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Software

Software Fashion 477

fedor writes "Software fashions come and go, but they always claim a few victims on the way. Where there's fashion, you'll find that rather weak willed person who is the Stupid Fashion Victim (or the SFV for short). This great article from Software Reality is all about fashion in software. Do you all remember WAP? In a couple of years some of the current 'technologies' will be gone too. The article mentions VB.NET, struts and XP as current fashion..."
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Software Fashion

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  • Not anywhere I've been - didn't everyone realised it was a hopeless technology about five seconds after the hype started?

    Text only? Feeble baud rates? Unable to read standard sites? Pur-lease...
    • Re:WAP fashionable? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by EarwigTC ( 579471 ) on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:41PM (#7148784)
      The savvy love WAP. I monitor every network I manage with it, created WAP-based listing searches for one of my real estate clients, and wrote a system to put our local newspaper's stories into WML. The users who know this don't hesitate to pay Nextel $10 a month more to get it.

      There's lots of useful content that can fit within WAPs limitations, and it's a snap to do. I blame the low acceptance on content creators who are not taking the tiny bit of time needed to make WML versions of their sites.

      Until the content is there, it can't become very popular in the mainstream.

      • yea but now it's too late. all you need is a cell phone with bluetooth and a pda (or one of those half pda/half phone things) and you can see the real thing.

        If only Verizon would get some decent data plans and bluetooth :(
        • Re:WAP fashionable? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by homer_ca ( 144738 )
          I've browsed the web on a PocketPC, and it's more a half assed, almost there solution. Some sites will detect the User Agent as Pocket IE and reformat accordingly. Some sites have a mobile version that's formatted for handheld screens, if you can dig around and find the link. You can also just browse the regular full size site. It fits what it can on that little 320x240 screen. Sometimes it fits and sometimes you'll have to scroll around a lot. Speed is decent with Wifi, but I imagine CDMA or GPRS would be
  • I wonder... (Score:5, Funny)

    by inertia@yahoo.com ( 156602 ) * on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:14PM (#7148574) Homepage Journal
    Actually, I always suspect an idea is bad when Sun Microsystems [sun.com] has an entire Java-One conference based on it.
  • YIKES!!! (Score:2, Funny)

    by drayzel ( 626716 )
    That girl in the school girl uniform is pretty scarey!

    Whats next? A front page story post with the goatse guy?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:17PM (#7148590)
    It's good for a lot of situations, but it's the most overused framework I've ever seen.

    Rick
    • by Celandro ( 595953 ) <celandro@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:54PM (#7148893)
      The Struts tag libraries are incredibly useful for any kind of html form based web app (aka. all of them). Remembering what the user last selected on a form takes a ton of horrible looking code if done with pure jsp or old school servlet/jsp model 2. Struts is also useful for automatically filling out your java bean with data from the http request, validating it according to your rules and sending it back to the input page if there are errors or processing it if there are not.

      I will definitely agree that the learning curve for struts is quite steep and the number of files involved per user action is high (1 form bean, 1 action, 1 jsp, 1 xml config file, 1 property file, possibly 1 xml validation file) but there are some IDEs which help out in some cases. The problems are incredibly similar to most MVC frameworks. Using modular design leads to more complex code, its a fact of life.

      Struts is certainly not the end all and be all but its better for medium to large projects than the alternatives I've looked at (caveat: I have not investigated JSF which someone mentioned)

      • by Digital11 ( 152445 ) <digital11.gmail@com> on Monday October 06, 2003 @08:12PM (#7149399) Homepage
        Believe it or not ASP.NET also does the whole remembering what the user picked EXTREMELY well.. It's almost as if you're coding windows forms sometimes because of how painless some things can be.

        Now I'll admit that there are some areas of .NET that make me want to poke my eyes out with a blunt object, but overall i've found it to be much easier to work with than PHP or ASP for large web-based app's.
      • Using modular design leads to more complex code, its a fact of life.

        If modularization begets complexity, you ain't doin' it right.

        Modularization should simplify, in that each module encapsulates and abstracts a well-definined function. It may add volume to your code, but should render it easier to work with.

