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Are current "popular" programming languages enterprise grade?

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  • gorilla128
    Just finished reading Java Puzzlers by Jashua Bloch and Neal Gafter. My good impressions of Java that I ve held for years have just faded away. If the traps
    Message 1 of 27 , Sep 14, 2007
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      Just finished reading "Java Puzzlers" by Jashua Bloch and Neal
      Gafter. My good impressions of Java that I've held for years have
      just faded away. If the traps and pitfalls in a language are enough
      material for a book, then maybe it's time to rethink the language
      design. Similarly there are books on concurrent programming in Java.
      Shouldn't concurrent programming be just a chapter in a book?

      These are not issues with just Java. Other languages have their
      quirks too. Ruby is becoming popular and is more expressive than many
      of the languages that I have used. By calling it expressive I don't
      mean to praise the way Ruby bends over backwards to reduce key
      strokes. As expressive as it is, Ruby seems to lack conceptual
      simplicity. Since it borrows its features from various languages, it
      does look like a patch work. Also, with its "duck typing," I'm not
      sure if it's enterprise grade. By my own definition, an enterprise-
      grade language is expressive and allows a static analyzer (incl.
      compiler) to catch as many errors as possible.

      4GLs used to be that but 4GLs were tied to database or other vendors.
      It seems as though a small team of language designers can band
      together and come up with a language that:

      * is expressive
      * is object oriented
      * is concurrent/distributed
      * has built-in DBMS I/O support (just like file I/O)
      * is self documenting
      * is platform/vendor independent
      * is simply better than anything that's out there (until the next one)

      Any thoughts? Any takers?
    • Steven Gordon
      To me, the term enterprise-grade would imply that the lanugage meets the needs of enterprise customers. One of the major needs of enterprise customers is
      Message 2 of 27 , Sep 15, 2007
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        To me, the term "enterprise-grade" would imply that the lanugage meets the
        needs of enterprise customers. One of the major needs of enterprise
        customers is that a language must has an adequate source of developers
        readily available, both for current development and future maintenance.

        An endeavor to define yet another better programming language could be fun
        and potentially productive, but the enterprise market would be the very last
        market that it would penetrate.

        On 9/14/07, gorilla128 <gorilla128@...> wrote:
        >
        > Just finished reading "Java Puzzlers" by Jashua Bloch and Neal
        > Gafter. My good impressions of Java that I've held for years have
        > just faded away. If the traps and pitfalls in a language are enough
        > material for a book, then maybe it's time to rethink the language
        > design. Similarly there are books on concurrent programming in Java.
        > Shouldn't concurrent programming be just a chapter in a book?
        >
        > These are not issues with just Java. Other languages have their
        > quirks too. Ruby is becoming popular and is more expressive than many
        > of the languages that I have used. By calling it expressive I don't
        > mean to praise the way Ruby bends over backwards to reduce key
        > strokes. As expressive as it is, Ruby seems to lack conceptual
        > simplicity. Since it borrows its features from various languages, it
        > does look like a patch work. Also, with its "duck typing," I'm not
        > sure if it's enterprise grade. By my own definition, an enterprise-
        > grade language is expressive and allows a static analyzer (incl.
        > compiler) to catch as many errors as possible.
        >
        > 4GLs used to be that but 4GLs were tied to database or other vendors.
        > It seems as though a small team of language designers can band
        > together and come up with a language that:
        >
        > * is expressive
        > * is object oriented
        > * is concurrent/distributed
        > * has built-in DBMS I/O support (just like file I/O)
        > * is self documenting
        > * is platform/vendor independent
        > * is simply better than anything that's out there (until the next one)
        >
        > Any thoughts? Any takers?
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Kim Gräsman
        Hi there, ... This sounds much like the direction C# is allegedly headed. Self-documenting I don t know about, and platform/vendor independent, not really, but
        Message 3 of 27 , Sep 15, 2007
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          Hi there,

          On 9/14/07, gorilla128 <gorilla128@...> wrote:
          >
          > * is expressive
          > * is object oriented
          > * is concurrent/distributed
          > * has built-in DBMS I/O support (just like file I/O)
          > * is self documenting
          > * is platform/vendor independent
          > * is simply better than anything that's out there (until the next one)
          >
          > Any thoughts? Any takers?

          This sounds much like the direction C# is allegedly headed.

          Self-documenting I don't know about, and platform/vendor independent,
          not really, but most of the other bullets are in C# as of whatever the
          version number LINQ is in.

          - Kim
        • William Pietri
          ... It is my occasional dark suspicion that enterprise-grade means one or more of * costs a lot * has nice marketing materials * can be used safely by
          Message 4 of 27 , Sep 15, 2007
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            Steven Gordon wrote:
            > To me, the term "enterprise-grade" would imply that the lanugage meets the
            > needs of enterprise customers. One of the major needs of enterprise
            > customers is that a language must has an adequate source of developers
            > readily available, both for current development and future maintenance.
            >

            It is my occasional dark suspicion that "enterprise-grade" means one or
            more of

            * costs a lot
            * has nice marketing materials
            * can be used safely by mediocre clock-punchers
            * has the longevity of COBOL
            * is extensively buzzword-compliant
            * provides opportunities for long consulting engagements
            * is suitable for human-wave assaults on business problems
            * nobody ever got fired for choosing the "enterprise-grade" version


            Not that there aren't legitimate uses of the term. But sometimes it
            makes me all twitchy.


            William


            --
            William Pietri - william@... - +1-415-643-1024
            Agile consulting, coaching, and development: http://www.scissor.com/
            A team room, in pictures: http://www.scissor.com/resources/teamroom/
          • Phlip
            ... These are the voyages of the Starship E... -- Cap n Kirk
            Message 5 of 27 , Sep 15, 2007
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              William Pietri wrote:

              > Not that there aren't legitimate uses of the term.

