Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Self-organisation and Public toilets.

Expand Messages
  • David H.
    Hello all. I know that this might be a little off-topic but it is a phenomenon that simply fascinates me. Why do public toilets or those in high frequent
    Message 1 of 21 , Feb 27, 2008
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      Hello all.

      I know that this might be a little off-topic but it is a phenomenon
      that simply fascinates me.
      Why do public toilets or those in high frequent places (like Burger
      King, McD and so on) always look terrible?

      Is it that we lack the necessary tools to ensure the toilet is clean
      and ready for the one coming after us?
      Is there no common goal, is "keep it clean" not important enough
      because I will be there once and that is it?

      Maybe you can help me shed some light on this question, because
      personally I believe we could all keep those rooms clean and make it a
      more pleasurable experience for everyone instead of behaving like
      pigs.
      Do people do this to code?

      -d

      --
      Sent from gmail so do not trust this communication.
      Do not send me sensitive information here, ask for my none-gmail accounts.

      "Therefore the considerations of the intelligent always include both
      benefit and harm." - Sun Tzu
    • David Carlton
      ... Can you give some examples of your own behavior in public toilets? For example, if you re in a public toilet, and you see a paper towel lying on the ground
      Message 2 of 21 , Feb 27, 2008
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        On Wed, 27 Feb 2008 23:22:16 +0000, "David H." <dmalloc@...> said:

        > Why do public toilets or those in high frequent places (like Burger
        > King, McD and so on) always look terrible?

        > Is it that we lack the necessary tools to ensure the toilet is clean
        > and ready for the one coming after us? Is there no common goal, is
        > "keep it clean" not important enough because I will be there once
        > and that is it?

        > Maybe you can help me shed some light on this question, because
        > personally I believe we could all keep those rooms clean and make it
        > a more pleasurable experience for everyone instead of behaving like
        > pigs. Do people do this to code?

        Can you give some examples of your own behavior in public toilets?
        For example, if you're in a public toilet, and you see a paper towel
        lying on the ground next to the trash can, do you leave it there or do
        you pick it up and throw it away?

        Until a few years ago, I would have left it there; these days, I pick
        it up and throw it away. (And I have to do that frequently enough
        that I'm pretty sure I'm in a quite small minority.) Exposure to XP
        is actually one of the contributing factors to that change in
        behavior. I still don't, say, mop up large spills in public toilets,
        however.

        My guess is that only a few people actually act like pigs, but there
        are a large number of people who don't actively clean up others'
        messes, and who occasionally accidentally increase the mess. (E.g. by
        aiming a paper towel at a trash can as they're walking away and not
        noticing that it didn't stay there.)

        David Carlton
        carlton@...
      • Steven Gordon
        ... If the mess is too significant to deal with myself, I notify the manager. ... I wonder if there is some isolated corner of the world where the culture is
        Message 3 of 21 , Feb 27, 2008
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 5:01 PM, David Carlton <carlton@...> wrote:
          >
          > On Wed, 27 Feb 2008 23:22:16 +0000, "David H." <dmalloc@...> said:
          >
          > > Why do public toilets or those in high frequent places (like Burger
          > > King, McD and so on) always look terrible?
          >
          > > Is it that we lack the necessary tools to ensure the toilet is clean
          > > and ready for the one coming after us? Is there no common goal, is
          > > "keep it clean" not important enough because I will be there once
          > > and that is it?
          >
          > > Maybe you can help me shed some light on this question, because
          > > personally I believe we could all keep those rooms clean and make it
          > > a more pleasurable experience for everyone instead of behaving like
          > > pigs. Do people do this to code?
          >
          > Can you give some examples of your own behavior in public toilets?
          > For example, if you're in a public toilet, and you see a paper towel
          > lying on the ground next to the trash can, do you leave it there or do
          > you pick it up and throw it away?
          >
          > Until a few years ago, I would have left it there; these days, I pick
          > it up and throw it away. (And I have to do that frequently enough
          > that I'm pretty sure I'm in a quite small minority.) Exposure to XP
          > is actually one of the contributing factors to that change in
          > behavior. I still don't, say, mop up large spills in public toilets,
          > however.

          If the mess is too significant to deal with myself, I notify the manager.