      • Actually, that's the whole thing that's wrong. When one of these "silver bullet" technologies creates more complexity and a steeper learning curves, that's my criterion that it's hype, buzzword and/or mis-used.

        The whole _problem_ is that software projects are becoming more and more complex each year, and thus more likely to fail if tackled in the wrong fashion. (Even if they don't fail the first time around, they fail when someone has to maintain them. Whenever a whole enterprise system gets scrapped and r
  • Soapbox (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:19PM (#7148614)
    We regret to inform our readers that the column, formerly titled "Soapbox" will appear under a different name after the girl on the left ate the entire soapbox.
  • Victim? (Score:3, Funny)

    by tarquin_fim_bim ( 649994 ) on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:19PM (#7148618)
    "as demonstrated by Britney, our sexy young model over on the left"

    That's my mother you insensitive clod.


  • My vote is the .NET
    Runner-up: The adventure games a'la Sierra's.
    • by WatertonMan ( 550706 ) on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:38PM (#7148765)
      C# (as opposed to the generic .NET) actually is a good language that does improve on Java a lot. One can even argue that its GUI tools are a considerable improvement over Swing.

      On the other hand one must ask whether programming in C# really is better than doing RAD in C++ Builder or even (ugh) Delphi.

      Also, while it may be a "fad" at the moment, we should remember that Java was as well for a long time. Yet Java definitely made it past the fad moment. With C# this is even more likely since it seems like Microsoft will be making Windows more and more dependent upon .NET whether we like it or not. Thus calling it a "fad" seems difficult, despite all the exaggerated hype.

      • It's kind of hard to directly relate any Microsoft venture (like .NET) to the fashion industry because of their monopoly on the desktop market. It's like licensing your skin from the fashion industry who, by the way, can later decide what you put over said skin due to the bible of a EULA you probably didn't read but agreed to anyway.
    • Ah, and then there is the other fad - point to Microsoft and say - "That's crap. Never used it, never will, won't even look, but it's crap. It's a fad! Watch it disappear."

      I suggest you get off the bandwagon and do a little of your own thinking...

      p.s. Stop making me defend Microsoft, you insensative clods!
  • Linux fashion. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    In the pro community of linux, I've seen the fashion of linux distributions.

    First it was Slackware, then Debian and now Gentoo. Now that Debian has lost around 90% of its market share it is being left out to dry with its anceint packages and deprecated .deb format. Rpms and Ebuilds are the new fashion!

    Whats next? Ive recently seen a rise in Mandrake cooker users, as they provide the ultimate in ease of use combined with the power.
    • Redhat must be the anti-fashion. It is not fashionable but very popular. Much like windows.
      • Re:Linux fashion. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Zocalo ( 252965 )
        Redhat must be the anti-fashion.

        I'd liken Red Hat to a business suit; not really practical for rolling your sleeves up and getting dirty, but still required by staid corporate types everywhere. Odd how that tallies with its prime marketplace... ;)

    • but i'll bite..

      I am actually not sure why Gentoo is so popular right now.. I use it, but I have kind of specific reasons for using it (four-node openmosix cluster of boxes that need to be identical and so upgrades are cron'd to go off at the same time)..
      For the average user not really needing to sit and fiddle around with make.conf and funky masked ebuilds I would not recommend it, Mandrake is nice for home systems where you have a ton of stuff plugged into the box and need something quick that just plain
    • After running all three I find gentoo is the best for my desktop. Stuff just seems to work better, the ebuilds are well made.

      "Use the source Luke...."
    • Re:Linux fashion. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jon787 ( 512497 )
      You are only viewing the Desktop side of Linux, from the server side state of the art isn't always good and when Debian says stable, they really do mean it. Unlike Red Hat which shipped GCC 2.96 and called it stable. Mandrake shipping with a kernel that wasn't even released yet. The list goes on.

      The Debian package format is not deprecated, when I first started using it APT was far superior to RPM, although RPM has gained ground since then.

