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Comment Article is about the USA, UK does this already (Score 1) 613

Why, if your needs are simple, can't you just download forms pre-filled with whatever data the IRS has received about you, make any necessary adjustments, and automatically get the IRS calculation of your taxes

But IRS does more than this - if your employment is simple, you don't have to fill in any forms at all.

oh, wrong country.

Well, it's a good question - why can't your IRS also do this?

Comment Re:Microsoft pollution at its best (Score 1) 251

Each time I read about silverlight I get angry. Why won't Microsoft invest time and energy making IE html5 compliant instead of

Why do you assume that it's either-or? MS is a very large company, which usually pursues multiple paths at once (in different teams, clearly). Sure the IE team could have done more. Lots more. I'm not sure what that's got to do with the Silverlight and .net group though.

product that nobody wants anyway.

Got number for that? Or are you just over-generalising from personal preference?

Comment Re:No love for Agile and scrum on slashdot? (Score 1) 434

The right way to manage a large problem is to periodically examine your processes, figure out the flaws and bottlenecks, and fix them.

While I agree with that, there's a lot of merit in packaging up some common sense and nest practice (that few people in fact do, sense not being all that common). It gives developers an excuse to do the right thing. It also gives them a buzzword to offer up to management.

Nobody fails because they honestly believe that a single "waterfall" cycle is the correct way to run a large project.

I disagree. If you honestly believe that a single "waterfall" cycle is the correct way to run a large project, then you will fail. The last time I saw it happen up close was late 1990s, but it's most likely happening somewhere right now.

Comment Re:Let me spell it out (Score 1) 653

It's the UK government saying "Don't persecute gays, because they might be awesome and invent computers."

But the current UK government doesn't persecute gays at all. Elton John and David Furnish had a gay wedding and everything. What exactly have Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, Jack Straw, Peter Mandelson (who is gay) et al they done to Alan Turing in the 1950s that they need to apologise for?

Comment Re:The answer is obvious... (Score 2, Informative) 434

The second is as complete a list of FUNCTIONAL requirements as possible.

Scrum explicitly rejects the idea that this is a useful way to spend time. Complete requirements may not be possible, may not be feasible with limited effort, and will most likely change over time.

Instead it advocates getting enough high-priority requirements written down to get you going, and getting the most-desired part of the system done (as much as can be done in a "sprint", a week to a month), and iterating with the next most important item. Not only does this deal with change, it allows new requirements to be uncovered in an orderly way rather than causing a conceptual train wreck ("but the functional requirements are done"), it allows value to be taken from the existing software as soon as possible, and design flaws (e.g. "system does everything we want, but doesn't scale past 100 users") to be uncovered and corrected much earlier.

Comment Re:Velociraptors (Score 2, Insightful) 434

. Oh, and if management can largely get out of the way and not constantly interfere with the process, i.e. unilaterally adding stuff to the burn-down chart in the middle of a sprint!

You are aware of how strongly that is discouraged in scrum, right? Right? Your final option is stop the sprint and plan a new one with the new stuff prioritised in. (management gets to chose the priorities). If management consistently cannot business priorities stable until the end of sprints, well then your sprints are too long. If your sprints are already as short as they can go (1 week) and management still cannot keep priorities stable over that length of time, and cannot be taught to, then they are dickheads, and you should find new management to work for. Scrum cannot solve that problem, but it might make you face it a lot sooner.

Comment No love for Agile and scrum on slashdot? (Score 3, Insightful) 434

I'm not exactly feeling a lot of love for scrum and agile in these comments. Agile was created to manage change in large software projects. So if you don't use agile methods, what do you use on large projects - some kind of waterfall process? Prince2? Good old "sit down and start coding"? How does that work for you? What is the bug rate? What percentage of these projects actually make it into production?

Also, when did the slashdot crowd become so aggressively ignorant, hostile to new ideas?

Comment Re:Sounds nice, but.. (Score 1) 335

'a lot' is not the same as 'exactly the same'.

Right. the biggest deviation from the rule that "WPF is a superset of Silverlight" is that Silverlight has the Visual State Manager.

Microsoft's position (or a least what Scott Guthrie says) is that Microsoft is working to keep the two synched - some new features will appear first in Silverlight, some in WPF, depending on release schedules. Visual State Manager will be in the next release of WPF (with .Net 4.0, probably by end 2009).

if Silverlight does all WPF does

It will never do that, for 2 reasons.

1) Size - WPF is the UI end of the .Net iceberg. The full .Net framework (including WPF) will never begin to fit in the 5Mb or so for the silverlight download. e.g. Silverlight has no way to connect to Databases across the network - just to Web services in SOAP, XML or JSON.

2) Security - Silverlight apps are not trusted to do things like read and write all of the file system, unrestricted access to network, printer, keyboard etc that a fully trusted .Net app has.

Now, if Silverlight can't do some of the things a WPF app can then I'm not sure I need Silverlight - Flash is much more widespread

that's your choice, and many people will choose the same. Others will choose otherwise. Some code can be shared between Silverlight and regular .net apps, and the same skills and tools apply.

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