              These are the voyages of the Starship E...

              --
              Cap'n Kirk
            • Bill Kelly
              From: gorilla128 ... Hi, as an aside- regarding simplicity, I m reminded of a slide from a talk given by matz , the designer of the
              Message 6 of 27 , Sep 15, 2007
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                From: "gorilla128" <gorilla128@...>
                >
                > Ruby is becoming popular and is more expressive than many
                > of the languages that I have used. By calling it expressive I don't
                > mean to praise the way Ruby bends over backwards to reduce key
                > strokes. As expressive as it is, Ruby seems to lack conceptual
                > simplicity. Since it borrows its features from various languages, it
                > does look like a patch work.

                Hi, as an aside- regarding simplicity, I'm reminded of a slide
                from a talk given by "matz", the designer of the Ruby language,
                in 2003. The slide may make more sense in context[1], but in
                it matz points out that simplicity is NOT a design goal for
                Ruby: http://www.rubyist.net/~matz/slides/oscon2003/mgp00047.html


                [1] http://www.rubyist.net/~matz/slides/oscon2003/ (all slides)


                > Also, with its "duck typing," I'm not
                > sure if it's enterprise grade. By my own definition, an enterprise-
                > grade language is expressive and allows a static analyzer (incl.
                > compiler) to catch as many errors as possible.

                Wouldn't your definition also rule out Smalltalk? Purely
                subjectively, I must say I haven't formed the impression that
                Ruby software I've used is inherently any "more buggy" than
                C, C++, or Java software. :)


                Regards,

                Bill
              • Corey Haines
                I would raise an issue with is object-oriented. Personally, I think it should be supports the style of programming you like. For example, C# lends itself
                Message 7 of 27 , Sep 16, 2007
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                  I would raise an issue with "is object-oriented." Personally, I think it
                  should be "supports the style of programming you like." For example, C#
                  lends itself to a functional-style, as well as a declarative/set-style. I
                  like to use the OO principles for my UI layer, functional principles for my
                  business process layer (I absolutely abhor the "business object layer" and
                  will fight against building it in most (emphasis and italics on most)
                  projects I work on, and, if possible, functional/set-oriented techniques for
                  the part of my system directly working with the data source.

                  Concurrency is an ongoing problem with most of the common languages (read,
                  C-based) and developers; we aren't really trained/experienced to deal with
                  true concurrency and the issues surrounding it. Just this week, I found a
                  concurrency problem in my application after adding a fairly simple change to
                  where I called a specific method: I ended up enumerating a collection while
                  another thread was attempting to modify it. Bad, bad, bad. Luckily, my
                  business process layer is more functional than OO, so these sorts of issues
                  rarely appear. The point being that I don't agree that "concurrent
                  programming be just a chapter in a book." Not only do the common languages
                  have problems, but the common developers have problems with it, as well.

                  As for self-documenting, I like to think that most languages can be
                  self-documenting when you lose the horrible baggage that keeps people from
                  being willing to have VeryLongNamedVariablesThatExpressWhatTheirUseIs and
                  VeryExpressivelyNamedAndAppropriatelyExtractedMethods(), as well as other
                  techniques such as not reusing variables for differing purposes (violation
                  of SRP).

                  The other day, we found that two lines of code had been deleted by someone
                  (I'm going to say that I did it) that kept our UI from refreshing when it
                  needed to (the scrollbars on the .Net datagrid wouldn't reenable). The lines
                  of code in question were there to cause a manual refresh on the grid when
                  needed to get the scrollbars. Well, I put the lines back in, the thing
                  worked, and someone said, "You should write a comment there, so we don't
                  delete it again." I highlighted the lines and extracted a method something
                  like
                  RefreshTheGridSoThatTheScrollbarsDoNotGetDisabledWhenWeSwitchTabs().
                  (disclaimer, this is a special case of putting the reasoning for a method in
                  there, something I do very rarely)


                  -Corey


                  On 9/14/07, gorilla128 <gorilla128@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Just finished reading "Java Puzzlers" by Jashua Bloch and Neal
                  > Gafter. My good impressions of Java that I've held for years have
                  > just faded away. If the traps and pitfalls in a language are enough
                  > material for a book, then maybe it's time to rethink the language
                  > design. Similarly there are books on concurrent programming in Java.
                  > Shouldn't concurrent programming be just a chapter in a book?
                  >
                  > These are not issues with just Java. Other languages have their
                  > quirks too. Ruby is becoming popular and is more expressive than many
                  > of the languages that I have used. By calling it expressive I don't
                  > mean to praise the way Ruby bends over backwards to reduce key
                  > strokes. As expressive as it is, Ruby seems to lack conceptual
                  > simplicity. Since it borrows its features from various languages, it
                  > does look like a patch work. Also, with its "duck typing," I'm not
                  > sure if it's enterprise grade. By my own definition, an enterprise-
                  > grade language is expressive and allows a static analyzer (incl.
                  > compiler) to catch as many errors as possible.
                  >
                  > 4GLs used to be that but 4GLs were tied to database or other vendors.
                  > It seems as though a small team of language designers can band
                  > together and come up with a language that:
                  >
                  > * is expressive
                  > * is object oriented
                  > * is concurrent/distributed
                  > * has built-in DBMS I/O support (just like file I/O)
                  > * is self documenting
                  > * is platform/vendor independent
                  > * is simply better than anything that's out there (until the next one)
                  >
                  > Any thoughts? Any takers?
                  >
                  >
                  >



                  --
                  http://www.coreyhaines.com


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Phlip
                  ... If we define enterprise grade as capable of being sold to your pointy-haired boss , the answer is No. Marketing depends on simulating a position of
                  Message 8 of 27 , Sep 16, 2007
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                    > Are current "popular" programming languages enterprise grade?