      If you don't want "ancient" packages upgrade to testing or unstable
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:20PM (#7148630)
    Clippy the paperclip told me so.
  • by smartin ( 942 ) on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:22PM (#7148650)
    Hungarian Notation., the fashion of obfuscating your code.
    • Damn yes. Microsoft had some of the stupidest variable names because of that. What was so bad with just looking up the damn variable's definition! (Rather easy with most modern IDEs) Some of the naming schemes for variables are just ridiculous.

      Most movements like this or XP have their points. It's just that the good is almost overwhelmed by the "let's do it just because." People get caught up in the title rather than the content. This is exactly what leads to the dreaded "checklist bloat" of most p

      • What was so bad with just looking up the damn variable's definition! (Rather easy with most modern IDEs)

        I have not seen an IDE which makes it as painless to deduce a variables type quickly as hungarian notation (once you learn what "sz" "lp", "pI" and so on stands for). When scanning through new code this helps a lot, even if it's not done 100% consistently. Not even tooltips (as VS.NET and several other IDEs has) are quick enough.

        I do think such an IDE (or editor, really) could be constructed, perhaps u
        • (once you learn what "sz" "lp", "pI" and so on stands for)

          I'm not sure about "sz", but an "lp" is what I used to put on my parent's stereo, and a "pI" is what you hire when your wife starts wearing six inch stilletto heels when she goes to visit her "friend".

      • Even Charles Simonyi, who started the whole Hungarian Notation thing, didn't propose that it should be used everywhere, for every variable name. This is, as the parent post suggests, a classic case of a valid idea being used in inappropriate contexts just for the sake of fashion. Unfortunately it (or worse still bastardised versions of it) has become so entrenched it is followed more like it is religion than fashion. Some developers can't be talked out of it with any reasoning - they just tell me it has to

        • by crazyphilman ( 609923 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @12:30AM (#7150814) Journal
          The worst conflict I ever had with a sysadmin was when I was doing Perl for a small company in New Jersey. They had a development group in Manhattan which used VB 6 extensively. Some idiot in that group floated a suggestion that ALL programming at the company use Hungarian Notation. So this sysadmin informs me that as a matter of policy, from now on all of my Perl variables will use Hungarian notation.

          But, I pointed out, in Perl a variable's type depends on context.

          "Huh?" He asked.

          "Ok, I read in a number as a string. Then I use it as a number. Then I format it using a regexp. Then I print it as a string. What is it, a number, or a string?

          "Use two variables, one integer with an "i" prefix and one string with an "str" prefix." he said.

          "Well, now that you're using double the memory to perform the same task, let's consider. How will this scale when we've got thousands, or tens of thousands, of hits?" (this was going to be a CGI app). I crossed my arms and waited.

          "Doesn't matter. Use Hungarian Notation. It'll make it easier to read your code."

          "But it's fucking stupid."

          "No it's not! DO IT!" (and so on, ad infinitum).

          I called a friend of mine, who had taught me a lot of my Perl knowledge, and I asked him, point blank, what he thought of all this.

          "Your sysadmin's a re-re." He said.

          "A what?" I asked.

          "A re-re. A retard. Freshen your resume."

          And, so I did... ;)

    • True story:

      The first time I saw Hungarian notation, I didn't know what it was. I wondered why anyone would name variables svStrVar or have type HWND. My initial reaction was that it looked like it was written in Hungarian or something. (Not that I know Hungarian...)

      I laughed rather hard when I found out what the name of that notation was.

  • .NET = Fashion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bersl2 ( 689221 ) on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:23PM (#7148659) Journal
    .NET will disappear once Microsoft starts pushing their next initiative and forces upgrades and rewrites. It's all about the $$$, never about the product. The product is just a conduit for money.

    This is why OSS is so great. Most of the time, it's not about the money; it's about the product. Therefore, it's not about getting sales, it's about getting users.
    • Re:.NET = Fashion (Score:4, Interesting)

      by WasterDave ( 20047 ) <davep@@@zedkep...com> on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:44PM (#7148819)
      Y'know, I don't think it is. Certainly when C# was introduced I was like, "yeah, whatever" who's going to swap from Java to this?

