Re: comment about gnome architecture

Amen brother. Notice my email's domain name.  The horror stories I could

However, I still stand beside my assertion that "a bad spec is better
than no spec".  The key is the responsiveness of the feedback loop
between the developers using a spec and the spec writer/maintainer.  If
the developers give feedback to the maintainer and the maintainer
modifies the spec to preserve backward compatibility as much as
possible, even a bad spec will get good quick.

The w3c is not known for their responsiveness and the specs they
generate are very very complex.  However, the web is much better off for
the specs they create, even if some of them are impossible to implement,
most of CSS3 comes to mind.  The parts that are not well done don't get
implemented and developers complain and sooner or LATER a new version
comes out that is better.  The ball gets moved down the field.

Its much easier to transition 12 applications that implemented a bad
spec to a new better version of said spec than to move 12 applications
that did it their own way to a good spec.  

The real question is will developers use a bad spec when designing their
application or after reviewing it decide to do their own thing?  I think
they will use as much of even a bad spec as they can, it is just in our
nature to be as orderly as possible.  Plus we know the upside of common
formats and structures.

I would also like to assert that the earlier a spec is written the
better.  Writing a spec after someone notices that 4 programs are doing
xyz in their own way is too late.  Of course, this almost guarantees
that the spec won't be very good in its first draft form.  The
alternative is that there will always be some percentage of apps that
can't be bothered to change something that already works.

Greg Breland

On Tue, 2003-12-16 at 03:33, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> Working on a web browser I have also learned that the existence of a
> bad spec can inhibit the creation of alternative good specs.

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