                    If we define "enterprise grade" as "capable of being sold to your
                    pointy-haired boss", the answer is No. Marketing depends on simulating a
                    position of dominance, and in software that depends on hiring a "critical
                    mass" or "mindshare" of early-adopters, to simulate a community. A _real_
                    community would look too squirrelly to make your boss feel dominated.

                    A "popular" programming language, without corporate support, must be 20
                    times better than any corporate language to be thought 1/20th as good.
                    Fortunately, this is not very difficult...

                    I feel the Subject line itself illustrates this "authoritative
                    personality" - the idea that corporate support is better because it is
                    dominant, and the excesses of dominance must be excused and defended. (You
                    might notice this effect in certain other arenas, too!)

                    I sure hope the enterprises who compete with mine continue to use
                    "enterprise grade" software...

                    --
                    Phlip
                  • Phlip
                    ... authoritarian personality is the medical term...
                    Message 9 of 27 , Sep 16, 2007
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                      > I feel the Subject line itself illustrates this "authoritative
                      > personality" - the idea that corporate support is better because it is
                      > dominant, and the excesses of dominance must be excused and defended. (You
                      > might notice this effect in certain other arenas, too!)

                      "authoritarian personality" is the medical term...
                    • Steven Gordon
                      While I agree that many corporate criteria are silly, the goal of supporting their own custom software written in the fewest number of languages practical and
                      Message 10 of 27 , Sep 16, 2007
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                        While I agree that many corporate criteria are silly, the goal of supporting
                        their own custom software written in the fewest number of languages
                        practical and that those chosen languages will have an adequate number of
                        practioners over the long haul is a legitimate approach to keep ing cost of
                        ownership within reasonable limits.

                        I have worked in several older enterprises riddled with key customproduction
                        systems written in dozens of different languages, creating maintenance and
                        integration nightmares that are well worth avoiding.

                        Steve

                        On 9/16/07, Phlip <phlip2005@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > > Are current "popular" programming languages enterprise grade?
                        >
                        > If we define "enterprise grade" as "capable of being sold to your
                        > pointy-haired boss", the answer is No. Marketing depends on simulating a
                        > position of dominance, and in software that depends on hiring a "critical
                        > mass" or "mindshare" of early-adopters, to simulate a community. A _real_
                        > community would look too squirrelly to make your boss feel dominated.
                        >
                        > A "popular" programming language, without corporate support, must be 20
                        > times better than any corporate language to be thought 1/20th as good.
                        > Fortunately, this is not very difficult...
                        >
                        > I feel the Subject line itself illustrates this "authoritative
                        > personality" - the idea that corporate support is better because it is
                        > dominant, and the excesses of dominance must be excused and defended. (You
                        >
                        > might notice this effect in certain other arenas, too!)
                        >
                        > I sure hope the enterprises who compete with mine continue to use
                        > "enterprise grade" software...
                        >
                        > --
                        > Phlip
                        >
                        >
                        >


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • William Pietri
                        ... From the enterprise perspective, I think there s some legitimate worry about more flexible languages. If I have to inherit a great code base, I m sure
                        Message 11 of 27 , Sep 16, 2007
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                          Bill Kelly wrote:
                          > Purely
                          > subjectively, I must say I haven't formed the impression that
                          > Ruby software I've used is inherently any "more buggy" than
                          > C, C++, or Java software. :)
                          >

                          From the "enterprise" perspective, I think there's some legitimate
                          worry about more flexible languages.

                          If I have to inherit a great code base, I'm sure I'd be happy if it were
                          in Ruby. But if I have to inherit a bad one, I'd rather it be in Java.
                          Its surly and restrictive nature makes some sorts of archeology easier,
                          partly because it prevents some of Ruby's beautiful magic.

                          Now personally, I'd solve this problem by making sure all code bases are
                          great ones. But if one already has a culture of tolerance for mediocrity
                          and/or building one's house on sand, then restricting people to "safe"
                          tool choices isn't crazed.

                          William
                        • Phlip
                          ... That s just a way to say this ...static typing is a form of unit tests ...Java enforces static typing viciously ...I d rather inherit a project with any
                          Message 12 of 27 , Sep 16, 2007
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                            William Pietri wrote:

                            > If I have to inherit a great code base, I'm sure I'd be happy if it were
                            > in Ruby. But if I have to inherit a bad one, I'd rather it be in Java.
                            > Its surly and restrictive nature makes some sorts of archeology easier,
                            > partly because it prevents some of Ruby's beautiful magic.

                            That's just a way to say this

                            ...static typing is a form of unit tests
                            ...Java enforces static typing viciously
                            ...I'd rather inherit a project with any unit tests.

                            --
                            Phlip
                          • Bill Kelly
                            From: Phlip ... I wonder if, by archaeology , William might have been referring to the aspect of static languages like Java that makes
                            Message 13 of 27 , Sep 16, 2007
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                              From: "Phlip" <phlip2005@...>
                              > William Pietri wrote:
                              >
                              >> If I have to inherit a great code base, I'm sure I'd be happy if it were
                              >> in Ruby. But if I have to inherit a bad one, I'd rather it be in Java.
                              >> Its surly and restrictive nature makes some sorts of archeology easier,
                              >> partly because it prevents some of Ruby's beautiful magic.
                              >
                              > That's just a way to say this
                              >
                              > ...static typing is a form of unit tests
                              > ...Java enforces static typing viciously
                              > ...I'd rather inherit a project with any unit tests.

                              I wonder if, by "archaeology", William might have been referring
                              to the aspect of static languages like Java that makes tools like
                              "intellisense" and refactoring browsers work better than they do
                              with Ruby.