      But the point is the frameworks. Finally Microsoft have solved the 'framework that sucks' problem by ... ahhh ... doing a Borland one. For the sanity of those who still have to code for this sack of shit platform, I wish it the best of luck.

      Dave
      • Re:.NET = Fashion (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bersl2 ( 689221 )
        Certainly when C# was introduced I was like, "yeah, whatever" who's going to swap from Java to this?

        I believe that in a year or two, when the next "new thing" is introduced, you'll be going, "Yeah, whatever. Who's going to swap from C# to this?"
        • Shrink-wrap apps (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Latent Heat ( 558884 )
          I know of two people I know doing "shrink-wrap" apps. My friend is doing this medical testing freeware/shareware deal. My sister-in-law is doing some kind of automating of chemical lab tests that she is selling through some lab equipment company. These are small markets that are unlikely to be absorbed or assimilated by MS any time soon. Both are using VB 6.0 and don't have any hurry to change any time soon.

          .NET might make sense in "the enterprise" where your IT dept makes everyone run XP Professional

    • I thought the same thing when Java was introduced. The alternatives I considered at the time were Python and Smalltalk, each having much more to offer than Java, and better implemented.

      If you think Java's popularity is a result of it's technical merits, you are dead wrong. It's popular because it was marketed as an anti-bug silver bullet to the powers that be, a bullet that is far enough from C to be bug resistant, and close enough to C that it doesn't require much retraining. I don't think it delievers on
      • Re:.NET = Fashion (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Doomdark ( 136619 )
        I thought the same thing when Java was introduced. The alternatives I considered at the time were Python and Smalltalk, each having much more to offer than Java, and better implemented.

        Sounds like you don't really know what you are talking about. If you are implying Smalltalk and Python are supersets of Java (as it exists currently), you are just ignorant. Each of 3 languages (or platform, if you wish), has their specific strengths, but claiming Java is inferior of 3 is ridiculous. It may be that when f

  • What about CORBA? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrInequality ( 521068 ) on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:24PM (#7148670) Homepage
    He hit all of my favourites: XML, Visual Fred, etc...

    But missed CORBA! Surely it belongs in the Technology X != Silver Bullet category. As far as I'm concerned, CORBA best solves the "this project has too many resources" problem.

    But then again, I'm probably just another SFV :-)

    • Re:What about CORBA? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by alien_blueprint ( 681111 ) <alien_blueprint@@@hiredgoons...org> on Monday October 06, 2003 @08:45PM (#7149576) Homepage Journal
      But missed CORBA! Surely it belongs in the Technology X != Silver Bullet category

      Disclaimer: I'm clearly bigotted [fnorb.org] .

      However, if you believe CORBA was going to be a silver bullet, then you were mistaken. I've never heard anyone say such a thing. But then, I stay away from marketing people.

      As far as I'm concerned, CORBA best solves the "this project has too many resources" problem

      I think you actually discovered that "distributed systems are difficult".

      What you need is a component infrastructure that builds on CORBA to make the slice of the generic distributed system problem that most people are (currently) interested in a simple problem. Luckily it exists, and it is called J2EE ;)

      As for me, J2EE *doesn't* address the kind of problems I'm interested in, so the *only* option is CORBA. (And please, don't talk to me about web services or SOAP ... that stuff is years away from being useful to me)

  • UML (Score:5, Funny)

    by 3Suns ( 250606 ) on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:26PM (#7148683) Homepage
    What? No mention of UML?? Together with Design Patterns, these two are making my fellow software engineers less intelligible by the minute!
    • Re:UML (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mcdrewski42 ( 623680 )
      Trolling a bit there - are they biting?

      I think their point on patterns is equally valid for UML, or TechnologyX in fact...

      UML usage is often seen as an end in itself. Robin (intrepid co-author of this article) was once asked during a job interview: "What's your favourite UML Diagram?" What's the correct response to that? "Oh, Use Case Diagrams every time! Yeah, I use it for everything!"

