Re: comment about gnome architecture

From: Alexander Larsson <alexl redhat com>

> A bad spec is as bad, or worse
> than some bad software written without a spec.

I agree here.

> This is obvious, since
> there will be software written against the bad spec, and software
> written with no spec could become software written against a good spec
> if the software was good and someone documented its behaviour as a spec.

However, my reasoning is this: bad software without a spec means that
in the best case, the bad software is unique and only the users of
that software suffer.  In the worse case, one or more others feel that,
for whatever reason, the bad software is going to serve the purpose of
a 'spec' and they will make attempts to code new software to match
the perceived behavior of the bad softwar.e

Bad specs means that, for a certainty, all attempts to create software
to meet the specs are going to have to either match the bad specs,
and try to become good despite that bad beginning, or they will fail
to meet the specs, either due to bad programming or surrendering to the
inevidebility of the poor quality of the specs and just beginning work
on another spec.

> But its much more
> important that specs are good than that software is good, because specs
> will (hopefully) be implemented by several apps, meaning badness in the
> spec will affect more users/developers/sysadmins.

I agree on the importance of good specs.  Another reason - because existing
deployed code is significantly more difficult/expensive to replace.
So people would rather stay with bad code, installed and in use, than
pay for the cost (in time, retraining, etc.) of moving to 'better' code -
at least until there is no other option available.

Tcl - The glue of a new generation.  <URL: >
Larry W. Virden <mailto:lvirden cas org> <URL:>
Even if explicitly stated to the contrary, nothing in this posting should 
be construed as representing my employer's opinions.

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