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Design by committee - James Antill

Feb. 7th, 2006

10:23 pm - Design by committee

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So Nat says:

Today Dan Winship wrote a wonderful mail about the perils of designing software by community process.

So, I have to wonder, does Nat/Dan/Miguel think that Apache-httpd is "bad"? My feeling is that it's a brilliant example of how committee designed software is terrible, hell the fact the config. parser let's each module parse it's own syntax seems like letting each gedit plugin have it's own GUI theme. And the way the module stuff is done reaks of "vision by committee", in that everyone just does their thing in their module so they don't have to speak to everyone else.

I also think this is somewhat interesting, as it also supports something I've believed for a long time ... Ie. design/security/quality isn't all it's espoused to be. It's nice, and everyone is happy to say so but very few are willing to pay for it (either with money, or even in time/work to move from something else). Compatability, speed and dancing monkeys all pay a greater roll.

And to bring the argument back to the desktop, I even feel the same way ... I don't care how much quality design they've put into GNOME, it's all (and more) canceled out when they break focus follows mouse or infinite space on my panel buttons.

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