      However I think "Robin" should have read Joel On Software's Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing [joelonsoftware.com] for the 'correct' respons
    • by RevMike ( 632002 ) <revMikeNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:43PM (#7148804) Journal
      What? No mention of UML?? Together with Design Patterns, these two are making my fellow software engineers less intelligible by the minute!
      RevMike's first law of development methodologies- "The only thing worse than not following a methodology is rigidly following the wrong methodology."

      If UML and Patterns is making your engineers less intelligible, then they are doing something wrong. It is possible that those tools are not appropriate for your problem space. It is also possible that they need to drop the elements of the model that aren't working for them.

      Design Patterns is an incredibly useful tool, especially in the OO world. But as was noted in the article, there is a danger of designing everything as a pattern. Being able to say "I use a Service Locator to look up the remote resources" or "I use this Abstract Factory to get the proper xml parser" is incredibly useful. But it has a tendancy to be overdone.

      Everything, including tools, in moderation!

      • Well said.

        Design patterns and UML were designed as practical tools, not dogma. If they help you do what you were doing anyway (and they often do), then great: use 'em. But if they don't, then don't. They're there to serve you, not the other way around.

        UML is simply a way of describing objects and their relationships; not a way to create those things, just a way to communicate them afterwards. Similarly, design patterns are simply practical examples that have worked for people before; reusing them may

        • by GlassHeart ( 579618 ) on Monday October 06, 2003 @08:05PM (#7149356) Journal
          Design patterns and UML were designed as practical tools, not dogma. If they help you do what you were doing anyway (and they often do), then great: use 'em. But if they don't, then don't. They're there to serve you, not the other way around.

          This is true, but note that the UML/patterns/OO newbie is in no position to determine that. One common mistake is to read the book, discard the parts you don't think is necessary, and then proceed with your design work. The rules that you chose to ignore were put there by pretty smart people, and there's a good chance they were put there for a good reason. When the design finally fails because you were missing something, the egotistical designer then blames the method.

          The point is, I think the parent post was suggesting that the programmers in question may simply have broken the rules, and not actually found some instance where the methods really apply poorly. It's ego-boosting to think that what you do is unique and beyond the reach of old stuffy rules, but the truth is that most of us are doing things that have been done before.

          This isn't to say that those cases don't exist, but that they're probably rarer than you think, especially if your team of programmers is trying it out for the first time, especially if you don't have a senior engineer already experienced in the method guiding your team. For the first time, at least, the instructions should be followed to the letter and strictly enforced. They should be dogma until you've at least went through a complete product life cycle with them.

          What you suggest we've already tried for decades. The result is prevasively poor documentation and fragile designs.

  • This perfectly fits a classic reposting of a classic Slashdot post.. let me think, I believe the year was 2001...

    REPOST:A classic /. posting on languages as fasion [slashdot.org]

  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:28PM (#7148697)
    Technology X = Money/Success/Silver Bullet

    Illegal division by zero at line 1.
  • Memes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BlueEar ( 550461 ) on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:32PM (#7148727) Homepage

    Richard Dawkins in his book "The selfish gene" introduced a concept of a meme. Meme is a replicator, just like gene, except that it represents an idea. It is copied by us, humans, either verbally or in writing, software, paintings, etc., and so on. Susan Blackmore in her book "The meme machine" expands on the idea.

    Now, what does it have to with "Software Fashions". Both Dawkins and Blackmore present well-thought out argument that memes are subject to similar forces as genes. As a consequence, just like in a genetic world you can have outbreaks of viruses, in memetic environment there are outbursts of ideas. Some of them are as much use as a flu virus, and until our minds develop resistance to it, they will spread. Once memetic vaccine has been developed they die out.

    Blaming software fashions on SFV is just like blaming flu outbreak on a SVV (stupid virus victim). Note that memetic fashions are common and not restricted to software. From bell-bottoms, through furbies to whatever the latest craze we have now.

    • Would it be ironic that one of my newest pet peves is the sudden popularity of the word "meme"?
    • Re:Memes (Score:3, Funny)

      by istartedi ( 132515 )

      I'll be glad when memetics is out of fashion. I'm sick of hearing about it.