                              On the other hand, I've worked with some Java code that was
                              horrible in ways that I don't think static analysis tools would
                              have shed much light on.

                              (shrug)


                              Regards,

                              Bill
                            • Tim Ottinger
                              Enterprise generally means 1) Built by a corporation, for profit. 2) Very expensive 3) Requiring extensive configuration 4) Using XML heavily By that
                              Message 14 of 27 , Sep 17, 2007
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                                "Enterprise" generally means
                                1) Built by a corporation, for profit.
                                2) Very expensive
                                3) Requiring extensive configuration
                                4) Using XML heavily

                                By that definition, no. In fact, those four qualities are incompatible with popularity.




                                ____________________________________________________________________________________
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                              • William Pietri
                                ... That s part of it, but I m thinking more of what goes on in my head than in the tools. When I said archaeology I was thinking of I do somebody hands me
                                Message 15 of 27 , Sep 18, 2007
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                                  Bill Kelly wrote:
                                  > I wonder if, by "archaeology", William might have been referring
                                  > to the aspect of static languages like Java that makes tools like
                                  > "intellisense" and refactoring browsers work better than they do
                                  > with Ruby.
                                  >
                                  > On the other hand, I've worked with some Java code that was
                                  > horrible in ways that I don't think static analysis tools would
                                  > have shed much light on.
                                  >

                                  That's part of it, but I'm thinking more of what goes on in my head
                                  than in the tools. When I said "archaeology" I was thinking of I do
                                  somebody hands me a tarball of 100 kloc of undocumented code and asks me
                                  to extend it. Tools can help, but for me it's mainly a process of
                                  looking at static artifacts and trying to reconstruct both the runtime
                                  behavior and the daily life that went with it.

                                  With Java, barring the use of something esoteric like BCEL, its
                                  restrictiveness rules out a lot of possible explanations for weirdness.
                                  What I see in a piece of code usually has some relatively obvious
                                  relationships to what goes on at runtime.

                                  In Ruby, that's not the case. Ruby has a lot of neat magic, including
                                  run-time code generation and dynamic modification of core libraries. But
                                  to use that magic well, you have to be smart, experienced, and
                                  disciplined. Per the Dunning-Kruger effect, a lot more people think they
                                  qualify than really do.

                                  Not that I'm not meaning to pick on either of these languages, or say
                                  it's just a language thing. Threads are a fine example of something in
                                  Java that gives you more than enough rope to hang yourself. And even
                                  without that, it's possible to write bad code in any language. Java's
                                  restrictiveness may discourage certain kinds of idiocy, but the
                                  dedicated idiot can certainly vault those barriers.

                                  That's why I think it's much better for companies to focus on writing
                                  great code. In the end, the tools only have a modest effect.

                                  William
                                • Kent Beck
                                  Dear Tim, It sounds like you mean that enterprise translates into someone being willing to be accountable and responsible for the software, and that
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Sep 21, 2007
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                                    Dear Tim,

                                    It sounds like you mean that "enterprise" translates into someone being
                                    willing to be accountable and responsible for the software, and that
                                    corporations are willing to pay for that. That makes good sense for the
                                    customer--they don't want to be stuck with tasks they aren't good at. It
                                    makes sense for the supplier--they can aggregate demand for accountability
                                    and responsibility and reap economies of scale (the same bug fix is valuable
                                    for all customers). To someone who is willing to be accountable and
                                    responsible himself, as sometimes happens in open source, this doesn't make
                                    much sense. However, I sell commercial JUnit licenses precisely because for
                                    corporations it makes perfect sense. It also makes sense to me because I'm
                                    already accountable and responsible for the software.

                                    Regards,

                                    Kent Beck
                                    Three Rivers Institute

                                    _____

                                    From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                    [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tim Ottinger
                                    Sent: Monday, September 17, 2007 7:35 AM
                                    To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: Re: [XP] Are current "popular" programming languages enterprise
                                    grade?



                                    "Enterprise" generally means
                                    1) Built by a corporation, for profit.
                                    2) Very expensive
                                    3) Requiring extensive configuration
                                    4) Using XML heavily

                                    By that definition, no. In fact, those four qualities are incompatible with
                                    popularity.

                                    __________________________________________________________
                                    Check out the hottest 2008 models today at Yahoo! Autos.
                                    http://autos. <http://autos.yahoo.com/new_cars.html> yahoo.com/new_cars.html

                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Tim Ottinger
                                    It might sound that way, Kent, but it s not. I meant that a lot of corporations consider enterprise to mean: a) Nothing available as Open Source, Period.
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Sep 21, 2007
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                                      It might sound that way, Kent, but it's not.

                                      I meant that a lot of corporations consider "enterprise" to mean:
                                      a) Nothing available as Open Source, Period. The "two guys in their basement" argument.
                                      b) More Expensive is Better (AKA "you get what you pay for, so clearly $2000/seat is superior to $500/seat", or "buy this one... it's exPENsive!!!")
                                      c) It requires staffing to install it and keep it running (I don't see anyone with "JUnit admin" as their title).
                                      d) It has to use XML. Lots of XML. Some articles in weekly mags said XML was cool, and business people can read XML, whether they can understand it or not.

                                      Heck, you can license as you choose. I don't have a problem with it. My problem is only with the above attitudes, because I encounter them too often. And indeed the "enterprise" thing caught me on a bad day.

                                      ----- Original Message ----
                                      From: Kent Beck <kent@...>
                                      To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                      Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 2:07:15 AM
                                      Subject: [XP] Are current "popular" programming languages enterprise grade?

