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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Iteration Length

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  • Phlip
    ... Not sure how many plurals under we here. There are those who think that a young team should never vary iteration length from iteration to iteration, and
    Message 1 of 27 , Feb 8, 2004
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      Joshua Kerievsky wrote:

      > I went from doing 3 week iteraions to lots of 2 week
      > iterations to lots
      > of 1 week iterations. Now we routinely do either 1
      > or 2 week
      > iterations. We prefer to do 1-week iterations.
      > However, we find that 2
      > week iterations work better for our C++ clients,
      > since they tend to have
      > a lot of legacy code, which slows everything down.
      > --jk

      Not sure how many plurals under "we" here. There are
      those who think that a young team should never vary
      iteration length from iteration to iteration, and that
      a mature team shouldn't have a reason to. Do you mean
      that one team looks at its stack of stories and sets
      iteration length accordingly?

      Call this the "rhythm method"...

      =====
      Phlip
      http://www.xpsd.org/cgi-bin/wiki?TestFirstUserInterfaces

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    • acockburn@aol.com
      I read this as we Industrial Logic, with various clients .... some clients get 1-week iterations, some get 2-week iterations. The clients getting 2-week
      Message 2 of 27 , Feb 8, 2004
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        I read this as "we" Industrial Logic, with various clients .... some clients get 1-week iterations, some get 2-week iterations. The clients getting 2-week iterations tend to be those using C++.  I don't see an indication in Joshua's note that iteration length varies within a project, although with a mature team, I don't see that they couldn't arbitrarily change the iteration length to suit the circumstances discovered on planning day.
         
        In a message dated 2/8/2004 9:40:10 PM Mountain Standard Time, phlipcpp@... writes:
        Joshua Kerievsky wrote:

        > I went from doing 3 week iteraions to lots of 2 week
        > iterations to lots
        > of 1 week iterations.  Now we routinely do either 1
        > or 2 week
        > iterations.  We prefer to do 1-week iterations.
        > However, we find that 2
        > week iterations work better for our C++ clients,
        > since they tend to have
        > a lot of legacy code, which slows everything down.
        > --jk

        Not sure how many plurals under "we" here. There are
        those who think that a young team should never vary
        iteration length from iteration to iteration, and that
        a mature team shouldn't have a reason to. Do you mean
        that one team looks at its stack of stories and sets
        iteration length accordingly?

        Call this the "rhythm method"...

        =====
        Phlip
        ==============================================
        Alistair Cockburn
        President, Humans and Technology

        http://alistair.cockburn.us alistair.cockburn@...
        1814 E. Fort Douglas Circle, Salt Lake City, UT 84103
        Phone: 801.582-3162            Fax: 775.416.6457

        Author of
        "Surviving Object-Oriented Projects" (1998)
        "Writing Effective Use Cases" (Jolt Productivity Award 2001)
        "Agile Software Development" (Jolt Productivity Award 2002)

        "La perfection est atteinte non quand il ne reste rien a ajouter,
        mais quand il ne reste rien a enlever." (Saint-Exupery)
        ==============================================

      • Phlip
        ... I wasn t accusing. I pointed out his exact text was ambiguous, by adding the rhythm method context to the thread. Among its quantifyable benefits are a
        Message 3 of 27 , Feb 9, 2004
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          acockburn@... wrote:

          > I read this as "we" Industrial Logic, with various
          > clients .... some clients
          > get 1-week iterations, some get 2-week iterations.
          > The clients getting 2-week
          > iterations tend to be those using C++. I don't see
          > an indication in Joshua's
          > note that iteration length varies within a project,
          > although with a mature
          > team, I don't see that they couldn't arbitrarily
          > change the iteration length to
          > suit the circumstances discovered on planning day.

          I wasn't accusing.

          I pointed out his exact text was ambiguous, by adding
          the "rhythm method" context to the thread. Among its
          quantifyable benefits are a stable Yesterday's Weather
          metric - or so I'm told. Accuse whoever told me that.

