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The Software Inferno

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the abandon-all-hope-ye-who-compile-here dept.

Software 109

CowboyRobot writes "The Software Inferno is a tale that parallels The Inferno, Part One of The Divine Comedy written by Dante Alighieri in the early 1300s. That literary masterpiece describes the condemnation and punishment faced by a variety of sinners in their hell-spent afterlives as recompense for atrocities committed during their earthly existences. The Software Inferno is a similar account, describing a journey where 'sinners against software' are encountered amidst their torment, within their assigned areas of eternal condemnation, and paying their penance. Quoting: 'CANTO 6 - HERESY: ...The countess explained that these chaotically traveling souls were strongly at variance with well-established beliefs and laws of software engineering developed by experts on the subject. Their unabashed contempt for universally accepted truths spawned decision making that wrought great damage upon software projects in their charge. Some challenged Fred Brooks' sacred counsel in futile attempts to rise above their failings by adding new people with woefully insufficient qualifications to rescue already-late projects. Others flaunted their derision by disregarding software design patterns sanctified by the Gang of Four, instead opting for inelegance of their own in attempts to solve problems whose solutions were already proven, well known, and time-honored.'"

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109 comments

there is a place in hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45728735)

reserved for me and my friends

Frosty from beta (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45728745)

Posting from beta.

Breaking two lines. Is this being formatted right?

Thanks,
AC

How is this news/stuffthatmatters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45728781)

This is just a slashvertisement for some bloke's paper. It's a reiteration of well known mantras, at best. Nothing to see here, move along.

Re:How is this news/stuffthatmatters? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 4 months ago | (#45728817)

We're the only audience of sheeple who might care. Alas...I skimmed the summary and still don't. Zzzzzz...

Re:How is this news/stuffthatmatters? (2)

icebike (68054) | about 4 months ago | (#45729083)

This is just a slashvertisement for some bloke's paper. It's a reiteration of well known mantras, at best. Nothing to see here, move along.

I figured that out just by content. I hovered the mouse pointer over the first link, saw it lead to noplace likely to have real news, and decided I'm not playing that game.

TLDR. Too Lame, Didn't Read.

Seriously, the firehose readers that vote this crap up really need to clean up their act.

Always a little creepy (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45728847)

Gives me chills when I see people talking about tech like it was a religion.

Re:Always a little creepy (5, Funny)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 4 months ago | (#45728967)

Gives me chills when I see people talking about tech like it was a religion.

Walk by any Apple store.

Walk On By (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 months ago | (#45730293)

Walk by any Apple store. ... where you just see people using devices like like because they generally work. You can go in, or not, it's your choice.

If you keep on walking you get to the Apple Haters. Now there's a religion, meaning they fervently believe in Apple being bad no matter what, and will not let you past until YOU believe it also.

Re:Walk On By (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45730369)

I've seen far more organized iDiots than the anti group. The anti group is just fed up with the " it just works and is sooo worth the extra money, and if you don't agree you don't know tech" morons constantly worshiping steve jobs. Never have I seen a group of customers accept the blame willfully and defend the products flaws like they are a good thing like sheeple.

Re:Walk On By (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45740237)

Oh look, a true believer

Re:Always a little creepy (2)

Empiric (675968) | about 4 months ago | (#45729025)

And not even an actual religion at that. Dante's works, though well-known, are extensive fictionalized extrapolations from the religion upon which they are based. It is more like religious "fan fiction" than religion, IMHO.

Re:Always a little creepy (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 4 months ago | (#45729179)

Not only that, they're read today more for the beautiful poetry than for any religious reason. I skimmed TFA and didn't see any sign of verse.

Re:Always a little creepy (1)

Empiric (675968) | about 4 months ago | (#45729495)

I'm guessing that the majority here on Slashdot know his verse only from the "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here" line used in the text adventure game "Zork"...

Re:Always a little creepy (1)

narcc (412956) | about 4 months ago | (#45729923)

Only if they understand Italian. If you're reading it in English, stick with Pinsky's translation. He captures the triple rhyming surprisingly well.

Re:Always a little creepy (4, Interesting)

snookerdoodle (123851) | about 4 months ago | (#45729251)

A possibly interesting tangent:

It may surprise /. folks to learn that much of what modern Christendom believes about hell is actually from this man and not from Moses, Jesus, Paul, Peter, et al. I.e.: The Bible doesn't really teach the version of hell everyone seems to believe in. Rob Bell has an easy to read book ("Love Wins", to which Francis Chan's "Erasing Hell" is a somewhat non sequitor of a response) and Edward Fudge has some somewhat more in depth treatises on this for people who want to exercise their Google-fu.

