        you think *nobody* in the FOSS (Free / Open Source Software) community is
                                        doing TDD, or that TDD is beyond them. Have I misunderstood your post?

                                        I often use the KDE project as a FOSS example. It just happens to be the one
                                        I've studied the most. For anyone not familiar, KDE is the "K Desktop
                                        Environment", one of the two full desktop environments on GNU/Linux that I'm
                                        familiar with. It's a very large project that has been going on for quite
                                        some time.

                                        I googled "KDE unit test". I do not go to the European KDE conferences, but
                                        was very pleased to see a recent TDD presentation by members of the KDE
                                        community I've never met before:

                                        http://akademy2007.kde.org/conference/talks/20.php

                                        So, there's at least one FOSS project that the TDD infection seems to still be
                                        spreading.








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