                                      Dear Tim,

                                      It sounds like you mean that "enterprise" translates into someone being
                                      willing to be accountable and responsible for the software, and that
                                      corporations are willing to pay for that. That makes good sense for the
                                      customer--they don't want to be stuck with tasks they aren't good at. It
                                      makes sense for the supplier--they can aggregate demand for accountability
                                      and responsibility and reap economies of scale (the same bug fix is valuable
                                      for all customers). To someone who is willing to be accountable and
                                      responsible himself, as sometimes happens in open source, this doesn't make
                                      much sense. However, I sell commercial JUnit licenses precisely because for
                                      corporations it makes perfect sense. It also makes sense to me because I'm
                                      already accountable and responsible for the software.

                                      Regards,

                                      Kent Beck
                                      Three Rivers Institute

                                      _____

                                      From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                      [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tim Ottinger
                                      Sent: Monday, September 17, 2007 7:35 AM
                                      To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: Re: [XP] Are current "popular" programming languages enterprise
                                      grade?



                                      "Enterprise" generally means
                                      1) Built by a corporation, for profit.
                                      2) Very expensive
                                      3) Requiring extensive configuration
                                      4) Using XML heavily

                                      By that definition, no. In fact, those four qualities are incompatible with
                                      popularity.

                                      __________________________________________________________
                                      Check out the hottest 2008 models today at Yahoo! Autos.
                                      http://autos. <http://autos.yahoo.com/new_cars.html> yahoo.com/new_cars.html

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                                    • John Roth
                                      To me, it doesn t mean either. What it means is that it fits with the needs, and to a large extent with the mindset, of large corporations, and with the way
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Sep 21, 2007
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                                        To me, it doesn't mean either. What it means is that it
                                        fits with the needs, and to a large extent with the mindset,
                                        of large corporations, and with the way they want to
                                        interact with their vendors.

                                        John Roth

                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        From: "Tim Ottinger" <linux_tim@...>
                                        To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
                                        Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 6:44 AM
                                        Subject: Re: [XP] Are current "popular" programming languages enterprise
                                        grade?


                                        > It might sound that way, Kent, but it's not.
                                        >
                                        > I meant that a lot of corporations consider "enterprise" to mean:
                                        > a) Nothing available as Open Source, Period. The "two guys in their
                                        > basement" argument.
                                        > b) More Expensive is Better (AKA "you get what you pay for, so clearly
                                        > $2000/seat is superior to $500/seat", or "buy this one... it's
                                        > exPENsive!!!")
                                        > c) It requires staffing to install it and keep it running (I don't see
                                        > anyone with "JUnit admin" as their title).
                                        > d) It has to use XML. Lots of XML. Some articles in weekly mags said XML
                                        > was cool, and business people can read XML, whether they can understand it
                                        > or not.
                                        >
                                        > Heck, you can license as you choose. I don't have a problem with it. My
                                        > problem is only with the above attitudes, because I encounter them too
                                        > often. And indeed the "enterprise" thing caught me on a bad day.
                                        >
                                        > ----- Original Message ----
                                        > From: Kent Beck <kent@...>
                                        > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                        > Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 2:07:15 AM
                                        > Subject: [XP] Are current "popular" programming languages enterprise
                                        > grade?
                                        >
                                        > Dear Tim,
                                        >
                                        > It sounds like you mean that "enterprise" translates into someone being
                                        > willing to be accountable and responsible for the software, and that
                                        > corporations are willing to pay for that. That makes good sense for the
                                        > customer--they don't want to be stuck with tasks they aren't good at. It
                                        > makes sense for the supplier--they can aggregate demand for accountability
                                        > and responsibility and reap economies of scale (the same bug fix is
                                        > valuable
                                        > for all customers). To someone who is willing to be accountable and
                                        > responsible himself, as sometimes happens in open source, this doesn't
                                        > make
                                        > much sense. However, I sell commercial JUnit licenses precisely because
                                        > for
                                        > corporations it makes perfect sense. It also makes sense to me because I'm
                                        > already accountable and responsible for the software.
                                        >
                                        > Regards,
                                        >
                                        > Kent Beck
                                        > Three Rivers Institute
                                        >
                                        > _____
                                        >
                                        > From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                        > [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tim Ottinger
                                        > Sent: Monday, September 17, 2007 7:35 AM
                                        > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                        > Subject: Re: [XP] Are current "popular" programming languages enterprise
                                        > grade?
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > "Enterprise" generally means
                                        > 1) Built by a corporation, for profit.
                                        > 2) Very expensive
                                        > 3) Requiring extensive configuration
                                        > 4) Using XML heavily
                                        >
                                        > By that definition, no. In fact, those four qualities are incompatible
                                        > with
                                        > popularity.
                                        >
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                                      • Steven E. Newton
                                        Keep in mind the vendors who have licenses with wording that don t really commit the company to any sort of accountability or responsibility. I can t
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Sep 21, 2007
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                                          Keep in mind the vendors who have licenses with wording that don't
                                          really commit the company to any sort of accountability or
                                          responsibility. I can't quantitatively say how widespread it is but a
                                          typical license of this sort, Windows Vista, states,

                                          "You can recover from Microsoft and its suppliers only direct damages
                                          up to the amount you paid for the software. You cannot recover any
                                          other damages, including consequential, lost profits, special,
                                          indirect or incidental damages."
                                          (http://download.microsoft.com/documents/useterms/Windows%20Vista_Ultimate_English_36d0fe99-75e4-4875-8153-889cf5105718.pdf)

                                          To be fair, OSI licenses have a similar "no warranty" clause.

                                          Nevertheless, despite the commercial licenses having lengthy
                                          disclaimers of warrantability, "enterprises" still make choices under
                                          the fiction that they have recourse to the vendor. Add to this that
                                          vendors regularly abandon support for older versions and may in fact
                                          withdraw the software offering completely. Some contracts I've seen
                                          stipulate a source code escrow, but who on this list seriously
                                          believes that a team of developers could from scratch pick up the
                                          source of a large system and even get it to build cleanly "out of the
                                          box"?

