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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Your comment on his post gives me the impression that you didn't understand Brooks's essay either. In my experience, almost no one does.

    I read the essay two nights ago, and all I have to say is that--whether due to Moore's Law or whatever, I don't care--I'm at least an order of magnitude more productive doing test-driven development with a language that supplies automatic memory management and the creation of domain-appropriate abstractions than I would be with the best language and platform available fo

    • "No silver bullet" means, according to Fred Brooks: "There is no single development, in either technology or management technique, which by itself, promises an order in magnitude improvement in productivity, in reliability, in simplicity." Despite the particular context of his assertion, I think that's generally true for anything in life. One thing isn't going to make the world a better place.

      You say that you're an order of magnitude more productive using test driven development and a language with automatic memory management. Well, that's two things. There is probably a lot more to your situation too, because, like any smart person, you have a lot of good habits and good processes. No single thing, isolated, would have worked.

      I think, perhaps, that you might think I'm confused because I don't think the that particular blog entry is really talking about "No Silver Bullet". It uses it for the lede paragraph, but really just wants to rant about pessimists, which Brooks clearly states that he isn't (and re-affirms in "No Silver Bullet Refired"). I probably could have expressed my point better because I should havely asseredt that "conventional wisdom" is that stack of faddish management books at the book store promising that if you act like Jack Welch you'll be in charge of a GE sized company in 10 years.

      However, if you still think I've missed the point, set me straight :)
      • I thought Brooks qualified his theory with "In the next ten years", but I'm too lazy to walk two rooms over to check right now. Regardless, our understandings are equivalent.

        For what it's worth, I do think a lot of people claiming "no silver bullet" are pessimists.

        • Well, in his particular situation of computer perfomance, he did say in the next decade. The sentence before my quote is "But, as week look to the horizon of a decade hence, we see no silver bullet". In that cases, he's talking about computer performance, but I see that as an application of his larger point.

          He later says, however, that software will always be hard, despite any decade comment:

          I beleive the hard part of building software to be the specification, design, and testing of [the conceptual connecti

          • Why can't I edit comments? :(

            I meant to say, if you think that first paragraph is false, then Brooks isn't really saying anything. If you think it's true, as I do, then he's saying there's no silver bullet.
      • One thing isn't going to make the world a better place.

        Peanut butter. The world is certainly better off for it! And I won't hear any different.