And yes, it's more complicated than "Dante Created Hell", with ideas from philosophers and other religions entering the mix. Dante just gave preachers a nice manipulative tool to scare the ignorant into toeing whatever line they drew. And, perhaps, give us some feeling of justice for truly evil people.

Re:Always a little creepy (3, Insightful)

Empiric (675968) | about 4 months ago | (#45729323)

Yes... and there's a similar challenge produced by the influence of Milton's "Paradise Lost".

These two are a major source of what the general public -thinks- they know about historical Christianity.

Rob Bell is missing a few things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45729895)

The problem is that he's so touchy feely that he freely asserts that which is not true. The Bible very much speaks of hell as a real place. It is my belief that it is God's desire that we do not go there, but that the choice is ours. Telling people there is no hell is like telling people you can fly if they walk off a cliff. Sure it sounds nice, but the actual consequence is rather severe.

Re:Rob Bell is missing a few things (1)

Empiric (675968) | about 4 months ago | (#45730207)

It does speak of it, but it does not necessarily specify the "eternal hell if you don't believe" stance that some denominations have promulgated.

There are several possibilities that are not at all easily dismissed by reference to scripture itself...

1. That it is spoken of allegorically
2. That it references "destruction of the soul" rather than "suffering of the soul" (per Christ's use of "destroy the soul in hell")
3. That it is a temporary, not permanent state
4. That it is the final dispensation of the truly evil, not simply on the basis of non-belief (otherwise a review of one's actions from the "Book of Life" seems rather superfluous)

I would exercise extreme caution in stating that one -knows- what God will do, as this is in a sense us telling God what he has to do, on a judgment that is explicitly stated to be made by him in the future (the "Last Judgment"--not a "Show Trial"), but...

I'd suggest taking a look at Conditionalism [wikipedia.org] and its associated Annihilationism as stances that are quite harmonious with scripture, and address some arguments regarding "fairness"--one could say that atheists in general ultimately get exactly what they expect (and demand), per their own worldview.

Re:Rob Bell is missing a few things (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 4 months ago | (#45730391)

Telling people there is no hell is like telling people you can fly if they walk off a cliff.

Except that it is much easier to establish the existence of cliffs than the existence of Hell.

Re:Rob Bell is missing a few things (1)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 4 months ago | (#45731261)

The Bible very much speaks of hell as a real place. It is my belief that it is God's desire that we do not go there, but that the choice is ours.

Not unlike Camden, New Jersey.

Re:Rob Bell is missing a few things (1)

snookerdoodle (123851) | about 4 months ago | (#45732073)

Which hell did you have in mind that is so plainly spoken of as a "real place"? Sheol (Hebrew for the grave)? Hades (Greek for the grave)? Tartarus (not forever, not for people)? Gehenna (trash heap outside Jerusalem)?

Yes, those are all spoken of as "real places". None of them are plainly a "place where people go to live forever while they're being tortured", which is what "...much of what modern Christendom believes about hell..." and which is derived from Dante et al and not from the Bible.

Re:Always a little creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45745001)

non sequitor

We got us a top-notch scholar of the classics here, folks.

Re:Always a little creepy (1)

jythie (914043) | about 4 months ago | (#45729519)

Try reading through "The Codeless Code" sometime. Religion from a Java server application development perspective. Spoiler, everyone else dies horrible deaths.

Re:Always a little creepy (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 months ago | (#45730309)

Religion from a Java server application development perspective. Spoiler, everyone else dies horrible deaths.

Well sure, but at least they are collected after.

Java - Rapture for everyone, eventually!

Re:Always a little creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45734403)

Well sure, but at least they are collected after.

Only if the collector kicks in before the process terminates.

Re:Always a little creepy (1)

scamper_22 (1073470) | about 4 months ago | (#45729887)

Not really. If you take a step be, you quickly see most people belief's in anything they care about resemble religion.

People talk about their political beliefs, their love for LRT transit, technology, art, their healthcare career... with all the good and bad of religion.

I sometimes find when people talk about these things, they're actually more passionate in both the good and bad way, than religious people are.

I would assume this is because religion is pretty vague and many things are left for the unseen. Hell is a concept, but its all imaginary as far as we can see.

But the earthly things people care about are huge and they carry real life consequences. If you have political beliefs, you see the consequences right away. Poor people, wars, infringements of freedom...

If you care about transit. You see the consequences every day. Traffic jams, taxes, crowded busses and subways, late for work...