          >
          > My guess is that only a few people actually act like pigs, but there
          > are a large number of people who don't actively clean up others'
          > messes, and who occasionally accidentally increase the mess. (E.g. by
          > aiming a paper towel at a trash can as they're walking away and not
          > noticing that it didn't stay there.)

          I wonder if there is some isolated corner of the world where the
          culture is such that the public restrooms are significantly cleaner?
          Singapore comes to mind as a potential candidate.

          >
          > David Carlton
          > carlton@...
        • Victor
          In high class hotels the bathrooms tend to be cleaner. Three things happen there: 1. they assign personnel whose responsibility is to take care of this
          Message 4 of 21 , Feb 27, 2008
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            In high class hotels the bathrooms tend to be cleaner. Three things happen there:
            1. they assign personnel whose responsibility is to take care of this issue, frequently.
            2. the public tends to have a better education on keeping things clean, and
            3. because these environments are so pleasant, elegant and clean, people tend to resonate with them and try to keep them the way they find them.

            Victor

            ==================================================

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Steven Gordon
            To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 7:41 PM
            Subject: Re: [XP] Self-organisation and Public toilets.


            On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 5:01 PM, David Carlton <carlton@...> wrote:
            >
            > On Wed, 27 Feb 2008 23:22:16 +0000, "David H." <dmalloc@...> said:
            >
            > > Why do public toilets or those in high frequent places (like Burger
            > > King, McD and so on) always look terrible?
            >
            > > Is it that we lack the necessary tools to ensure the toilet is clean
            > > and ready for the one coming after us? Is there no common goal, is
            > > "keep it clean" not important enough because I will be there once
            > > and that is it?
            >
            > > Maybe you can help me shed some light on this question, because
            > > personally I believe we could all keep those rooms clean and make it
            > > a more pleasurable experience for everyone instead of behaving like
            > > pigs. Do people do this to code?
            >
            > Can you give some examples of your own behavior in public toilets?
            > For example, if you're in a public toilet, and you see a paper towel
            > lying on the ground next to the trash can, do you leave it there or do
            > you pick it up and throw it away?
            >
            > Until a few years ago, I would have left it there; these days, I pick
            > it up and throw it away. (And I have to do that frequently enough
            > that I'm pretty sure I'm in a quite small minority.) Exposure to XP
            > is actually one of the contributing factors to that change in
            > behavior. I still don't, say, mop up large spills in public toilets,
            > however.

            If the mess is too significant to deal with myself, I notify the manager.

            >
            > My guess is that only a few people actually act like pigs, but there
            > are a large number of people who don't actively clean up others'
            > messes, and who occasionally accidentally increase the mess. (E.g. by
            > aiming a paper towel at a trash can as they're walking away and not
            > noticing that it didn't stay there.)

            I wonder if there is some isolated corner of the world where the
            culture is such that the public restrooms are significantly cleaner?
            Singapore comes to mind as a potential candidate.

            >
            > David Carlton
            > carlton@...




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • David H.
            Those are very interesting statements, let me ask my questions. ... That is a practice you will find at Mc Donalds, Burger King, Airports and so on. You will
            Message 5 of 21 , Feb 27, 2008
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment
              Those are very interesting statements, let me ask my questions.

              > In high class hotels the bathrooms tend to be cleaner. Three things happen there:
              > 1. they assign personnel whose responsibility is to take care of this issue, frequently.
              That is a practice you will find at Mc Donalds, Burger King, Airports
              and so on. You will also find that a concerned, good restaurant owner
              or chef will go and check the toilets as well.
              So why does this not work for Mc Donalds (my favourite messed p toilette place)

              > 2. the public tends to have a better education on keeping things clean, and
              Do you think that education has anything to do with manners? Is that a
              perception we have? I really pose that as question, because I cannot
              quite tell myself.

              > 3. because these environments are so pleasant, elegant and clean, people tend to resonate with them and try to keep them the way they find them.
              >
              Yes, I agree with that. I think that is human nature.

              -d

              --
              Sent from gmail so do not trust this communication.
              Do not send me sensitive information here, ask for my none-gmail accounts.