                                          Further, vendors have been known to use legal means to demonstrate
                                          that the software user actually has a license for use.

                                          The folks over at DailyWTF, bless their hearts, coined the term
                                          "enterprisey" to summarize the defects of this mode of thinking:
                                          Over-engineered, expensive, complex.
                                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprisey

                                          s

                                          --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Tim Ottinger
                                          <linux_tim@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > It might sound that way, Kent, but it's not.
                                          >
                                          > ----- Original Message ----
                                          > From: Kent Beck <kent@...>
                                          > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                          > Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 2:07:15 AM
                                          > Subject: [XP] Are current "popular" programming languages enterprise
                                          grade?
                                          >
                                          > Dear Tim,
                                          >
                                          > It sounds like you mean that "enterprise" translates into someone being
                                          > willing to be accountable and responsible for the software, and that
                                          > corporations are willing to pay for that.
                                        • Kent Beck
                                          Dear Tim, It sounds like you ve been around long enough to earn some cynicism. However, to do business with such customers, I have found it helpful to assume
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Sep 28, 2007
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                                            Dear Tim,

                                            It sounds like you've been around long enough to earn some cynicism.
                                            However, to do business with such customers, I have found it helpful to
                                            assume good intent on their part. While it can easily seems like corporate
                                            customers are doing things for stupid reasons, the reasons don't seem stupid
                                            to them. By empathizing with them, even for just a moment, I can communicate
                                            better with them.

                                            A) No open source. There are good reasons not to use open source products.
                                            Who are you going to call when it breaks. You or I might be confident that
                                            we could fix simple problems given the source, but corporate customers
                                            either aren't confident or have better things to do with their time. It's
                                            worth money to have the option of calling, even if they don't ever call.
                                            Maintenance agreements, like the ones we offer for JUnit, are a compromise
                                            that many people are willing to consider.

                                            B) More expensive is better. Price, as Gerry Weinberg says in Secrets of
                                            Consulting, is a negotiated relationship. Contrary to my expectation,
                                            negotiation isn't just about the buyer paying the least possible and the
                                            seller charging the most possible. Negotiation is a way for two parties to
                                            learn about each others needs and, in the process, learn more about their
                                            own needs. Corporations like dealing with peers in such a conversation.
                                            Setting a "corporate" price on your products makes a statement, "We are
                                            serious about this, we a reliable partner, we intend to make enough profit
                                            to be in business for many years to come." I can see why a buyer would want
                                            to negotiate with such a supplier.

                                            C) Staffing. ClearCase is the example that springs to mind that needs a
                                            full-time babysitter. Yet corporations love it. I have a hard time
                                            understanding this point, but I suppose that corporate customers feel more
                                            confident when someone on their staff is an expert in a product they buy. Me
                                            personally I like my products to be push-button, but again, I'm not a big
                                            corporation. This doesn't mean I should make big, complicated, finicky
                                            products, but understanding their need for internal expertise can help me,
                                            for example by holding training courses.

                                            D) XML. Okay, you got me on this one. I guess I can only empathize so far.

                                            I don't have to share the beliefs of corporate customers, but it helps if I
                                            understand them.

                                            Regards,

                                            Kent Beck
                                            Three Rivers Institute

                                            _____

                                            From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                            [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tim Ottinger
                                            Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 5:45 AM
                                            To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                            Subject: Re: [XP] Are current "popular" programming languages enterprise
                                            grade?



                                            It might sound that way, Kent, but it's not.

                                            I meant that a lot of corporations consider "enterprise" to mean:
                                            a) Nothing available as Open Source, Period. The "two guys in their
                                            basement" argument.
                                            b) More Expensive is Better (AKA "you get what you pay for, so clearly
                                            $2000/seat is superior to $500/seat", or "buy this one... it's
                                            exPENsive!!!")
                                            c) It requires staffing to install it and keep it running (I don't see
                                            anyone with "JUnit admin" as their title).
                                            d) It has to use XML. Lots of XML. Some articles in weekly mags said XML was
                                            cool, and business people can read XML, whether they can understand it or
                                            not.

                                            Heck, you can license as you choose. I don't have a problem with it. My
                                            problem is only with the above attitudes, because I encounter them too
                                            often. And indeed the "enterprise" thing caught me on a bad day.

                                            ----- Original Message ----
                                            From: Kent Beck <kent@threeriversins
                                            <mailto:kent%40threeriversinstitute.org> titute.org>
                                            To: extremeprogramming@ <mailto:extremeprogramming%40yahoogroups.com>
                                            yahoogroups.com
                                            Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 2:07:15 AM
                                            Subject: [XP] Are current "popular" programming languages enterprise grade?

                                            Dear Tim,

                                            It sounds like you mean that "enterprise" translates into someone being
                                            willing to be accountable and responsible for the software, and that
                                            corporations are willing to pay for that. That makes good sense for the
                                            customer--they don't want to be stuck with tasks they aren't good at. It
                                            makes sense for the supplier--they can aggregate demand for accountability
                                            and responsibility and reap economies of scale (the same bug fix is valuable
                                            for all customers). To someone who is willing to be accountable and
                                            responsible himself, as sometimes happens in open source, this doesn't make
                                            much sense. However, I sell commercial JUnit licenses precisely because for
                                            corporations it makes perfect sense. It also makes sense to me because I'm
                                            already accountable and responsible for the software.

