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Re: [XP] Re: New Agile Vehicles

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  • Laurent Bossavit
    ... It s hard to tell. When carmakers innovate they are driven by the need to sell more cars, so you d expect those innovations to be continuous, conservative
    Message 1 of 216 , Dec 1, 2010
      > Perhaps we have to distinguish between improvements and innovation.
      > Cars
      > have improved from 100 years ago, yet most of them still don't make
      > it easy
      > to parallel park. Are the new languages improvements on old
      > languages or
      > real innovations that make software development far easier?
      >

      It's hard to tell. When carmakers innovate they are driven by the need
      to sell more cars, so you'd expect those innovations to be continuous,
      conservative rather than revolutionary.

      When programmers innovate in the area of programming languages they
      tend to be driven more by a desire to be recognized for their
      cleverness and should be less constrained by pre-existing assumptions.
      At one point there was a wave of "visual languages", and then it died
      down. (Only much later did some research, apparently, show that visual
      brought little or no improvement in programming performance.)

      Perhaps the issue is more that we are paying too little attention to
      those underlying assumptions and therefore are failing to innovate in
      ways that challenge them.

      A good example is the way we talk about "complexity" or "technical
      debt" or even "duplication" as if they were purely properties of some
      piece of source code, forgetting that source code isn't just some
      object "out there" but something that is the creation of a human mind
      and something that the human mind keeps interacting with, over time;
      therefore any discussion of design qualities which omits from
      consideration the way the human mind works misses at least half of the
      picture and is doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again.

      (And that's precisely what we see...)

      Laurent Bossavit
      laurent@...
    • Steven Gordon
      On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 4:11 AM, D.André Dhondt ... Alternative interpretation: Domains that consider themselves scientific tend to require formal proof
      Message 216 of 216 , Jan 24, 2011
        On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 4:11 AM, D.André Dhondt
        <d.andre.dhondt@...> wrote:
        > On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 2:08 AM, Amir Kolsky <kolsky@...> wrote:
        >
        >>   And again, one is reminded of Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis…
        >>
        >
        > Meaning that people tend to reject new ideas just because they're new?
        > (Semmelweis suggested surgeons should wash hands with chlorine between
        > patients).

        Alternative interpretation:

        Domains that consider themselves scientific tend to require formal
        proof instead of empirical success before accepting new ideas.

        >
        > --
        > D. André Dhondt
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