      Nothing against you personally, but memetic arguments always seem to come off as 1. pretentious 2. absolving oneself of personal responsability 3. a "I have a hammer so everything is a nail" approach. In this case, the hammer is genetics, evolution, and an overblown analogy.

      Now, if memetics proves to be a viral idea, does that invalidate memetics or prove it? Quite a paradox, eh? I suppose it's entirely possible for memet

    • Re:Memes (Score:5, Funny)

      by Kris_J ( 10111 ) on Monday October 06, 2003 @07:21PM (#7149073) Homepage Journal
      I read that book a while back. Don't worry, you'll stop seeing memes everywhere soon. Or at least, you'll be able to fight the desire to post about them once your immune system kicks in.
    • Re:Memes (Score:3, Informative)

      by marnanel ( 98063 )

      Blaming software fashions on SFV is just like blaming flu outbreak on a SVV (stupid virus victim).

      Not so. The "stupid" part of SFV means something like "susceptible to memetic infection". So in making an analogy with biological viruses, you'll need to change "stupid" to something which connotes susceptibility to viral invasion [bbc.co.uk] (such as sleep deprivation [iowastatedaily.com], old age [mcw.edu] or stress [bbc.co.uk]).

  • by M.C. Hampster ( 541262 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .retspmaHehT.C.M.> on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:34PM (#7148733) Journal

    From the article:

    VB.Net is really just syntactic sugar on top of C#. C# offers more and better libraries.

    That alone should tell you that the author has no clue as to what they are talking about. I am most definately not a VB.NET fan, but that statement is just false and shows a huge lack of understanding of the .NET Framework.

    • by Keith Russell ( 4440 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .llessur.htiek.> on Monday October 06, 2003 @07:28PM (#7149131) Journal

      They're talking out their asses on the libraries. CLS-compliant is CLS-compliant. But they're dead-on right about VB.NET. I'm pretty sure that Microsoft "upgraded" VB by starting with C#, changing the syntax to match Basic, then dumbing it down with over-verbose keywords for new language features and a lack of "intrinsic" keywords for unsigned integer types. All this for a language so different from previous versions of VB, it needs a non-trivial conversion anyway.

      Hmm, instead of making the language easier to use, they just made it different. Syntactic aspartame?


    • Right, the author obviously doesn't understand .Net.

      Having coded in VB6, VB.Net, C++ and C#, I have noticed that VB editors highlight what I think represents the "language" of the future...

      (Prepare for Troll or Flamebait mod - Now!)

      Intellisense.

      As a language, I like C# better than VB.Net, but the line completion and type lookup under VB.Net make it easier to work with. Fewer typos and faster coding are the result. This is obviously tricky to do in languages where whitespace is insignificant, though. I have

    • I was going to have to post this if someone else didn't. VB.NET and C# are both languages that compile to Intermediate Language, which runs on the Common Language Runtime. Common, as in, all languages have these libraries in common. As for Microsoft dropping it, that's debateable, especially in apps like Excel, where it serves as a scripting language that novice users can pick up to, say, tie in a web service- <sarcasm>assuming they don't go "out of style" like XML and Java. </sarcasm>
  • lots of valid points (Score:2, Interesting)

    by koehn ( 575405 ) *
    The authors validate many of my own concerns with the products mentioned, although some of their predictions are already coming true:

    Rational Unified Process has contained roadmaps for XP process variants for over a year. RUPs primary purpose in life now is to keep consultants employed, although there's a ton of good stuff in there. Sorting it from the three tons of crap is why you need a consultant.

    VB.net appears to have been largely abandoned by IT, and Microsoft's not far behind. That's good, since it
  • by grungeKid ( 4260 ) * on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:40PM (#7148778) Homepage
    These guys have some points, but I think a much better article could be written about this topic. In particular, I object to some statements made:

    Robin [...]was once asked during a job interview: "What's your favourite design pattern?" What's the correct response to that?