          > "La perfection est atteinte non quand il ne reste
          > rien a ajouter,
          > mais quand il ne reste rien a enlever."
          > (Saint-Exupery)

          "le meilleur est l'ennemi du bien" ([apocryphally] Voltaire)

          =====
          Phlip
          http://www.xpsd.org/cgi-bin/wiki?TestFirstUserInterfaces

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        • Karl Scotland
          ... A great ScrumMaster once told me, It depends on common sense :) Personally, I m doing one week iterations wih my team at the moment. I wouldn t
          Message 4 of 27 , Feb 9, 2004
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            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Ken Schwaber [mailto:ken.schwaber@...]
            >
            > What is the optimal length of an iteation, and what are the factors
            > that are relevant to the various lengths of iterations that are
            > deemed most appropriate?

            A great ScrumMaster once told me, "It depends on common sense" :)

            Personally, I'm doing one week iterations wih my team at the moment. I
            wouldn't necessarily work the same way with every team though. Others
            seem to be saying the same thing.

            Factirs which would affect my decision would include...
            1) Business chaos - a business which is really ducking and diving would
            benefit from shorter iterations.
            2) Project length - the shorter the overall projects, the shorter the
            iterations.
            3) Technical ability - shorter iterations benefit less mature teams
            because they promote more focus.

            If I was working with a great team, on a longterm project, for a stable
            business, I'd probably consider monthly iterations.

            I've submitted a paper on doing weekly iterations with Scrum and XP for
            the gathering. Hope it gets accepted :)

            Karl

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          • Joshua Kerievsky
            ... We is Industrial Logic. We don t generally vary iteration length. However, we have changed iteration length mid-project, when we found that the length
            Message 5 of 27 , Feb 9, 2004
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              Phlip wrote:

              >Not sure how many plurals under "we" here. There are
              >those who think that a young team should never vary
              >iteration length from iteration to iteration, and that
              >a mature team shouldn't have a reason to. Do you mean
              >that one team looks at its stack of stories and sets
              >iteration length accordingly?
              >
              >
              We is Industrial Logic. We don't generally vary iteration length.
              However, we have changed iteration length mid-project, when we found
              that the length wasn't working well. We also once extended an iteration
              by a week, as it was the last iteration before going into production and
              it just felt right to the whole team to take an extra week for our work.

              I once considered 1-week iterations to be a bad idea. "We'll spend too
              much time planning and not have enough time programming." When I got
              over my fear and actually tried it, I found that I loved 1-week
              iterations. Customers learn to plan more efficiently by doing
              continuous iteration planning preparation, customers gets to make
              finer-grained changes to the plan and programmers have less time to do
              wasteful work.

              In our workshops, we do 3-hour iterations. That's like working under a
              high-powered microscope -- every flaw gets revealed, which tends to
              leads folks to important insights.

              best regards,
              jk

              --
              I n d u s t r i a l L o g i c , I n c .
              Joshua Kerievsky
              Founder, Extreme Programmer & Coach
              http://industriallogic.com
              http://industrialxp.org
              866-540-8336 (toll free)
              510-540-8336 (phone)
              Berkeley, California
            • Patrick Parato
              We are currently using one week interations with success. We have a couple of reasons for doing just this. The development team and the business are both
              Message 6 of 27 , Feb 9, 2004
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                We are currently using one week interations with success. We have a couple of reasons for doing just this. The development team and the business are both relatively new to Agile and we are trying to expose everybody to different types of situations quickly. We hope people will learn about the whole life cycle of an Agile project faster. By making the iterations more frequent, we get more practice with the overall Agile experience. We may be trading off some efficiency for some beneift in education, but everybody understands that the iteration length can change when it is considered necessary to do so.
                 
                The only drawback we have seen is that the development team fizzles out close to the end of the iteration. The tasks will be all complete but people don't want to admit it because the one week iterations make them feel constantly under pressure. The developers don't really like the feeling that they can't vary thier effort depending on mood, health, or other external stimuli. Some developers believe that one month long iteration allows them more freedom to vary thier pace, and that the one week iteration is too much pressure. Very similar to micro management.
                 