              "Therefore the considerations of the intelligent always include both
              benefit and harm." - Sun Tzu
            • Cory Foy
              ... It s amazing to me how much can be explained by the broken windows theory. My guess is that people make an effort to keep things clean - when the things
              Message 6 of 21 , Feb 27, 2008
              View Source
              • 0 Attachment
                David Carlton wrote:
                > My guess is that only a few people actually act like pigs, but there
                > are a large number of people who don't actively clean up others'
                > messes, and who occasionally accidentally increase the mess. (E.g. by
                > aiming a paper towel at a trash can as they're walking away and not
                > noticing that it didn't stay there.)

                It's amazing to me how much can be explained by the broken windows theory.

                My guess is that people make an effort to keep things clean - when the
                things are already clean. Once they aren't, they may make minor
                improvements, but generally won't want to invest themselves fully to get
                it back to where it was (or at least notify someone so they can try).

                The theory plays itself out very well in our household. We moved in a
                few months ago, and are still figuring out what our patterns of usage
                are going to be. I find that when we put the mail and other papers on
                the kitchen counter - and don't quickly find homes for them - it starts
                a chain. Suddenly we have to do kitchen prep for dinner over on the
                counter more, leaving less room. Then the dishes don't make it to the
                sink as quickly, leaving less room, leading to more things piling up,
                before, suddenly at the end of the night, after the kids are in bed, my
                wife and I walk into the kitchen and go, "What happened?"

                Or, to really reach on a limb, maybe it is our fear of loneliness. When
                we see one thing out of place, we want to fix it, make it better. But
                when there are two or more, it doesn't seem as lonely, so we don't feel
                as bad about fixing it. Or something like that.

                --
                Cory Foy
                http://www.cornetdesign.com
              • Victor
                ... and so on. You will also find that a concerned, good restaurant owner or chef will go and check the toilets as well. So why does this not work for Mc
                Message 7 of 21 , Feb 27, 2008
                View Source
                • 0 Attachment
                  >> In high class hotels the bathrooms tend to be cleaner. Three things happen there:
                  >> 1. they assign personnel whose responsibility is to take care of this issue, frequently.

                  > That is a practice you will find at Mc Donalds, Burger King, Airports
                  and so on. You will also find that a concerned, good restaurant owner
                  or chef will go and check the toilets as well.
                  So why does this not work for Mc Donalds (my favourite messed p toilette place)

                  Because of points 2. and 3., and one more comment below.

                  >> 2. the public tends to have a better education on keeping things clean, and
                  > Do you think that education has anything to do with manners? Is that a
                  perception we have? I really pose that as question, because I cannot
                  quite tell myself.

                  To me "education" is the collection of all the individual's personal history, which includes manners. However, I see manners more on the side of conditioned reflexes. I would say that additionally, this is an issue of standards, which involves more of a judgment, even though the boundaries between manners and standards may be somewhat blurred..

                  This is a good reason why high standards of behavior in software development are so important, which is what XP promotes.


                  Victor

                  ==================================================


                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: David H.
                  To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 8:03 PM
                  Subject: Re: [XP] Self-organisation and Public toilets.


                  Those are very interesting statements, let me ask my questions.

                  > In high class hotels the bathrooms tend to be cleaner. Three things happen there:
                  > 1. they assign personnel whose responsibility is to take care of this issue, frequently.
                  That is a practice you will find at Mc Donalds, Burger King, Airports
                  and so on. You will also find that a concerned, good restaurant owner
                  or chef will go and check the toilets as well.
                  So why does this not work for Mc Donalds (my favourite messed p toilette place)

                  > 2. the public tends to have a better education on keeping things clean, and
                  Do you think that education has anything to do with manners? Is that a
                  perception we have? I really pose that as question, because I cannot
                  quite tell myself.

                  > 3. because these environments are so pleasant, elegant and clean, people tend to resonate with them and try to keep them the way they find them.
                  >
                  Yes, I agree with that. I think that is human nature.

                  -d

                  --
                  Sent from gmail so do not trust this communication.
                  Do not send me sensitive information here, ask for my none-gmail accounts.