                                            Regards,

                                            Kent Beck
                                            Three Rivers Institute

                                            _____

                                            From: extremeprogramming@ <mailto:extremeprogramming%40yahoogroups.com>
                                            yahoogroups.com
                                            [mailto:extremeprogramming@ <mailto:extremeprogramming%40yahoogroups.com>
                                            yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tim Ottinger
                                            Sent: Monday, September 17, 2007 7:35 AM
                                            To: extremeprogramming@ <mailto:extremeprogramming%40yahoogroups.com>
                                            yahoogroups.com
                                            Subject: Re: [XP] Are current "popular" programming languages enterprise
                                            grade?

                                            "Enterprise" generally means
                                            1) Built by a corporation, for profit.
                                            2) Very expensive
                                            3) Requiring extensive configuration
                                            4) Using XML heavily

                                            By that definition, no. In fact, those four qualities are incompatible with
                                            popularity.

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                                          • Charlie Poole
                                            Hi Kent, ... While I agree with your main thrust here, that we should try to understand the reasons for such rules, I have to take note that none of these are
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Sep 28, 2007
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                                              Hi Kent,

                                              > A) No open source. There are good reasons not to use open
                                              > source products.
                                              > Who are you going to call when it breaks. You or I might be
                                              > confident that we could fix simple problems given the source,
                                              > but corporate customers either aren't confident or have
                                              > better things to do with their time. It's worth money to have
                                              > the option of calling, even if they don't ever call.
                                              > Maintenance agreements, like the ones we offer for JUnit, are
                                              > a compromise that many people are willing to consider.

                                              While I agree with your main thrust here, that we should try to
                                              understand the reasons for such rules, I have to take note that
                                              none of these are reasons for avoiding open source. Rather, they
                                              are reasons for avoiding software that has no support.

                                              Given that open-source software is frequently sold and supported
                                              commerically, I've yet to hear an argument against using it that
                                              seems at all reasonable to me. Sometimes, of course, this just
                                              isn't a distinction that companies are able to make, but I keep
                                              trying. :-)

                                              Charlie
                                            • George Dinwiddie
                                              ... Likewise, some commercial software is not well-supported, in fact. - George -- ... * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Sep 28, 2007
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                                                On Fri, September 28, 2007 16:00, Charlie Poole wrote:
                                                > Hi Kent,
                                                >
                                                >> A) No open source. There are good reasons not to use open
                                                >> source products.
                                                >> Who are you going to call when it breaks. You or I might be
                                                >> confident that we could fix simple problems given the source,
                                                >> but corporate customers either aren't confident or have
                                                >> better things to do with their time. It's worth money to have
                                                >> the option of calling, even if they don't ever call.
                                                >> Maintenance agreements, like the ones we offer for JUnit, are
                                                >> a compromise that many people are willing to consider.
                                                >
                                                > While I agree with your main thrust here, that we should try to
                                                > understand the reasons for such rules, I have to take note that
                                                > none of these are reasons for avoiding open source. Rather, they
                                                > are reasons for avoiding software that has no support.
                                                >
                                                > Given that open-source software is frequently sold and supported
                                                > commerically, I've yet to hear an argument against using it that
                                                > seems at all reasonable to me. Sometimes, of course, this just
                                                > isn't a distinction that companies are able to make, but I keep
                                                > trying. :-)

                                                Likewise, some commercial software is not well-supported, in fact.

                                                - George

                                                --
                                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                                                Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                                                Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              • John Roth
                                                ... From: Charlie Poole To: Sent: Friday, September 28, 2007 2:00 PM Subject: RE: [XP] Are
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Sep 28, 2007
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                                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                                  From: "Charlie Poole" <xp@...>
                                                  To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
                                                  Sent: Friday, September 28, 2007 2:00 PM
                                                  Subject: RE: [XP] Are current "popular" programming languages enterprise
                                                  grade?


                                                  > Hi Kent,
                                                  >
                                                  >> A) No open source. There are good reasons not to use open
                                                  >> source products.
                                                  >> Who are you going to call when it breaks. You or I might be
                                                  >> confident that we could fix simple problems given the source,
                                                  >> but corporate customers either aren't confident or have
                                                  >> better things to do with their time. It's worth money to have
                                                  >> the option of calling, even if they don't ever call.
                                                  >> Maintenance agreements, like the ones we offer for JUnit, are
                                                  >> a compromise that many people are willing to consider.
                                                  >
                                                  > While I agree with your main thrust here, that we should try to
                                                  > understand the reasons for such rules, I have to take note that
                                                  > none of these are reasons for avoiding open source. Rather, they
                                                  > are reasons for avoiding software that has no support.
                                                  >
                                                  > Given that open-source software is frequently sold and supported
                                                  > commerically, I've yet to hear an argument against using it that
                                                  > seems at all reasonable to me. Sometimes, of course, this just
                                                  > isn't a distinction that companies are able to make, but I keep
                                                  > trying. :-)
                                                  >
                                                  > Charlie

                                                  It also contradicts Kent's point C. If a company is willing to
                                                  devote a developer to supporting a commercial product, why
                                                  wouldn't they be willing to devote a developer to supporting
                                                  an open source product?

                                                  What a lot of this sounds like is a management that isn't
                                                  willing to put in the time to manage, and they're hoping that
                                                  going with the big guys will protect them.

                                                  Hope is not the world's best strategy.