                Regards,
                 
                Patrick Parato
                CertaPay
                Toronto, Canada
              • Phlip
                ... Weeks are biological, and part of our circadian rhythms. (Of course months are too, which we derive weeks from.) I suspect even rats kept in isolation from
                Message 7 of 27 , Feb 9, 2004
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                  Joshua Kerievsky wrote:

                  > I once considered 1-week iterations to be a bad
                  > idea.

                  Weeks are biological, and part of our circadian
                  rhythms. (Of course months are too, which we derive
                  weeks from.)

                  I suspect even rats kept in isolation from cues to the
                  date vary their activity patterns in synch with human
                  weekends.


                  =====
                  Phlip
                  http://www.xpsd.org/cgi-bin/wiki?TestFirstUserInterfaces

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                • Michael Campbell
                  ... Never knew that. Why is it then that only 1 month, and then only 75% of the time even HAS an integral # of them? __________________________________ Do you
                  Message 8 of 27 , Feb 9, 2004
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                    Phlip wrote:

                    > Weeks are biological, and part of our circadian
                    > rhythms. (Of course months are too, which we derive
                    > weeks from.)

                    Never knew that. Why is it then that only 1 month, and then only
                    75% of the time even HAS an integral # of them?


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                  • Joshua Kerievsky
                    ... By planning according to a team s velocity (which is calculated at every iteration end), XPers ensure that programmers have enough time to implement
                    Message 9 of 27 , Feb 9, 2004
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                      Patrick Parato wrote:

                      > We are currently using one week interations with success. We have a
                      > couple of reasons for doing just this. The development team and the
                      > business are both relatively new to Agile and we are trying to expose
                      > everybody to different types of situations quickly. We hope people
                      > will learn about the whole life cycle of an Agile project faster. By
                      > making the iterations more frequent, we get more practice with the
                      > overall Agile experience. We may be trading off some efficiency for
                      > some beneift in education, but everybody understands that the
                      > iteration length can change when it is considered necessary to do so.
                      >
                      > The only drawback we have seen is that the development team fizzles
                      > out close to the end of the iteration. The tasks will be all complete
                      > but people don't want to admit it because the one week iterations make
                      > them feel constantly under pressure. The developers don't really like
                      > the feeling that they can't vary thier effort depending on mood,
                      > health, or other external stimuli. Some developers believe that one
                      > month long iteration allows them more freedom to vary thier pace, and
                      > that the one week iteration is too much pressure. Very similar to
                      > micro management.

                      By planning according to a team's velocity (which is calculated at every
                      iteration end), XPers ensure that programmers have enough time to
                      implement iteration stories using good development practices without
                      feeling under pressure. Feeling under pressure results from committing
                      to doing too much during a given period of time. So 1-week iterations
                      don't cause pressure. Taking on more work than you can do causes
                      pressure. Yet many programmers haven't yet had that insight.

                      best regards
                      jk
                    • Phlip
                      ... Uh, because periods of the rotation of the Earth, its orbit, and the Moon s orbit all don t divide evenly? ===== Phlip
                      Message 10 of 27 , Feb 9, 2004
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                        Michael Campbell wrote:

                        > Never knew that. Why is it then that only 1 month,
                        > and then only
                        > 75% of the time even HAS an integral # of them?

                        Uh, because periods of the rotation of the Earth, its
                        orbit, and the Moon's orbit all don't divide evenly?


                        =====
                        Phlip
                        http://www.xpsd.org/cgi-bin/wiki?TestFirstUserInterfaces

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                      • Steven Gordon
                        That would argue that days and months (and years) are natural, but not weeks. ... From: Phlip [mailto:phlipcpp@yahoo.com] Sent: Monday, February 09, 2004 9:52
                        Message 11 of 27 , Feb 9, 2004
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                          That would argue that days and months (and years) are natural, but not weeks.
                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Phlip [mailto:phlipcpp@...]
                          Sent: Monday, February 09, 2004 9:52 AM
                          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Iteration Length

                          Michael Campbell wrote:

                          > Never knew that.  Why is it then that only 1 month,
                          > and then only
                          > 75% of the time even HAS an integral # of them?