And if you care about code, you see the consequences every day. Bugs and bugs, performance problems, documentation, crashes, rewriting bad code...

When you get down to it, most people are far more religious about such things than religious people are about religion.

Re:Always a little creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45730897)

You ever read some of the skull-denting drivel from Space True Believers?

Re:Always a little creepy (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 4 months ago | (#45731401)

Putting it in a form that people are familiar with can make it an easier or more entertaining read. I first read Henry Spencer's 10 commandments for C programmers [cat-v.org] some 30 years ago. It was good then; it is still largely relevant with a few changes, eg: in commandment 10 substitute 'Intel' for 'VAX'; commandment 1: well the 'lint' function is usually available as a high warning level in most compilers.

And if statistical software is your forte (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45728867)

You're in luck! The R Inferno [burns-stat.com]

So, which is it? (3, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#45728903)

Others flaunted their derision by disregarding software design patterns sanctified by the Gang of Four, instead opting for inelegance of their own in attempts to solve problems whose solutions were already proven, well known, and time-honored.

Says someone posting via heretical Von Neumann Machine, long live Turing Machines!

Posted via Android on ARM hosted in Linux on x86-64 running in 32 bit mode!

Those knowledgeable of Cybernetics, Genetics, or Information Theory emit the most holy evil-grin when confronted with the term "Design Pattern".

Re:So, which is it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45728991)

Half of the "patterns" in GoF are just workarounds for problems with the C++ language.

Re:So, which is it? (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#45729249)

The 7th circle is reserved for people who insist of shoe-horning every piece of code into a GOF design pattern.......

Re:So, which is it? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45729439)

Need mod points now... grrr

Anyone who believes "developed by experts" is a stamp of quality, is in no position to judge others.

Re:So, which is it? (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#45729493)

Anyone who believes "developed by experts" is a stamp of quality, is in no position to judge others.

Wow, that is a great quote.

Re:So, which is it? (3, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 4 months ago | (#45729543)

Or for the people who failed to realize that the design patterns were originally about communication, not solutions.

Re:So, which is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45729801)

The 7th circle is reserved for people who insist of shoe-horning every piece of code into a GOF design pattern.......

No one knows which circle of hell because they can't fucking follow the over-engineered mess. Fuck the GOF. Fuck the design patterns book. And fuck every monkey who thought that following that shit was a recipe for success. But mostly fuck the motherfucker who wrote the article and his minion who wrote the summy. Gang of Four? Gang of FUCKERS!

Oh my god... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45728945)

what is this bullshit user interface. I can't stand it.

A bit obtuse (4, Insightful)

mugnyte (203225) | about 4 months ago | (#45728955)

It's entertaining, typically weird article from Bell. They're a bit snarky but somewhat long-winded - his penchant to build classifications of things overrides any real deep-dive into what he's talking about. And his daughter appears in every article, I'm surprised there isn't a "17 types of annoying child" article yet.

His other complaints: UML, XML, Agile misuse/overuse - each with an article, blog post that has invented classifications.
Where's the one on "taxonomy joke" overuse?

Re:A bit obtuse (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#45729357)

You can tell roughly at what time he became a software engineer. Everything invented before is "universally accepted truth." Everything after is in the 7th circle of hell.

Now, get off my lawn, if it's not vacuum tubes in accumulators, it's useless! We don't need these newfangled 'registers' and 'assembly languages,' we have patch wires!

Re:A bit obtuse (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 4 months ago | (#45729935)

Speaking of Bell, reading the headline, I first thought that the post was about the FOSS equivalent of Plan 9 from Bell Labs

I guess I'm going to hell (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 4 months ago | (#45728993)

Because I always thought there was a special place for those who could cram 7 GoF patterns into a HelloWorld, whether they needed them, or were ever ever ever going to extend or reuse the HelloWorld or not.

I'll read this right away! but first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45729001)

while( !$hell_freezeth_over )
{
$hell_freezeth_over = is_hell_frozen();
}

read_book();

Re:I'll read this right away! but first... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45732499)

Be careful. You have an uninitialized variable in line 1.

while(! is_hell_frozen() )
;

read_book();

The Group of 4? (2)

docmur (813683) | about 4 months ago | (#45729033)

Coming up with a completely stupid name for a simple pattern doesn't make you a good programmer. The Group of 4 decided they would look at the "common" patterns used in programming and instead of doing something useful, they would just assign them pointless names. Anyone who quotes the Group of 4 with intention of using the names they came up with, generally, isn't a good programmer. A good programmer is busy writing / testing code and doesn't have the time or the need to read and remember books about how to use code patterns or best measures. The aspects you look for in code are as follows:

1. The code is fast, efficient and not bulky.
2. The code is secure.
3. The code is not locked to a single platform.
4. The code is written to complete it's required task and not for style and beauty above function.

