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Re: [Nmh-workers] Questionable code - the bigger picture

From: Ken Hornstein
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] Questionable code - the bigger picture
Date: Fri, 20 May 2005 14:13:07 -0400

>Hmmm, why don't we treat this as a software project and:
>      1) Do requirements gathering
>         a) ask our customers (users) what they need
>        b) ask parters what they need (mh-e, exmh)
>      2) Come up with work estimates
>      3) Figure out when we want to release
>      4) Schedule what will fit
>         a) review it with customers and partners
>        b) refine it
>      5) Do the work
>      6) Document it
>      7) Test
>      8) Release
>      9) Lather, rinse, repeat
>Or has getting paid to do software damaged my mind?

I think this is a great idea.  But I think the chances of it happening
are unlikely.

For example .... I'm a guy with a limited amount of free time, and (for
example) I don't really care about IMAP support, for example (except in
an abstract way).  So I'm unlikely to care if someone specifies a
requirement for it.  Maybe I'll care in the future ... but I'm not going
to invest a lot of free time into working on a feature that I wouldn't
personally use.

Gathering requirements?  Feh, sounds boring ... I'm SO not going to do

Documentation?  Well, I'll comment the C-code, and maybe I'll write a
README ... if I don't have anything better to do that weekend.

Now, this may sound rather cynical, but I'm only saying what I've seen
in regards to open source projects.  People tend to work on what they
find interesting and/or what they need.

Now, if someone wants to do this, then I think that would be great.
Occasionally you will find a volunteer who is willing to do all of
these tasks that many developers find non-interesting.  If we find
someone to do that, then hey, I say "more power to them".  That person
hasn't yet appeared, but maybe they're out there.

I used to do commercial software development, so I know where you're
coming from.  But the goal there was to make money (both personally and
as a product).  Doing all of that "boring" stuff (gathering features from
the users, etc etc) all furthers the goal of making money.


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