    I don't think that's such a stupid question, as long as it's interpreted correctly. A good design pattern, like a good algorithm, is likeable in its own right, because of it's elegance and the way it breaks down a complicated problem. Maybe the interviewer wanted to know if Robin was really passionate about programming.

    VB.Net is really just syntactic sugar on top of C#. C# offers more and better libraries.

    What libraries do C# offer that are not accessible from VB.NET? As far as I know, all C# libraries (at least those in the standard framework) are CLS compliant, and thus accessible from any CLR language.

    Because programmers didn't test that much, XP stipulates that tests must be written before the code. In other words, just because something has a weakness you shouldn't do the opposite in an extreme form.

    That's just crazy talk. Automated regression tests isn't intended to relieve those lazy programmers, in XP they're the de-facto definition of what the system is designed to. Not to mention that test-first design often leads to better design, in particular wrt coupling between classes and components.
  • When can we get Software Fashions like this [terra.com], this [terra.com] or this [terra.com]? Then again, I don't think most Linux geeks would look good in this outfit [terra.com]!
  • by 0WaitState ( 231806 ) on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:42PM (#7148801)
    The biggest stupid software fashion is IT outsourcing--it has reached the point where every corporate middle manager feels they have to have a story on how they're outsourcing, long before (if ever) outsourcing has proven any reliable ROI.

    Unfortunately, unlike other stupid fads applied to software such as TQM, ISO9000, RUP, etc., outsourcing does real economic damage to the victims, (as opposed to just the psychological damage represented by trying to work around the others).
    • This is your fashion: it is cheaper to outsource, at least in the short term. This is here to stay (is not even a fashion, it has been common sense since the early 90s). If your company makes doughnouts why should it devote resources to accounting, IT or cleaning? All this can be done by specialists in the respective fields. And if those highly skilled specialists happen to live in Gujarat and charge you substantially less for the outsourcing, you, as the person responsible for increasing shareholders value
  • Every new handset in the past 2-3 years has WAP as standard, these standards are constantly evolving and what we are seing is the evolution of WAP browsing into XHTML and HTML browsing which wasn't previously possible due to technology limitations.

    What the article should really state here is that the WAP technology is dying, but not the idea (browsing the web - walled garden or not).

    More evolving and changing than going the way of the Dodo. Although, granted, that's not quite so catchy as "WAP is dead!"

  • Does this tarball make me look fat?

  • Universal Modelling Language (UML); It may have place somewhere, but I haven't yet seen evidence or anything that could even be considered supporting circumsetncial evidence. Largest team I worked in was over 50 people, working on enterprise-class software, and I was heading it. I can't see how it can help a larger team either.
  • Many of the tenets of eXtreme Programming (e.g. refactoring, incremental development) are things that good programmers do anyway. The only thing I really disagree with is pair programming, because so much good software has been written without it (e.g. GNU/Linux). I beleive most of the suggestions of XP will be around long after the buzzword is long forgotten.
  • by ghostlibrary ( 450718 ) on Monday October 06, 2003 @07:11PM (#7148997) Homepage Journal
    I don't know, we just tiger teamed on this same paradigm at a standup meeting, and frankly most of their suggestions violate ISO 9000 and show no facility for CMI. Perhaps if they'd used a quality circle to better evaluate their stance, they'd actually have action items that would be meaningful.

    Fortunately, we here in the business world don't have the same 'fashion trends' problem you software blokes seem to suffer.

  • by cartman ( 18204 ) on Monday October 06, 2003 @07:13PM (#7149010)

    The very worst fashion has to be EJBs.

    EJBs complicate development. Where a single class would previously have worked just fine, EJB requires up to seven (!) classes to define things like the Remote Interface, Remote Home Interface, etc. And where a simple constructor would previously have served, EJB requires a long JNDI call. Not to mention, there are zillions of arbitrary coding restrictions that must be memorized and followed for EJB to work properly.

    Furthermore, EJBs drastically impair performance. The "shopping cart" demo that comes with a major commercial app server brings my 1GHz 512M machine to its knees. Such a program could otherwise execute quickly on a 286 8MHz, a machine less than 1/1000th as powerful as the one running the EJB. I regularly encounter shops that have huge farms of commodity boxes to run very trivial EJBs that would otherwise execute on a single box just fine.