                  "Therefore the considerations of the intelligent always include both
                  benefit and harm." - Sun Tzu




                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Kjersti Berg
                  ... Couldn t a factor also be that there are more people using the McDonald toilet than in a high class hotel? More people - more mess. Simple. Kjersti
                  Message 8 of 21 , Feb 28, 2008
                  View Source
                  • 0 Attachment
                    On 28/02/2008, Victor <vmgoldberg@...> wrote:
                    > >> In high class hotels the bathrooms tend to be cleaner. Three things happen there:
                    > >> 1. they assign personnel whose responsibility is to take care of this issue, frequently.
                    >
                    > > That is a practice you will find at Mc Donalds, Burger King, Airports
                    > and so on. You will also find that a concerned, good restaurant owner
                    > or chef will go and check the toilets as well.
                    > So why does this not work for Mc Donalds (my favourite messed p toilette place)
                    >
                    > Because of points 2. and 3., and one more comment below.
                    >
                    Couldn't a factor also be that there are more people using the
                    McDonald toilet than in a high class hotel? More people - more mess.
                    Simple.

                    Kjersti
                  • Michael Feathers
                    ... I think that broken windows is part of the picture, but there s more that we can consider. This sort of problem is really something that economists talk
                    Message 9 of 21 , Feb 28, 2008
                    View Source
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Cory Foy wrote:
                      > David Carlton wrote:
                      >
                      >> My guess is that only a few people actually act like pigs, but there
                      >> are a large number of people who don't actively clean up others'
                      >> messes, and who occasionally accidentally increase the mess. (E.g. by
                      >> aiming a paper towel at a trash can as they're walking away and not
                      >> noticing that it didn't stay there.)
                      >>
                      >
                      > It's amazing to me how much can be explained by the broken windows theory.
                      >
                      > My guess is that people make an effort to keep things clean - when the
                      > things are already clean. Once they aren't, they may make minor
                      > improvements, but generally won't want to invest themselves fully to get
                      > it back to where it was (or at least notify someone so they can try).
                      I think that 'broken windows' is part of the picture, but there's more
                      that we can consider.



                      This sort of problem is really something that economists talk about more
                      than social thinkers, it seems.


                      One idea that often comes up is 'Tragedy of the Commons', the idea that
                      if everyone is responsible for some resource then, ultimately, no one
                      will be responsible. Fast food restaurants own their toilets and they
                      have an interest in keeping them clean. But, economically, cleanliness
                      often falls to right above the level that it, along with other factors,
                      would influence someone to go to another restaurant. Some companies
                      are better than others on this, because they recognize that there is
                      market value in a gestalt of good impressions.

                      I think that another reason why public bathrooms are dirty is because of
                      the fact that they are relatively hidden. I forget who said it, but
                      someone said that character is what you do when you know that no one is
                      looking. Some people behave responsibly no matter what, but I suspect
                      that an experiment would show that bathrooms with attendants are cleaner
                      even if the attendant doesn't clean up, just because many people don't
                      want to be seen as a pig, even by a stranger.

                      The other thing is: "social contract." What do people expect of
                      themselves and their neighbors? When you look a behavior, it's
                      interesting that a lot of it falls in certain ranges in particular local
                      cultures. There is this anti-copycat effect where if people don't see
                      an example of bad behavior, they don't even consider it possible in a
                      certain milieu or if they do, they consider it taboo. I think that
                      'broken windows' actually rests on top of this.

                      I think a lot about this topic because it's very close to the issue of
                      social factors that influence code cleanliness.

                      Michael Feathers
                    • Jeff Langr
                      ... - most people have the goal of getting in and out of a restroom as quickly as possible--get *their* job done, wash their hands, then get out. Cleaning the
                      Message 10 of 21 , Feb 28, 2008
                      View Source
                      • 0 Attachment
                        David Carlton wrote:
                        >> My guess is that only a few people actually act like pigs, but there
                        >> are a large number of people who don't actively clean up others'
                        >> messes, and who occasionally accidentally increase the mess. (E.g. by
                        >> aiming a paper towel at a trash can as they're walking away and not
                        >> noticing that it didn't stay there.)
                        >>
                        - most people have the goal of getting in and out of a restroom as
                        quickly as possible--get *their* job done, wash their hands, then get
                        out. Cleaning the restroom is clearly someone else's job, and they
                        likely won't have to visit that restroom in the near future before it
                        gets cleaned again by someone else.
                        - many people don't even notice the small things they do to make it
                        worse (or don't think twice if they do notice), including leaving water
                        by the sink, leaving the seat up, and doing other things I don't need to
                        mention.
                        - most will make an attempt to pick up a stray towel, but no one is
                        going to crawl under stalls to pick up or wipe up "something" off the floor.
                        - some people are germophobes. They want their hands to stay clean, so
                        they'll have nothing to do with the muck surrounding them.
                        - the only restrooms that really appear clean when you enter are the
                        ones with full-time attendants. It only takes one person to make a
                        restroom appear filthy. If you let things build up over even a couple
                        hours, it's pretty nasty and a good amount of work (for someone else!)
                        to get it straight again.

