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From: Johan Nilsson (johan.nilsson_at_[hidden])
Date: 2004-11-01 03:42:01

"Andreas Huber" <ahd6974-spamgroupstrap_at_[hidden]> wrote in message news:cm2io7$i7v$
> Johan Nilsson wrote:
> >>> I'm mostly a lurker here, but even so I believe I've seen people
> >>> from time to time declaring their willingness to participate in
> >>> developing a new library, without getting some real response. Take
> >>> them in, let them be a part of the effort, and maybe the NIH
> >>> problem will be lessened.
> >>
> >> I'm rather skeptical about that approach. Groups of similarly capable
> >> people are usually not very good at *designing* a library (unless
> >> there's a boss who has the last word on all the decisions).
> >
> > So you mean that a single capable person beats a group of capable
> > people?
> No, not in general. I just think that intuition, IMO the primary
> ingredient in the initial design phase, isn't something that can easily
> be spread over multiple brains. You can surely collect requirements,
> opinions, etc. from a group, but I've never seen a coherent design
> spring from more than one mind at the same time.

I must agree on the coherency stuff. Perhaps our definition of what should go into a *draft* design is what makes our opinions differ.

> > I realize that having a group of people trying to work out a
> > design across the internet might not be feasible, but generally I
> > still think that having a group of people together in the same room,
> > preferrably at a white board, beats a single person.
> I've worked quite some time in so-called "architecture teams", where
> multiple people sitting in one room try to design something.

(as a side-note: I'm not too fond of the term "architecture teams". Everyone should be allowed to be an architect, if they like to and can add some value to the process.)

 In almost
> all cases, it was an individual who had a good idea and then convinced
> the rest of us. Sometimes, a good idea of one inidividual sparked an
> even better idea in another individual, but I've only seen that
> happening a couple of times. It is questionable whether the initial
> inventor wouldn't have had the better idea himself, only a little later,
> e.g. while working out the details.
> > It is much too easy locking yourself into a single mindset when you
> > work alone at the drawing board. This is why I heartily supports the
> > idea of discussing the design openly, collecting the feedback and
> > ideas - before putting so much time into developing and refining the
> > library that it feels like so much work has gone into the library
> > that one doesn't wan't to give up the design.
> I agree, that's why I think that an individual should work out a draft
> design all by himself and then present it to the group. After the group
> has responded she can go back and resolve the raised issues and refine
> the design. Depending on the complexity of the library, it usually takes
> several such rounds before the design is reasonably complete.

Again - what goes into a "design"? Must a draft design really include a fully compilable, usable library? Couldn't it just definition of concepts, overall design and suggestions for detailed implementation (perhaps proof-of-concept code where deemed necessary)?

// Johan

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