                          Uh, because periods of the rotation of the Earth, its
                          orbit, and the Moon's orbit all don't divide evenly?


                          =====
                          Phlip
                              http://www.xpsd.org/cgi-bin/wiki?TestFirstUserInterfaces

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                        • J. B. Rainsberger
                          ... I have enjoyed two-weeks iterations to start a project, then one-week iterations, as needed, towards the release date. The idea is that we need larger
                          Message 12 of 27 , Feb 9, 2004
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                            Ken Schwaber wrote:

                            > What is the optimal length of an iteation, and what are the factors
                            > that are relevant to the various lengths of iterations that are
                            > deemed most appropriate?

                            I have enjoyed two-weeks iterations to start a project, then one-week
                            iterations, as needed, towards the release date.

                            The idea is that we need larger chunks of time to hit our stride and to
                            allow for some experimental error. Without that experimental time, we
                            tend not to learn as much, which inhibits our ability to prepare for the
                            next game.

                            I find that one-week iterations are best for focusing on doing what we
                            know how to do. At this granularity, we can steer very well. I find that
                            two-week iterations are best when we need to learn things, because then
                            we feel less pressure when we might accidentally burn a day or two going
                            down a rathole.
                            --
                            J. B. Rainsberger,
                            Diaspar Software Services
                            http://www.diasparsoftware.com :: +1 416 791-8603
                            Let's write software that people understand
                          • agiletoken
                            I totally agree. I have implemented an agile process with four (4) one (1) week iterations enveloped within a 30 day Scrum Sprint. The one week XP interations
                            Message 13 of 27 , Feb 11, 2004
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                              I totally agree. I have implemented an agile process with four (4)
                              one (1) week iterations enveloped within a 30 day Scrum Sprint. The
                              one week XP interations enforce good engineering practices and the 30
                              day sprint ensures business to technical community alignment. The
                              team meets Monday morning and establishes goals for the week - taken
                              from sprint backlog.

                              The daily standup reflects on the progress for the. The team has an
                              option to change the goals for the week on Wednesday, as it is a mid-
                              point and the team generally has a very good idea on whether the
                              goals will be met on Friday. On Friday, the team confirms the
                              deliverables. From the engineering perspective, the once the team
                              commits to the Friday goals, no one leaves until the team has
                              delivered the goals and an integration build completed and all
                              testcases executed.

                              Tareq



                              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Joshua Kerievsky <jlk@i...>
                              wrote:
                              > Patrick Parato wrote:
                              >
                              > > We are currently using one week interations with success. We have
                              a
                              > > couple of reasons for doing just this. The development team and
                              the
                              > > business are both relatively new to Agile and we are trying to
                              expose
                              > > everybody to different types of situations quickly. We hope
                              people
                              > > will learn about the whole life cycle of an Agile project faster.
                              By
                              > > making the iterations more frequent, we get more practice with
                              the
                              > > overall Agile experience. We may be trading off some efficiency
                              for
                              > > some beneift in education, but everybody understands that the
                              > > iteration length can change when it is considered necessary to do
                              so.
                              > >
                              > > The only drawback we have seen is that the development team
                              fizzles
                              > > out close to the end of the iteration. The tasks will be all
                              complete
                              > > but people don't want to admit it because the one week iterations
                              make
                              > > them feel constantly under pressure. The developers don't really
                              like
                              > > the feeling that they can't vary thier effort depending on mood,
                              > > health, or other external stimuli. Some developers believe that
                              one
                              > > month long iteration allows them more freedom to vary thier pace,
                              and
                              > > that the one week iteration is too much pressure. Very similar to
                              > > micro management.
                              >
                              > By planning according to a team's velocity (which is calculated at
                              every
                              > iteration end), XPers ensure that programmers have enough time to
                              > implement iteration stories using good development practices
                              without
                              > feeling under pressure. Feeling under pressure results from
                              committing
                              > to doing too much during a given period of time. So 1-week
                              iterations
                              > don't cause pressure. Taking on more work than you can do causes
                              > pressure. Yet many programmers haven't yet had that insight.
                              >
                              > best regards
                              > jk
                            • Ken Schwaber
                              Does the length of the iteration have any impact on the granularity of the input (Stories, Product Backlog). What is the type of demonstration that is desired
                              Message 14 of 27 , Feb 11, 2004
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                                Does the length of the iteration have any impact on the granularity of the
                                input (Stories, Product Backlog). What is the type of demonstration that is
                                desired at the end of the iteration?
                                Ken