If you are focusing on anything else then you aren't programming, you are wasting time and trying to be more then you are. A programmer is a programmer is a programmer, you are not an engineer or any other stupid name / label you want to give yourself. You want to go to programmers hell, simple, read code written by stuck up, over trained, programmers who think they are skilled and have a big mouth.

The number of university students / new grads I've had to fire is kind of shocking. They love to quote pattern names and complain about the use of certain syntax choices and the use of pointers, yet they never turn out usably good code. It's not just university students that have this problem, pretty much anyone who went to post secondary school with the intention of becoming a PROGRAMMER, NOT, SOFTWARE ENGINEER, with have this issue. Your job as a programmer is to turn out good code in a timely manner and once you leave that frame of mind you aren't doing your job. Do that for long enough and you should be fired, regardless of how many theoretical books agree with you, including the Group of 4. If my project was programmed using new age design methodology and methods it would have at least 7x more overhead and run 3x slower then it currently does. No one should put up with slow runtime and greater overhead because a bunch of programmers decided to write a book or many books. Once it runs well it needs to be stable and secure and then I've done my job.

Re:The Group of 4? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45729109)

Group of 4

You may as well have written a post about "the internets". Turn in your badge at the door.

Re:The Group of 4? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45729123)

Uh, it's Gang of Four, not group.

If you can't even get that right, I'd hate to see your code.

Re:The Group of 4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45729127)

Minor point, but it's the "Gang of Four", not the "Group of Four".

Re:The Group of 4? (4, Insightful)

mugnyte (203225) | about 4 months ago | (#45729139)

While I don't completely disagree with you, "good code" seems to imply a judgement based on some values. In enterprise systems, the transferability, maintainability and self-documenting concepts in code can play as much a role as footprint, security and speed. Not all systems are dancing on the edge of "too big" or "too slow" - they are closer to failure because of "poorly defined", "too fragile" and/or "too esoteric".
A company may want to keep modules in plainspeak, well-documented and slower .NET componentized form because they burn through developers every 2 years, like the industry avg. If your job stops as "stable and secure" you may not really be contributing to a software system portfolio like a large company needs.

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 4 months ago | (#45729383)

Which is why, in an enterprise development environment with high project turnover, adherence to the names of the GoF patterns can be valuable as well. If you have an objects of class Foo and FooFactory, then everyone familiar with GoF will understand that the FooFactory's purpose is to create new Foo instances. Likewise, many developers will be able to guess what FooDecorator and FooVisitor do.

You almost had it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736013)

sed 's/.NET componentized form/open languages/'

Single-vendor, single-OS nonsense like .NET is never a path to sustainable infrastructure. You have to pry the vendor's fingers off your testicles and use languages and techniques that will be comprehensible to young people who haven't been born yet, or you'll wind up (at best) no more than a remora on some vendor's titanic success.

Notice how Google, Amazon, eBay and Facebook all started by building infrastructure independent of single-vendor products like .NET? Yeah, there's a reason. It's called "Common Sense" but it ain't real common in the Executive Suite these days.

Re:The Group of 4? (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#45729437)

Those aren't the four things I look for in a program. I look for this:

1) Does the code work/fill the requirements? (high efficiency might be a requirement, or it might not. Same with cross-platform compatibility).
2) Is the code readable? If not, it doesn't matter how great your design is, people who come after you will rewrite it.
3) Is the code flexible? If not, your design is more a hindrance than a help.

Code that fills all three of those is rare and beautiful.

A good programmer is busy writing / testing code and doesn't have the time or the need to read and remember books

A good programmer is always looking to improve his skill in any way available, including reading.

Sometimes it's desirable to write bad code (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45730587)

Like when you have a manager that thinks you can be easily replaced. Then it becomes desireable to prove him wrong.

Re:The Group of 4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45731583)

If 1 is true, then 2 and 3 are unnecessary. They will rewrite if it doesn't work. They will rewrite it any case when new tools, new environments, new people are available.

You may as well code in APL as .Net.

Re:The Group of 4? (2)

jythie (914043) | about 4 months ago | (#45729571)

To be fair, their original intent was to help with communication, so they looked at patterns people had been using and tried to put them into a simple taxonomy so that programmers could talk to each other about how they structured things. It was less about 'there is a problem, this factory pattern will solve it' and more 'I used a factory pattern, now you have an idea of what to expect from this code'.

