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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • This is probably not a terribly original observation on my part, but Extreme Programming is horribly misnamed. I don't view it as particularly extreme: it merely says "follow the good programming practices that you already know about".

    That's quite a big "merely" considering how many people ignore good practices on a daily basis:-)

    I agree that, in hindsight, XP was a terrible name - but only because of the "dangerous" / ad-hoc / bungie-jumping connotations.

    To me the "extreme" was always intended to indicate the level that you take the good practices to:

    • If code reviews are a good thing, do them all of the time by pair programming
    • If customer feedback is a good idea, do it all of the time by having small iterations and regular releases
    • If tests are a good idea then... well... I'm sure you get my drift :-)

    It's extreme not because of the things you do, but due to the fact that you turn up following the good practices to the max.

    The big problem I have with the name, though, is the implementation detail embedded in the name. "Programming" shouldn't be there. XP is about project management, not about programming per se.

    Hmmm. Of the practices unit/acceptance test first, pair programming, collective code ownership, refactoring, YAGNI, etc. all seem related to programming to me :-)

    Also where does the join between project management and programming live? Where does analysis/design live in that continuum?

    Possibly it's a case of reclaiming a term that has come to mean "code monkey who follows instructions from on high" but, to me programming is about creating products for my clients (and having fun of course :-). How can you have programming without some sort of project management process?

    • Of the practices unit/acceptance test first, pair programming, collective code ownership, refactoring, YAGNI, etc. all seem related to programming to me :-)

      As from from test first programming, those seem applicable outside of programming.

      • YAGNI -- painters don't do extra fancy trimming unless asked.
      • Pair programming -- people working in teams to check each other's work.
      • Collective code ownership -- rotating accounting personnel through various deparments so they can see the whole business.
      • Refactoring -
      • I think you're reaching on some of those :-) For example you get a lot of synergy between the XP practices in programming that you don't get in other fields (it's hard to refactor a damp-proofing layer if you're a YAGNI painter!)

        I stiill think the XP practices are more about programming than project management.