                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: Joshua Kerievsky [mailto:jlk@...]
                                Sent: Sunday, February 08, 2004 9:02 PM
                                To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Iteration Length


                                I went from doing 3 week iteraions to lots of 2 week iterations to lots
                                of 1 week iterations. Now we routinely do either 1 or 2 week
                                iterations. We prefer to do 1-week iterations. However, we find that 2
                                week iterations work better for our C++ clients, since they tend to have
                                a lot of legacy code, which slows everything down. --jk






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                              • Joshua Kerievsky
                                ... The sizing of iteration stories isn t impacted by iteration length, at least the way we do it. At the end of each iteration, a customer demonstrates the
                                Message 15 of 27 , Feb 12, 2004
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                                  Ken Schwaber wrote:

                                  >Does the length of the iteration have any impact on the granularity of the
                                  >input (Stories, Product Backlog). What is the type of demonstration that is
                                  >desired at the end of the iteration?
                                  >
                                  The sizing of iteration stories isn't impacted by iteration length, at least the way we do it. At the end of each iteration, a customer demonstrates the new features we've added to the system. Of late, the customer also demonstrates some of the FIT-based storytests we've produced. Upper management attends these iteration demonstrations. We find that they like to see both the system and a few of its new storytests.

                                  best regards,
                                  jk

                                  --
                                  I n d u s t r i a l L o g i c , I n c .
                                  Joshua Kerievsky
                                  Founder, Extreme Programmer & Coach
                                  http://industriallogic.com
                                  http://industrialxp.org
                                  866-540-8336 (toll free)
                                  510-540-8336 (phone)
                                  Berkeley, California
                                • Devon Miller
                                  Actually, weeks are natural too. They correspond to the phases of the moon New moon, waxing quarter, full moon, waning quarter.
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Feb 14, 2004
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                                    Actually, weeks are natural too. They correspond to the phases of the moon
                                    New moon, waxing quarter, full moon, waning quarter.

                                    Steven Gordon wrote:

                                    > That would argue that days and months (and years) are natural, but not
                                    > weeks.
                                    >
                                    > -----Original Message-----
                                    > *From:* Phlip [mailto:phlipcpp@...]
                                    > *Sent:* Monday, February 09, 2004 9:52 AM
                                    > *To:* scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                    > *Subject:* Re: [scrumdevelopment] Iteration Length
                                    >
                                    > Michael Campbell wrote:
                                    >
                                    > > Never knew that. Why is it then that only 1 month,
                                    > > and then only
                                    > > 75% of the time even HAS an integral # of them?
                                    >
                                    > Uh, because periods of the rotation of the Earth, its
                                    > orbit, and the Moon's orbit all don't divide evenly?
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > =====
                                    > Phlip
                                    > http://www.xpsd.org/cgi-bin/wiki?TestFirstUserInterfaces
                                    >
                                  • Phlip
                                    ... Ken pointed out he forbade the Industrial Logic metaphor of nebulous units of time because nobody needed we got big NUTs getting back to any number of
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Feb 14, 2004
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                                      Devon Miller wrote:

                                      > Actually, weeks are natural too. They correspond to
                                      > the phases of the moon
                                      > New moon, waxing quarter, full moon, waning quarter.