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

narcc (412956) | about 4 months ago | (#45730677)

so they looked at patterns people had been using

Which is precisely what they did NOT do. They didn't uncover them, they just made shit up.

'there is a problem,

(Which we have absolutely no reason to believe is common because we did no research what-so-ever.)

this factory pattern will solve it'

(Though we have no reason to believe that it's a common solution, or even a good general solution.)

'I used a factory pattern, now you have an idea of what to expect from this code'.

That much is true. When I see a "factory pattern", or any other "pattern", I know that the code is very likely to be total garbage.

Re:The Group of 4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45732051)

Which is precisely what they did NOT do. They didn't uncover them, they just made shit up.

Citation needed. The book in question is FULL of existing systems that they examined and how & why the patterns in question were used in those systems. You may not agree with them, but don't accuse them of not doing the research unless you can back it up, please.

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 4 months ago | (#45734217)

Which is precisely what they did NOT do. They didn't uncover them, they just made shit up.

[citation needed]

IOW you're full of it. Common patterns in design, i.e. sensible general designs occur all over the place. The GoF didn't uncover them all but they are certainly common patterns. It's very helpful to be able to refer to them with a widely understood name.

Or for less experienced people to tell them it's an instance of FooPattern so they can look it up, rather than having to read all of the code not knmowing what is relevant.

That much is true. When I see a "factory pattern", or any other "pattern", I know that the code is very likely to be total garbage.

The unix open(2) system call is a classic factory pattern.

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

narcc (412956) | about 4 months ago | (#45734491)

The GoF didn't uncover them all but they are certainly common patterns.

So ... Where's the evidence? Where's the research? What do you think about beliefs unsupported by evidence?

It's very helpful to be able to refer to them with a widely understood name.

Are you sure about that? Again, where's the evidence? You can tell me personal stories all day, and I can match every one with a tale of pattern abuse. That won't get us anywhere. Let me known when there's some actual research that supports your assertion.

The unix open(2) system call is a classic factory pattern.

That's more than a bit of a stretch, don't you think? Connecting this to your earlier quote, how does inexplicably calling it a "factory" benefit anyone?

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 4 months ago | (#45734549)

So ... Where's the evidence? Where's the research?

oooh I dunno. Try looking at the citations to the 8 page bibliography in the back of the book.

That's more than a bit of a stretch, don't you think?

No, not at all. It's classic factory pattern.

You get a handle to a base class with a bunch of virtual methods (read, write, close, lseek, fcntl, ioctl, select and so on). The kernel chooses the derived class based on the arguments (i.e. filename) passed to the factory. The underlying behaviour of the derived class is quite different depending on the arguments, e.g. vfat versus iso9660 versus UDF not to mention things like device files and named pipes etc.

If you examine the Linux kernel, you will see that the VFS layer is very OO in its design.

Connecting this to your earlier quote, how does inexplicably calling it a "factory" benefit anyone?

Well, by calling a factory, you could deduce something about the way it works. You'd be correct, too.

The only reason you think it's a stretch is because you seem blinded by hatred of a common taxonomy just because some unrelated people have abused it.

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

narcc (412956) | about 4 months ago | (#45734809)

oooh I dunno.

No surprise there. It's because it doesn't actually exist. You'll find absolutely no research to support your assertions.

Since you don't care about evidence and obviously like accepting things on blind faith, I have an argument that's very likely to convince you: The ghost of Steve Jobs appeared to me on a piece of toast and told me that design patterns were nonsense.

Well, by calling a factory, you could deduce something about the way it works.

In your example, you don't. You gain absolutely no benefit. It's just you desperately trying to force it in to conform to terms with which you're comfortable, but it's silly and pointless self-delusion. That fact is that GoF "patterns" not based on actual research. They are nothing more than snake-oil manufactured out of whatever the GoF decided sounded good to them.

Here in reality, we rely on facts and evidence. In GoF land, whatever silly nonsense you can imagine is a-okay!

If you examine the Linux kernel, you will see that the VFS layer is very OO in its design.

Ah, you're one of those. You can't reason with the "everything is OO" nuts and you're a step beyond them; your ridiculous example implies you're also one of the rare "patterns are everywhere" nuts.

Your like the Ray Comfort of programmers. "Evidence of design patterns is all around us. Just look at this banana..."

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 4 months ago | (#45735029)

No surprise there.

