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Re: [XP] Programming Language

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  • Jen Wu
    I would hope that it would be a group decision -- not just the programmers, but the business folks, too. This assumes that it is not a business requirement, in
    Message 1 of 8 , May 1, 2000
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      I would hope that it would be a group decision -- not just the
      programmers, but the business folks, too.

      This assumes that it is not a business requirement, in which case it may
      not be negotiable. For example, Oracle support might be a customer
      demand. So might Java (less likely, but possible).

      Ole Andersen wrote:
      >
      > Hi all!
      >
      > Who gets to decide which language(s) to use?
      > Is it a pair-by-pair decision, or something to decide on project scale?
      >
      > Ole
      >
      > --
      > Ole Andersen
      > Brøndbyøster, Denmark
      >
      > A computer terminal is not some clunky old television with a typewriter
      > in front of it. It is an interface where the mind and body can connect
      > with the universe and move bits of it about.
      > -Douglas Adams, "Mostly Harmless"
      >
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    • Justin Pitts
      Why would the choice of programming language normally
      Message 2 of 8 , May 3, 2000
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        Why would the choice of programming language >>normally<< involve
        the business folks? I can see it where the customers are developers,
        etc., but for typical circumstances, isn't that a technical decision?
        Justin

        --- In extremeprogramming@egroups.com, Jen Wu <jen@d...> wrote:
        > I would hope that it would be a group decision -- not just the
        > programmers, but the business folks, too.
        >
        > This assumes that it is not a business requirement, in which case
        it may
        > not be negotiable. For example, [....]
      • Frank McGeough
        The choice of programming language involves the business folks. They may have to communicate to the customers about why you ve chosen a particular language or
        Message 3 of 8 , May 3, 2000
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          The choice of programming language involves the business folks. They may
          have to communicate to the customers about why you've chosen a particular
          language or highlight it's features as part of a sale process. I'm
          continously surprised by the number of customers that are interested in what
          language I've written products in. It may not be a sale stopper but it's
          seems like it's definitely part of the sale process.

          In addition, the exposure of a scripting language is a subject that the
          sales people/marketing/customers will weigh in on. If I had my druthers I'd
          expose Python from our product. Instead we ended up with
          vbscript/javascript. It provides the same functionality --- it's just easier
          to sell and digest when marketed that way.

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Justin Pitts <justin.pitts@...>
          To: <extremeprogramming@egroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, May 03, 2000 10:30 AM
          Subject: Re: [XP] Programming Language


          > Why would the choice of programming language >>normally<< involve
          > the business folks? I can see it where the customers are developers,
          > etc., but for typical circumstances, isn't that a technical decision?
          > Justin
          >
        • Till Schummer
          ... But isn t it our job to get this question out of the business people s minds? They should trust in the good team to make the right language decision. It
          Message 4 of 8 , May 3, 2000
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            > The choice of programming language involves the business folks. They may
            > have to communicate to the customers about why you've chosen a particular
            > language or highlight it's features as part of a sale process. I'm
            > continously surprised by the number of customers that are
            > interested in what
            > language I've written products in. It may not be a sale stopper but it's
            > seems like it's definitely part of the sale process.

            But isn't it our job to get this question out of the business people's
            minds? They should trust in the good team to make the right language
            decision.
            It should be definetely the programmers choice, which language they use. It
            is like the text editor, which may also be choosen freely. I don't care, if
            my colleagues use emacs to write their parts of the program, as far as I do
            not have to use it. Every programmer (to be exact: every pair) should be
            allowed top use the tool, he or she performs best in.
            Since the programms have to be excanged in the team, the team should make a
            language choice. It is again the language, the team performs best in.
            Businnes people do not program and thus should not care about the internals.

            Till.
          • Jen Wu
            ... Language choice is absolutely a business decision. Customers often want to know how long a platform (including language) will be around for. Also, some
            Message 5 of 8 , May 3, 2000
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              Till Schummer wrote:
              > But isn't it our job to get this question out of the business people's
              > minds? They should trust in the good team to make the right language
              > decision.

              Language choice is absolutely a business decision. Customers often
              want to know how long a platform (including language) will be around
              for. Also, some customers want to know that if your company goes out
              of business, that they'll be able to find programmers who can pick up
              where you left off (assuming your code is in escrow).