                        As a metaphor I think it works ok. It represents a severe compression of
                        time compared to what happens with maintenance of a code base, so the
                        effects are far more visible.

                        Jeff
                      • David Carlton
                        ... Yeah, that s another interesting way in which bathroom maintenance fails for me that may have lessons for software development. If there s a big mess, I
                        Message 11 of 21 , Feb 28, 2008
                        View Source
                        • 0 Attachment
                          On Wed, 27 Feb 2008 17:41:48 -0700, "Steven Gordon" <sgordonphd@...> said:
                          > On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 5:01 PM, David Carlton

                          >> I still don't, say, mop up large spills in public toilets, however.

                          > If the mess is too significant to deal with myself, I notify the
                          > manager.

                          Yeah, that's another interesting way in which bathroom maintenance
                          fails for me that may have lessons for software development. If
                          there's a big mess, I will generally notify somebody else, but it's
                          not always obvious whom to notify. Also, mild systemic problems can
                          slip through the cracks - e.g. at work, some of the faucets have
                          something wrong with them that causes water to spray out in a somewhat
                          wide angle, increasing the amount of water that ends up on the
                          counters after reflecting off of your hands. The people who do the
                          regular maintenance probably aren't in a position to notice it, but
                          it's only a mild aggravation for me (and I'm not sure that I'm even
                          understanding the situation correctly, maybe it's not a problem or
                          maybe it can only be fixed by replacing the faucets), so I end up not
                          reporting the problem, either. (I might if it were easier, e.g. if
                          there were a feedback card in the bathroom itself.)

                          David Carlton
                          carlton@...
                        • David Carlton
                          ... I completely agree on both counts. I m sure there are a few people who are pigs in the bathroom - I ve seen messes I can t explain otherwise - but I think
                          Message 12 of 21 , Feb 28, 2008
                          View Source
                          • 0 Attachment
                            On Thu, 28 Feb 2008 08:12:31 -0600, Jeff Langr <jeff@...> said:

                            > - most people have the goal of getting in and out of a restroom as
                            > quickly as possible--get *their* job done, wash their hands, then
                            > get out. Cleaning the restroom is clearly someone else's job, and
                            > they likely won't have to visit that restroom in the near future
                            > before it gets cleaned again by someone else.

                            > - many people don't even notice the small things they do to make it
                            > worse (or don't think twice if they do notice), including leaving
                            > water by the sink, leaving the seat up, and doing other things I
                            > don't need to mention.

                            I completely agree on both counts. I'm sure there are a few people
                            who are pigs in the bathroom - I've seen messes I can't explain
                            otherwise - but I think the vast majority of people using bathrooms
                            don't want to leave the bathroom any worse than it was when they came
                            in, they just don't notice ways in which they're making it worse.
                            They may not even be making it worse most of the time, but if a new
                            person enters the bathroom every minute and a tenth of them
                            accidentally splash water or leave a paper towel dangling on (and
                            later falling off) the edge of the trash can or something, then an
                            hour later you have a minor mess.

                            > As a metaphor I think it works ok. It represents a severe
                            > compression of time compared to what happens with maintenance of a
                            > code base, so the effects are far more visible.

                            Yeah.