Well done for failing to read. Allow me to repeat: try liiking at the citations into the large bibliography. There's the research right there.

So either put up or shut up. I've held up my side and provided evidence supporting my case. You have failed to do so.

And the "oooh dunno" was sarcasm.

your ridiculous example implies

So, I take it you've never done any VFS hacking. It's full of virtual functions and derivation, C style. Actually much of the kernel is.

But feel free to live in your own special little world where everything is special especially the things you do. Must be a happy world where you're the long genius forging your own happy little path hnever doing anything the same as anyone else.

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

narcc (412956) | about 4 months ago | (#45738697)

try liiking at the citations into the large bibliography. There's the research right there.

Look again. What you think is there, simply isn't there. You just really wish it was.

I hate to break it to you, but your holy book is nothing more than the mad scribblings of some 90's guys. It has no rational basis.

Not that you care. I can't argue with religious zealots.

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 4 months ago | (#45741943)

I can't argue with religious zealots.

I'm the one who provided evidence, you're the one spweing nothing but insults and empty rhetoric. And you thinl I'm the zealot??

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

narcc (412956) | about 4 months ago | (#45743041)

As I pointed out, your evidence isn't. Take a look at it yourself. Your "evidence" completely supports my earlier assertions! Go ahead and actually look at what you're offering as "evidence". You're in for quite a surprise.

It's not my fault that reality doesn't support your irrational beliefs.

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 4 months ago | (#45743975)

As I pointed out, your evidence isn't.

No, you haven't pointed out, you've asserted it without a shred of evidence.

GoF is full of references and citations to large existing software projects. You can see all of these references if you read the book. You're merely asserting that it is not the case. I can see the former, therefore do to anything more than make hollow assertions, you have to give some shred of evidence for the latter.

You might not like the evidence or the conclusions they come to, but pretending that they don't have any evidence is disengenuous at best.

You're going to have to do better than "their evdince isn't because I say so". Try actually pointing out a specific example or two. Bet you can't.

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

narcc (412956) | about 4 months ago | (#45744211)

Your inability to comprehend the seemingly obvious isn't my problem.

You'll find that, upon competent examination, the claims I made are undeniably true.

I'm sorry that reality does not conform to your preconceptions.

you've asserted it without a shred of evidence.

It's all in the book. As I've pointed out, you've already offered substantial evidence in support of my assertions.

Hell, just read the introduction, which makes it clear that the nonsense "patterns" are based on personal experience, not actual research. Try reading the book instead of just reading about it on blogs and forums.

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 4 months ago | (#45744831)

You'll find that, upon competent examination, the claims I made are undeniably true.

Ah, no true scotsman would disagree with you, right?

So far our conversation has gone like this:

You: The GoF didn't do research.
Me: what about all those citations pointing to examples of projects.
You: That's not proper resaerch.
Me: How?
You: No true scotsman would believe it is.

I'm sorry that reality does not conform to your preconceptions.

And I'm sorry that you are utterly unable to describe your version of reality beyond telling me I'm wrong. Actually, I'm not sorry: it amuses me.

Hell, just read the introduction, which makes it clear that the nonsense "patterns" are based on personal experience, not actual research. Try reading the book instead of just reading about it on blogs and forums.

Ah you sound like one of those funny little people that believe science should be the dispassionate search for knowledge and scientists sould act like automatons. A clue: the authors are allowed to use personal experience and intuition provided it is actuallt backed up with evidence. In the intro they mention experience, in the book they actually provide evidence. That's all those citations I was telling you about. Remember?

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

narcc (412956) | about 3 months ago | (#45748651)

In the intro they mention experience, in the book they actually provide evidence

No, they provide a few examples. That's not evidence. See, the examples are there to imply that these alleged "patterns" actually are common solutions to common problems.

There is no reason to believe that "patterns", by their definition, exist at all.
There is no reason to believe that the "patterns" they present are representative.
There is no reason to believe that the problems the "patterns" are intended to solve are common. (How frequently the problems appear)
There is no reason to believe that the "patterns" are common solutions to said problems. (How often the "solutions" are used compared to alternatives)

All because no actual research has been done!

Of course, if you think a couple examples is sufficient evidence, I can happily provide you with numerous examples of how the use of GoF patterns is harmful. When you figure out why you wouldn't consider that "evidence" then you'll understand why the "evidence" you present isn't.

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 4 months ago | (#45752509)

No, they provide a few examples. That's not evidence. See, the examples are there to imply that these alleged "patterns" actually are common solutions to common problems

A pattern is a recurring thing.