              A language like Java is a pretty safe bet, as is C++. They're going
              to be around for a while, and finding programmers who know those
              languages is not going to be as hard as finding someone who knows, for
              example, Eiffel or Prolog. Then there's the issue of what platforms
              the language supports -- not all languages are ported to every OS.

              I'm not saying that developers shouldn't have a say in the language --
              there are definitely technical considerations -- but these should be
              explained to the customer and the customer should be able to make the
              decision. It's completely possible that the business folks will
              choose Eiffel if the developers feel strongly about it.

              Jen
            • Miroslav Novak
              Hi, If the customer is thinking about the life of the product, then they will impose some restrictions on the technology, like the language. If they re buying
              Message 6 of 8 , May 3, 2000
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                RE: [XP] Programming Language

                Hi,

                If the customer is thinking about the life of the product, then they will impose some restrictions on the technology, like the language.

                If they're buying source, for example, will they be able to find developers, in the future, to work with the product?
                Fear of the unknown, or obscure, will drive some customers away from some technology solutions.

                Cheers,

                Miroslav Novak BSc
                Programmer/Analyst
                efaSEMS
                Capital Markets Automation

                Suite 800, 605 5th Avenue SW
                Calgary, Alberta, Canada  T2P 3H5
                Direct:            +1(403)294-3005
                Switchboard:   +1(403)265-6131
                Fax:               +1(403)269-7711
                Mailto:mnovak@...  

              • Dan Rawsthorne
                As much as we want it to be, it often is not a Developer s decision. The choice of language is often more of a marketing decision than a technical one. As much
                Message 7 of 8 , May 3, 2000
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                  As much as we want it to be, it often is not a Developer's decision. The
                  choice of language is often more of a marketing decision than a technical
                  one. As much as we hate this, it makes sense in the view of marketing. So it
                  often does no good to whine aobut. All we can do is point out the cost
                  impact of using one language over another.

                  It can also be defined by the Customer. For example, the FAA forbade the use
                  of OO languages in ATC systems for a while because their 'official'
                  justification for failing on a $Billion contract was that it was OO - and
                  they couldn't be seen doing it again...

                  Dan ;-)

                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: Justin Pitts [mailto:justin.pitts@...]
                  > Sent: Wednesday, May 03, 2000 7:30 AM
                  > To: extremeprogramming@egroups.com
                  > Subject: Re: [XP] Programming Language
                  >
                  >
                  > Why would the choice of programming language >>normally<< involve
                  > the business folks? I can see it where the customers are developers,
                  > etc., but for typical circumstances, isn't that a technical decision?
                  > Justin
                  >
                  > --- In extremeprogramming@egroups.com, Jen Wu <jen@d...> wrote:
                  > > I would hope that it would be a group decision -- not just the
                  > > programmers, but the business folks, too.
                  > >
                  > > This assumes that it is not a business requirement, in which case
                  > it may
                  > > not be negotiable. For example, [....]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                  >
                  > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                  > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                  >
                  > Ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                  >
                • Tim Mackinnon
                  ... It ... if ... do ... The issue is that when pairing - you need to be able to grab the keyboard and take over from your partner. For this reason, the lowest
                  Message 8 of 8 , May 4, 2000
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                    > It should be definetely the programmers choice, which language they use.
                    It
                    > is like the text editor, which may also be choosen freely. I don't care,
                    if
                    > my colleagues use emacs to write their parts of the program, as far as I
                    do
                    > not have to use it. Every programmer (to be exact: every pair) should be
                    > allowed top use the tool, he or she performs best in.

                    The issue is that when pairing - you need to be able to grab the keyboard
                    and take over from your partner. For this reason, the lowest common
                    denominator wins - unless the whole team can agree on a particular toolset,
                    and is egoless enough to take on new members that can be trained up to use
                    the particular choice of tools. If you can't take over and be comfortable
                    enought to type and change things then pairing will not work.

                    While this seems quite contentious to many programmers, the reality is that
                    good XP programmers don't care. The magic is in working with someone and
                    seeing how well the two of you can solve a problem or even better how the
                    whole team can accomplish more than the individuals. The extra speed gained
                    from knowing how to shave a few seconds off a particual formatting operation
                    pales against having a partner that can grab the keyboard and show you a
                    simpler test that achieves what you are both trying to do.

                    Tim
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