                            David Carlton
                            carlton@...
                          • Daniel Pupek
                            Education? No. High class hotels make more money and can throw more money at the problem. You get what you pay for. Unlike McDonalds, a high class hotel hires
                            Message 13 of 21 , Feb 28, 2008
                            View Source
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Education? No. High class hotels make more money and can throw more money at
                              the problem. You get what you pay for. Unlike McDonalds, a high class hotel
                              hires several layers of management and QA to rigorously enforce the standard
                              on the working class.

                              Also, high class hotels tend to completely remodel every few years.

                              Imply what you might on software projects.

                              AJ


                              On Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 3:59 AM, Victor <vmgoldberg@...> wrote:

                              > In high class hotels the bathrooms tend to be cleaner. Three things
                              > happen there:
                              > 1. they assign personnel whose responsibility is to take care of this
                              > issue, frequently.
                              > 2. the public tends to have a better education on keeping things clean,
                              > and
                              > 3. because these environments are so pleasant, elegant and clean, people
                              > tend to resonate with them and try to keep them the way they find them.
                              >
                              > Victor
                              >
                              > ==================================================
                              >
                              >
                              > ----- Original Message -----
                              > From: Steven Gordon
                              > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com<extremeprogramming%40yahoogroups.com>
                              > Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 7:41 PM
                              > Subject: Re: [XP] Self-organisation and Public toilets.
                              >
                              > On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 5:01 PM, David Carlton <carlton@...<carlton%40bactrian.org>>
                              > wrote:
                              > >
                              > > On Wed, 27 Feb 2008 23:22:16 +0000, "David H." <dmalloc@...<dmalloc%40gmail.com>>
                              > said:
                              > >
                              > > > Why do public toilets or those in high frequent places (like Burger
                              > > > King, McD and so on) always look terrible?
                              > >
                              > > > Is it that we lack the necessary tools to ensure the toilet is clean
                              > > > and ready for the one coming after us? Is there no common goal, is
                              > > > "keep it clean" not important enough because I will be there once
                              > > > and that is it?
                              > >
                              > > > Maybe you can help me shed some light on this question, because
                              > > > personally I believe we could all keep those rooms clean and make it
                              > > > a more pleasurable experience for everyone instead of behaving like
                              > > > pigs. Do people do this to code?
                              > >
                              > > Can you give some examples of your own behavior in public toilets?
                              > > For example, if you're in a public toilet, and you see a paper towel
                              > > lying on the ground next to the trash can, do you leave it there or do
                              > > you pick it up and throw it away?
                              > >
                              > > Until a few years ago, I would have left it there; these days, I pick
                              > > it up and throw it away. (And I have to do that frequently enough
                              > > that I'm pretty sure I'm in a quite small minority.) Exposure to XP
                              > > is actually one of the contributing factors to that change in
                              > > behavior. I still don't, say, mop up large spills in public toilets,
                              > > however.
                              >
                              > If the mess is too significant to deal with myself, I notify the manager.
                              >
                              > >
                              > > My guess is that only a few people actually act like pigs, but there
                              > > are a large number of people who don't actively clean up others'
                              > > messes, and who occasionally accidentally increase the mess. (E.g. by
                              > > aiming a paper towel at a trash can as they're walking away and not
                              > > noticing that it didn't stay there.)
                              >
                              > I wonder if there is some isolated corner of the world where the
                              > culture is such that the public restrooms are significantly cleaner?
                              > Singapore comes to mind as a potential candidate.
                              >
                              > >
                              > > David Carlton
                              > > carlton@... <carlton%40bactrian.org>
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                              >
                              >



                              --


                              Checkout my blog @ http://blog.agilejedi.com
                              Checkout my homepage @ http://www.agilejedi.com


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • D. André Dhondt
                              ... In my experience, software teams tend to see their code base their own, rather than as something no one is accountable for. So I don t think the public
                              Message 14 of 21 , Feb 29, 2008
                              View Source
                              • 0 Attachment
                                >Do people do this to code?

                                In my experience, software teams tend to see their code base their own,
                                rather than as something no one is accountable for. So I don't think the
                                'public toilet' metaphor is a good fit--maybe a better fit is the 'office
                                restroom'. We basically know everyone who goes in that room, we know when
                                they come out--if the code base looks messy we basically know who did it.
                                Just as a cross-country running team that self-organizes on a run when the
                                coach is well out of range, the members of a software team can pull one
                                another along, helping each other do better than any one could do oneself.
                                That doesn't mean that a team cannot be lazy, but I think that's the
                                exception rather than the rule. In general we care about our effect on the
                                common code base, since we see that's the expectation from all around us.