If they provide multiple exmaples of where the same thing has spontaneously and independently occured then that is pretty much by definition evidence for a pattern.

There is no reason to believe that "patterns", by their definition, exist at all.

They occured multiple times independently, ergo they exist.

There is no reason to believe that the "patterns" they present are representative.

They occured multiple times, therefore in those cases, they are representitive.

There is no reason to believe that the problems the "patterns" are intended to solve are common.

You have the all too common misconception about what patterns are. You ascribe agency to them where none exists. Patterns are not intended to do anything. They are a mere observation of the way people solve problems. It is the observtion that many design problems in computing have similar structure and many of the solutions to the sub problems are more or less the same in their structure.

A pattern does nothing. It is not intended for anything. It is an observation of how people solve the same problem.

There is no reason to believe that the "patterns" are common solutions to said problems. (How often the "solutions" are used compared to alternatives)

Well, they are common within the set of examples.

All because no actual research has been done!

Except they went and looked at a bunch of examples and found all those things within them.

You can debate whether the examples are representitive if you like. That's fair. But to deny the observable fact that they did actally do research is about as stupid as denying the observable fact of evolution. Then again, we gat a lot of those on slashdot too. Are you one of them by any chance?

Of course, if you think a couple examples is sufficient evidence,

18 pages of citations is more than a couple of examples.

I can happily provide you with numerous examples of how the use of GoF patterns is harmful.

No shit! Many people (including you according to elements of your reply) seem to believe that patterns are things to be "applied". If you do that, then you will use them in wildly inappropriate places. If you believe that GoF is anything more than a taxonomy then you may as well also blame Samuel Johnson when you say something stupid.

When you figure out why you wouldn't consider that "evidence" then you'll understand why the "evidence" you present isn't.

You seem to be confusing "evidence" with "conclusions you agree with". You are really very like one of those anti-evolution people. You might also want to be careful to check those words in a dictionary. Make sure you only use one which agreed with your definition of "evidence".

Re:The Group of 4? (4, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | about 4 months ago | (#45729697)

The aspects you look for in code are as follows:

The list can be reduced to:

1. Does it serve the users well.

Note that I have not said, "does it do what the users asked for" or "what the user wants". Users may make requests that fall short of what is possible, or are impossible, or will not be workable in the long run. Part of your organization's job is to let the user know what will work. Part of your job is also to surprise the users in a pleasant way. Pleasant surprises are "oh wow, we can use keyboard shortcuts for that now" as opposed to "we re-arranged the UI and added dancing bears because everybody is doing that now".

Anyway, I digress. It all reduces to the one rule cited.

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 4 months ago | (#45730047)

The list can be reduced to:

1. Does it serve the users well.

I think that list badly needs a 2. Is the code maintainable. It doesn't matter how orgasmically beautiful and lightning quick the code is if it can only be changed by Chuck...who just died of a heart attack last week. Uh oh.

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 4 months ago | (#45731257)

The maintainability requirement ultimately flows from the "one rule" as well. It's not as urgent as "runs without crashing every five minutes" but it's a valid concern. If everything goes well the company grows organically, turns the corner, and Chuck's code is gradually superseded by the process weenies that come in when the company gets large.

If you hold on to unmaintainable code too long, it will be impossible to add features, maintain performance, port to new systems or do things that customers want and need.

So I agree that it's important; but not that it needs to be its own rule. If you go on a witch-hunt for Chuck before he is "in season" you'll bag Chuck but the customer will get away.

Re:The Group of 4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45734607)

I think that list badly needs a 2. Is the code maintainable.

No. If the code is used for an extended time, unmaintainable code will not serve the user well because there will be problems updating the code to keep up with changing demands, or even just fixing bugs the users have found. If the code will not be used a second time, who cares about maintainability? (Apart from the fact that the techniques to write bug-free code and the techniques to write maintainable code have a very large overlap, of course, so well-written code will likely end up to be maintainable even if not written with maintainability in mind).

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

shoor (33382) | about 4 months ago | (#45731371)

"Does it serve the users well?" is a question that needs to be asked from time to time when developing code as a way of keeping perspective. But the point of the rules and guidelines is to find ways to achieve that goal. Whether the rules and guidelines actually serve their own users well is another question.

Re:The Group of 4? (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 4 months ago | (#45730711)

Group of 4

Z4 or Z2xZ2

How do you get subscripts on this?

Re:The Group of 4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45734631)

How do you get subscripts on this?

I think you can't.