                                                  John Roth
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                • Charlie Poole
                                                  Hi John, ... You d think! However, I didn t take Kent s points as necessarily applying to the same company, but as examples of views that companies might hold.
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Sep 28, 2007
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                                                    Hi John,

                                                    > >> A) No open source. There are good reasons not to use open source
                                                    > >> products.
                                                    > >> Who are you going to call when it breaks. You or I might
                                                    > be confident
                                                    > >> that we could fix simple problems given the source, but corporate
                                                    > >> customers either aren't confident or have better things to do with
                                                    > >> their time. It's worth money to have the option of
                                                    > calling, even if
                                                    > >> they don't ever call.
                                                    > >> Maintenance agreements, like the ones we offer for JUnit, are a
                                                    > >> compromise that many people are willing to consider.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > While I agree with your main thrust here, that we should try to
                                                    > > understand the reasons for such rules, I have to take note
                                                    > that none
                                                    > > of these are reasons for avoiding open source. Rather, they are
                                                    > > reasons for avoiding software that has no support.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Given that open-source software is frequently sold and supported
                                                    > > commerically, I've yet to hear an argument against using it
                                                    > that seems
                                                    > > at all reasonable to me. Sometimes, of course, this just isn't a
                                                    > > distinction that companies are able to make, but I keep trying. :-)
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Charlie
                                                    >
                                                    > It also contradicts Kent's point C. If a company is willing
                                                    > to devote a developer to supporting a commercial product, why
                                                    > wouldn't they be willing to devote a developer to supporting
                                                    > an open source product?

                                                    You'd think! However, I didn't take Kent's points as necessarily
                                                    applying to the same company, but as examples of views that
                                                    companies might hold.

                                                    > What a lot of this sounds like is a management that isn't
                                                    > willing to put in the time to manage, and they're hoping that
                                                    > going with the big guys will protect them.

                                                    Yes. It makes me wonder if they actually read the extent of
                                                    what's "promised" in typical license agreements. Generally,
                                                    it stops with the CD being readable.

                                                    Charlie

                                                    > Hope is not the world's best strategy.
                                                    >
                                                    > John Roth
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                                                    >
                                                    > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                                                    > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
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                                                    >
                                                  • John Maxwell
                                                    ... I don t think the actual facts w.r.t. support have a lot to do with it. Businessfolk s eyes glaze over when you discuss most of the features / benefits /
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Sep 28, 2007
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                                                      On Fri, 2007-09-28 at 16:09 -0400, George Dinwiddie wrote:

                                                      > Likewise, some commercial software is not well-supported, in fact.
                                                      >
                                                      > - George
                                                      >

                                                      I don't think the actual facts w.r.t. support have a lot to do with it.

                                                      Businessfolk's eyes glaze over when you discuss most of the features /
                                                      benefits / drawbacks of software tools, but "There's a help desk to
                                                      call" is something anyone can get their head around.

                                                      Most of the "No open source" dicta I've bumped up against have been a
                                                      case of some manager or accountant or executive being so delighted to
                                                      find _something_ about software that they can comprehend that they cling
                                                      to it like a drowning ferret.

                                                      -John

                                                      --
                                                      John A. Maxwell (jmax@...)

                                                      There are two types of people: those who divide people into two types,
                                                      and those who don't.
                                                    • Kent Beck
                                                      John, A company might not be willing to devote a person to an open source project because they have never done it before. The barrier to entry the first time
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Oct 1, 2007
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                                                        John,

                                                        A company might not be willing to devote a person to an open source project
                                                        because they have never done it before. The barrier to entry the first time
                                                        an organization does this is fairly high. They have to become comfortable
                                                        with the legal issues--are we creating liability? They have to become open
                                                        to a kind of altruistic behavior that doesn't make immediate sense--you mean
                                                        my competitors can use these improvements I'm paying for?

                                                        As a programmer with sufficiently low self-esteem to give away (at least
                                                        some of) the fruits of my labors, these issues aren't a big deal for me.
                                                        However, I try to keep in mind that they are significant for some of the
                                                        people I talk with.

                                                        That was my real point to all this--rather than get cyncial over what I see
                                                        as the unreasonable behavior of others, I do better if I understand the
                                                        situation from their point first. Then I can enjoy informed cynicism :-)

                                                        Regards,

                                                        Kent Beck
                                                        Three Rivers Institute

                                                        _____

                                                        From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                                        [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John Roth
                                                        Sent: Friday, September 28, 2007 1:35 PM
                                                        To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                                        Subject: Re: [XP] Are current "popular" programming languages enterprise
                                                        grade?




                                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                                        From: "Charlie Poole" <xp@pooleconsulting. <mailto:xp%40pooleconsulting.com>
                                                        com>
                                                        To: <extremeprogramming@ <mailto:extremeprogramming%40yahoogroups.com>
                                                        yahoogroups.com>
                                                        Sent: Friday, September 28, 2007 2:00 PM
                                                        Subject: RE: [XP] Are current "popular" programming languages enterprise
                                                        grade?


                                                        It also contradicts Kent's point C. If a company is willing to
                                                        devote a developer to supporting a commercial product, why
                                                        wouldn't they be willing to devote a developer to supporting
                                                        an open source product?

                                                        What a lot of this sounds like is a management that isn't
                                                        willing to put in the time to manage, and they're hoping that
                                                        going with the big guys will protect them.

                                                        Hope is not the world's best strategy.

                                                        John Roth
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >






                                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                      • Adrian Howard
                                                        On 1 Oct 2007, at 21:41, Kent Beck wrote: [snip] ... [snip] This is always the largest issue in my experience - and the larger the company the more complicated
                                                        Message 27 of 27 , Oct 2, 2007
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                                                          On 1 Oct 2007, at 21:41, Kent Beck wrote:
                                                          [snip]
                                                          > A company might not be willing to devote a person to an open source
                                                          > project
                                                          > because they have never done it before. The barrier to entry the
                                                          > first time
                                                          > an organization does this is fairly high. They have to become
                                                          > comfortable
                                                          > with the legal issues--are we creating liability?
                                                          [snip]

                                                          This is always the largest issue in my experience - and the larger
                                                          the company the more complicated it gets. I did contracting at one
                                                          place that didn't allow me to submit a bug report on a piece of OSS
                                                          until I got it passed by legal <sigh>

                                                          I've always found selling the altruistic angle easy.... but all too
                                                          often fall at the legal fence.

                                                          Adrian
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