                                On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 6:22 PM, David H. <dmalloc@...> wrote:

                                > Hello all.
                                >
                                > I know that this might be a little off-topic but it is a phenomenon
                                > that simply fascinates me.
                                > Why do public toilets or those in high frequent places (like Burger
                                > King, McD and so on) always look terrible?
                                >
                                > Is it that we lack the necessary tools to ensure the toilet is clean
                                > and ready for the one coming after us?
                                > Is there no common goal, is "keep it clean" not important enough
                                > because I will be there once and that is it?
                                >
                                > Maybe you can help me shed some light on this question, because
                                > personally I believe we could all keep those rooms clean and make it a
                                > more pleasurable experience for everyone instead of behaving like
                                > pigs.
                                > Do people do this to code?
                                >
                                > -d
                                >
                                > --
                                > Sent from gmail so do not trust this communication.
                                > Do not send me sensitive information here, ask for my none-gmail accounts.
                                >
                                > "Therefore the considerations of the intelligent always include both
                                > benefit and harm." - Sun Tzu
                                >
                                >



                                --
                                D. André Dhondt
                                mobile: 267-283-8270
                                home: 267-286-6875

                                If you're a software developer in the area, join Agile Philly (
                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agilephilly/)!


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Steven Gordon
                                On Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 5:39 AM, D. André Dhondt ... Ideally, it should be this way, and yet it is not at all unusual to run across code bases that are
                                Message 15 of 21 , Feb 29, 2008
                                View Source
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  On Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 5:39 AM, D. André Dhondt
                                  <d.andre.dhondt@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > >Do people do this to code?
                                  >
                                  > In my experience, software teams tend to see their code base their own,
                                  > rather than as something no one is accountable for. So I don't think the
                                  > 'public toilet' metaphor is a good fit--maybe a better fit is the 'office
                                  > restroom'. We basically know everyone who goes in that room, we know when
                                  > they come out--if the code base looks messy we basically know who did it.
                                  > Just as a cross-country running team that self-organizes on a run when the
                                  > coach is well out of range, the members of a software team can pull one
                                  > another along, helping each other do better than any one could do oneself.
                                  > That doesn't mean that a team cannot be lazy, but I think that's the
                                  > exception rather than the rule. In general we care about our effect on the
                                  > common code base, since we see that's the expectation from all around us.
                                  >

                                  Ideally, it should be this way, and yet it is not at all unusual to
                                  run across code bases that are extremely difficult to work with.

                                  It may be that the team who wrote that code has a less attuned sense
                                  of smell than we do, or just different taste. Or it may be that when
                                  the team used to a particular smell, they do not even notice it and
                                  can work effectively anyway.

                                  Perhaps, the changing of standards over time is a factor. Even the
                                  code generated by a great team a few years ago could seem messy today
                                  because the conventions/idioms/style they used then - I know how much
                                  I dislike working with over-commented code or Hungarian-style names.
                                • Steven Gordon
                                  Does anybody here know whether public men s rooms differ from public women s rooms in general cleanliness? If there is a noticeable difference, would that
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Feb 29, 2008
                                  View Source
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Does anybody here know whether public men's rooms differ from public
                                    women's rooms in general cleanliness?

                                    If there is a noticeable difference, would that observation tend to
                                    bolster or shoot down any of the theories being espoused in this
                                    thread?
                                  • David H.
                                    ... Not that I crash into women s restrooms that often, but I have on occasion and they were _always_ cleaner than the males ones. Women, as mentioned before
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Feb 29, 2008
                                    View Source
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      On Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 7:43 PM, Steven Gordon <sgordonphd@...> wrote:
                                      > Does anybody here know whether public men's rooms differ from public
                                      > women's rooms in general cleanliness?
                                      >
                                      Not that I crash into women's restrooms that often, but I have on
                                      occasion and they were _always_ cleaner than the males ones.
                                      Women, as mentioned before in a thread, are also better at noticing
                                      little things and how they can lead to a whole buck load of trouble
                                      later on.