I originally thought fixed space using <ecode> would work, but even that eats multiple spaces if they don't appear at the beginning of a line (and sometimes it even eats spaces at the beginning). Then I tried <tt> and &nbsp; but Slashdot completely removes &nbsp; — it doesn't even replace it with a normal space.

In short, Slashdot is horribly broken in that regard.

RE: Group of 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45738865)

> If my project was programmed using new age design methodology...

After 27 years with a CS degree doing nothing but programming, the 'Group of 4' comment and the 4 aspects listed in this comment are spot on.
There are too many children trying to write code that meets some academic pattern or assembling applications by using any third-party library that can do something they do not understand and cannot code themselves.

Re:The Group of 4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45745115)

4. The code is written to complete it's required task and not for style and beauty above function.

5. Has apostrophes only where they should be.

Various Infernos (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 4 months ago | (#45729089)

They clearly had fun writing that for at least the exercise in wordsmithing alone. I imagine it must also be satisfying to banish your tormentors to their judgment. Unfortunately there didn't appear to be a place reserved for trolls.

Some other Infernos:

Inferno [amazon.com] - Fun read.
Disco Inferno [youtube.com] - Which Apple had fun with in this commercial [youtube.com].
Some people like this: The Towering Inferno Trailer [youtube.com]

Re:Various Infernos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45734387)

Unfortunately there didn't appear to be a place reserved for trolls.

Then what is this site (also, see 4chan)? There are many places reserved for trolls.

Re:Various Infernos (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 4 months ago | (#45735025)

I was hoping that it wasn't hell, and that we weren't going to be here for eternity. Are you suggesting that I'm wrong?

threadbare hobbyist whiners rescued us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45729113)

easy to forget as the pr softwars still play out, co-opting good deeds (others' hard work) for personal gain is not new

The Software Inferno (1)

danielpauldavis (1142767) | about 4 months ago | (#45729169)

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle did the best take on the classic of European literature; anything else will merely be a pale, insipid imitation that makes the reader wonder why the author bothered.

Doesn't name names (2)

Slamtilt (17405) | about 4 months ago | (#45729297)

Part of the fun of the Divine Comedy at the time was that specific individuals were shown being tormented, and this doesn't do that.

It totally should.

Re:Doesn't name names (1)

chthon (580889) | about 4 months ago | (#45733885)

Yes, with B. Gates at the centre of Hell, with Steve Ballmer head first beig chewed upon. Nominations for two other persons?

Re:Doesn't name names (1)

Beige (81376) | about 4 months ago | (#45735195)

I envisage Bill Gates being perpetually beset by a giant paperclip shaped demon - 'I see you're suffering eternal torment. Would you like more torment? YES/OK'

Re:Doesn't name names (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45734363)

thank you
http://fashionmode20.blogspot.com/

And the lusers' level? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45729483)

For the moment it would seem to be called Earth, or I am having a very long nightmare. It sounds interesting looking for a luser in hell, now knowing their best definition is that they are users/abusers of the database GOD.

Retyping Dante (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45729765)

Sort of similar art installation http://www.retypingdante.com
An analogy of people going to the renaissance of the internet. You could actually install a keylogger which would send all your keystrokes to purgatorio and on to paradiso. Using the keylogger the whole Divine Comedy was being retyped.

Talk about obscure... (1)

hey! (33014) | about 4 months ago | (#45729919)

How many people here (a) have read the Divine Comedy and (b) worked as a programmer? I'm sure I'm not the only one, but we've got to be a pretty small audience.

Who do you think is the analog of Beatrice? Or Francesca da Rimini from Canto V?

Re:Talk about obscure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733187)

I have.
Beatrice ... hmmm - maybe Linus or Theo? Wrong gender, I know, but we're all modern these days.

how many lashes do we get for using Clojure? (1)

oldwarrior (463580) | about 4 months ago | (#45730911)

or any functional approach in the face of Object Oriented Architect's stern remonishments?

Re:how many lashes do we get for using Clojure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45731425)

or any functional approach in the face of Object Oriented Architect's stern remonishments?

Academics in denial over the need to work with state vs. PHBs obsessed with classification and documentation? I'll pop the popcorn.

And at the bottom of the final seventh circle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45731549)

Lies whoever has just imposed this crappy new /. design upon us.

I mean, having half the width of the screen as whitespace and greyspace REALLY improves the readability guys..

Does he even read what he writes? (1)

lolococo (574827) | about 4 months ago | (#45733705)

were strongly at variance with well-established beliefs ...

Isn't that how most, if not all, scientific discoveries are made?

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