    And EJBs do not scale any better than 2-tiered systems. 2-tiered systems allow you to horizontally scale the business logic by adding commodity machines to the second tier. Adding another tier does not help this at all.

    ...For this crippling blow to development, you get to pay Bea $40k/developer. Snake oil! Very expensive snake oil!

    Software development resembles a foot race between you and your competitors, and using EJB resembles paying a surgeon exorbitant sums to cut off your left leg before the race. It costs craploads of money, it cripples progress, and it hurts!

    • EJBs complicate development.

      Misuse of EJBs complicate development. When they're used just for the sake of fashion (as often seems to be the case), a perfectly good solution (for something) can be applied to entirely the wrong problem, resulting in a mess. The parent post makes two good points about the danger of fashion (another way of saying following blindly without thinking?); one of these points is perhaps made inadvertantly. Firstly, the results are bad. Secondly, it can make it look as if the subjec

  • Woah! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Gurudev Das ( 694832 )

    You mean my micro-horse was just a waste of money?

    Anything more is stretching the point, like sticking a saddle on a pig and calling it a micro-horse. Inevitably, books then start to appear that rationalize the industry's madness, such as Micro-Horse Revealed, Micro-Horse Developer's Guide, or Teach Your Micro-Horse to Sing in 21 Days!
    anyways, here is a cool page [sito.org] I found.
  • I nominate XML (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tjstork ( 137384 ) <todd...bandrowsky@@@gmail...com> on Monday October 06, 2003 @07:24PM (#7149092) Homepage Journal

    XML is a fad because the whole concept of universal interchange of data is getting locked down by the big vendors. Theoretically, yes, data in XML is portable, but, so are well documented binary structures and CSV.

    To have real interoperability, you have to know how the software uses the data. To get that, you must have open source. Microsoft knows this, and that's why they are pushing XML as the "nirvana" of interoperability.

    I'd invite anyone who argues against the above to look at an XMLized Word document...
    • Re:I nominate XML (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I don't care about XMLized Word documents. I care that 10 years from now I'll know exactly what

      <record id="35">
      <name>Joe Blo</name>
      <shoe-size>12</shoe-size>
      <favorite-number>10</favorite-number>
      </record>

      means, while the following:

      35,"Joe Blo",12,10

      is just a blob of useless data.

      I.e. XML helps ME in MY PROGRAMS today. It's not the nirvana of anything, but I sure as hell don't want to switch to CSV.
  • Favorite quote (Score:3, Insightful)

    by El ( 94934 ) on Monday October 06, 2003 @08:16PM (#7149423)
    Marketing budgets are huge and are often larger than the budget to develop the software in the first place.

    Well, that sentance pretty much sums up what wrong with the computer industry, doesn't it?

  • by meldroc ( 21783 ) <meldroc.frii@com> on Monday October 06, 2003 @11:23PM (#7150515) Homepage Journal

    Flavors of the week, past & present:

    DRM: Right now every big software company is considering it, and many of them will stop using it when they realize just how much it pisses off their customers, and how little it does to reduce piracy.

    Push content: How many of you still have a push client on your systems? /me listens for responses, hears nothing but chirping crickets.

    .NET is also a flavor of the week that will be yesterday's news once Microsoft force-upgrades their customers to the next flavor of the week.

    Cameras in every gadget, starting with cell-phones. Most people don't care enough to use them, don't want to have to check themselves in the mirror every time their phone rings, and have little use for them outside the normal uses that a dedicated camera is usually used for. In the end, it's an expensive gimmick.

    Virtual reality. Visions of William Gibson's matrix have danced in the heads of thousands of developers and marketers, but that's not going to happen in real life. The problem is that VR interfaces are far less intuitive than the good old fashioned screen full of windows with a keyboard & mouse. Can you imagine donning VR goggles & gloves to write a letter or buy airline tickets? It's just plain easier & faster to do it the way we do it today.

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