                                      -d

                                      --
                                      Sent from gmail so do not trust this communication.
                                      Do not send me sensitive information here, ask for my none-gmail accounts.

                                      "Therefore the considerations of the intelligent always include both
                                      benefit and harm." - Sun Tzu
                                    • Brad Stiles
                                      ... According to most of the cleaning personnel (male or female) where I work, the women s restroom is almost always less clean, sometimes significantly so,
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Feb 29, 2008
                                      View Source
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Steven Gordon <sgordonphd@...> wrote:

                                        > Does anybody here know whether public men's rooms differ from public
                                        > women's rooms in general cleanliness?

                                        According to most of the cleaning personnel (male or female) where I
                                        work, the women's restroom is almost always less clean, sometimes
                                        significantly so, than the men's.

                                        > If there is a noticeable difference, would that observation tend to
                                        > bolster or shoot down any of the theories being espoused in this
                                        > thread?

                                        That I don't know.

                                        Brad
                                      • Seyit Caglar Abbasoglu
                                        ... That is what I heard too. It seems like women are more concerned about how they found the restroom. But instead of trying to keep it clean they seem to be
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Feb 29, 2008
                                        View Source
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          >
                                          > According to most of the cleaning personnel (male or female) where I
                                          > work, the women's restroom is almost always less clean, sometimes
                                          > significantly so, than the men's.
                                          >

                                          That is what I heard too. It seems like women are more concerned about how
                                          they found the restroom. But instead of trying to keep it clean they seem to
                                          be more inclined to take that to manager. On the other hand men seem to use
                                          and forget.

                                          Those are not my thoughts. I've had a couple of friends who work as a
                                          cleaning personnel and manager of restaurants. So please do not judge me
                                          with stereotyping :)

                                          About the developers I work with I've seen no significant difference between
                                          men and women about keeping the code clean. It seems like the ones who saw
                                          benefit on clean code are trying to keep it clean. The others are just
                                          pretending to keep it clean (pages of unnecessary comments)

                                          Definition of Comment: A long description, pinned to the toilet door, of how
                                          to dodge through the ashes in order to reach the closet.


                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • Seyit Caglar Abbasoglu
                                          ... Ahh.. And a small note attached to it: Thou shall add all the dirt you bring to this list!!!! [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Feb 29, 2008
                                          View Source
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            >
                                            > Definition of Comment: A long description, pinned to the toilet door, of
                                            > how to dodge through the ashes in order to reach the closet.
                                            >

                                            Ahh.. And a small note attached to it: "Thou shall add all the dirt you
                                            bring to this list!!!!"


                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          • Peter Bell
                                            Isn¹t it just a little sad that we don¹t have enough women on the list to actually get a few first hand reports?! Best Wishes, Peter ... [Non-text portions
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Feb 29, 2008
                                            View Source
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              Isn¹t it just a little sad that we don¹t have enough women on the list to
                                              actually get a few first hand reports?!

                                              Best Wishes,
                                              Peter


                                              On 2/29/08 3:27 PM, "Seyit Caglar Abbasoglu" <scabbasoglu@...> wrote:

                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >> >
                                              >> > According to most of the cleaning personnel (male or female) where I
                                              >> > work, the women's restroom is almost always less clean, sometimes
                                              >> > significantly so, than the men's.
                                              >> >
                                              >
                                              > That is what I heard too. It seems like women are more concerned about how
                                              > they found the restroom. But instead of trying to keep it clean they seem to
                                              > be more inclined to take that to manager. On the other hand men seem to use
                                              > and forget.
                                              >
                                              > Those are not my thoughts. I've had a couple of friends who work as a
                                              > cleaning personnel and manager of restaurants. So please do not judge me
                                              > with stereotyping :)
                                              >
                                              > About the developers I work with I've seen no significant difference between
                                              > men and women about keeping the code clean. It seems like the ones who saw
                                              > benefit on clean code are trying to keep it clean. The others are just
                                              > pretending to keep it clean (pages of unnecessary comments)
                                              >
                                              > Definition of Comment: A long description, pinned to the toilet door, of how
                                              > to dodge through the ashes in order to reach the closet.
                                              >
                                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >




                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.