                                      Ken pointed out he forbade the Industrial Logic
                                      metaphor of "nebulous units of time" because nobody
                                      needed "we got big NUTs" getting back to any number of
                                      Human Resource Departments.

                                      (I wax nostalgic for Omnigon's way cool HR department.
                                      Whenever she wandered into the programming pit we'd
                                      drop what we were doing and indulge in the most
                                      advanced and witty HR harrassment. She know'd she'd
                                      had to start this with her standard lecture at hiring
                                      time; we all had a blast. But some HR is hired because
                                      they help the brass think they'l reduce their odds of
                                      getting sued.)

                                      Workplace diversity requires us to allow folks who
                                      don't "believe in" bicameralism, or this or that
                                      diety, or lunar phases, to opt-out without limiting
                                      their own career.

                                      A lunar week is a nebulous unit of time - 7 days ~11
                                      hours - and matching iterations to it would cause
                                      friction on two fronts - the business calendar and the
                                      diversity aspect.

                                      But evoking biological circadian rhythms as the
                                      natural basis for our calendar, and iteration lengths,
                                      might be pragmatic.


                                      =====
                                      Phlip
                                      http://www.xpsd.org/cgi-bin/wiki?TestFirstUserInterfaces

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                                    • Doug Swartz
                                      ... Some of us in Nebraska, various Canadian provinces, and 50 some democratic nations around the world, take issue with your blatant anti-unicameral bias. Our
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Feb 14, 2004
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                                        Saturday, February 14, 2004, 4:52:41 AM, Phlip wrote:

                                        > Workplace diversity requires us to allow folks who
                                        > don't "believe in" bicameralism, ....

                                        Some of us in Nebraska, various Canadian provinces, and 50
                                        some democratic nations around the world, take issue with your
                                        blatant anti-unicameral bias. Our "uni's" are just as capable
                                        of passing stupid legislation at the speed of a glacier, as
                                        your "bi's"! But, we only have to pay one legislator, instead
                                        of two.

                                        The moderators of this esteemed list should take note of your
                                        predilection to promote mono-culture and consider banning your
                                        deviant opinions from the list.




                                        --

                                        ;-)
                                        Doug Swartz
                                        daswartz@...
                                      • Phlip
                                        ... And that was how, in early 2004, the beginnings of a schism appeared in the previously solid mailing list, ScrumDevelopment...
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Feb 14, 2004
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                                          Doug Swartz wrote:

                                          > Phlip wrote:
                                          >
                                          > > Workplace diversity requires us to allow folks who
                                          > > don't "believe in" bicameralism, ....
                                          >
                                          > Some of us in Nebraska, various Canadian provinces,
                                          > and 50
                                          > some democratic nations around the world, take issue
                                          > with your
                                          > blatant anti-unicameral bias. Our "uni's" are just
                                          > as capable
                                          > of passing stupid legislation at the speed of a
                                          > glacier, as
                                          > your "bi's"! But, we only have to pay one
                                          > legislator, instead
                                          > of two.

                                          <ponderously>
                                          And that was how, in early 2004, the
                                          beginnings of a schism appeared in the
                                          previously solid mailing list,
                                          ScrumDevelopment...
                                          </ponderously>

                                          > The moderators of this esteemed list should take
                                          > note of your
                                          > predilection to promote mono-culture and consider
                                          > banning your
                                          > deviant opinions from the list.

                                          Hey - my coffee is shade-grown, pal!

                                          > ;-)
                                          > Doug Swartz
                                          > daswartz@...

                                          ( http://eatthestate.org/05-22/FairTradeCoffee.htm for
                                          those who didn't catch that last one... )

                                          =====
                                          Phlip
                                          http://www.xpsd.org/cgi-bin/wiki?TestFirstUserInterfaces

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