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January, 2006:

A new bandwagon

Feeling jaded by the whole XP/Agile thing? Register “here”:http://www.waterfall2006.com/

SPA2006

“SPA 2006”:http://www.spa2006.org looks like another good year. Not least, of course, because I’m rerunning “Storytelling with FIT”:http://www.spaconference.org/sessions/session67.html with “Mike Hill”:http://www.mandu.co.uk and “Getting to know your Customer”:http://www.spaconference.org/sessions/session68.html with “Andy Pols”:http://www.pols.co.uk

Sign up before the end of the month to get the discount!

Looks like all conference committees are the same

“This one”:http://3dpancakes.typepad.com/ernie/2006/01/the_2nd_annual_.html is run by the theorists


Brian Foote has linked back to my posting and now I realise that I’ve broken blog etiquette by not providing a “via” link, like this one:

via “Brian Foote”:http://www.laputan.org/catfish/archives/000163.html

A sustainable commons

Bill Caputo (hi Bil!) has been readiing Jared Diamond’s “Collapse”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collapse_%28book%29. It’s possibly one of the most depressing books I’ve read. Bill “writes about”:http://www.williamcaputo.com/archives/000256.html how societies cling to established practices, even when they’re disastrous in the current situation.

There is another lesson from the book. There are a couple of examples where societies, for whatever motivation, have managed to sustain the resources on which they depend. One is Iceland and its fishing grounds, another is Japan since the Shogunate and its forests. According to Diamond, Iceland maintains very strict control over catches, even sending inspectors out on the boats. If there’s any sign of stress in the stock, the relevant area is closed immediately. This seems to work despite huge temptations for trawler skippers to cheat.

Both cases share some characteristics: ownership aligned with exploitation (in the best sense) and a long-term view. Are these also essential for an Agile project (well, any project really)? The One Team practice says that all the right people have a stake in the success of a project. The organisation must do its best to reduce any motivation for people to game the results and concentrate on finger pointing instead. Similarly, an absolute commitment to quality means that everyone realises that the system has a life beyond its initial sign-off. Someone has to support this stuff, and it might be us.

How to Prototype a Game in Under 7 Days: Tips and Tricks from 4 Grad Students Who Made Over 50 Games in 1 Semester

I don’t even remember how I found “this artice”:http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20051026/gabler_01.shtml

I was trying to avoid working on my lecture slides at the time.

Lisp is Sin

I’m not sure I agree with everything, but it’s a “good post”:http://blogs.msdn.com/sriram/archive/2006/01/15/lisp_is_sin.aspx

Of course, I especially liked:

bq. I’ve been working on a prototype of something at work – where I started off the usual imperative programming style. Realizing that this wasn’t going to scale, I rewrote it in functional style making full use of C#’s anonymous delegates and iterators. When I had to make a major change, it was *so much* easier to add in extra functionality since I was just passing closures around.

via “Don Box”:http://pluralsight.com/blogs/dbox/archive/2006/01/15/18044.aspx

Two very different cultures

I know these images are slightly unfair, but they do seem to express the cultural difference between these well-known IT companies:

zen_master.jpg complicated_bill2.jpg

via “Presentation Zen”:http://presentationzen.blogs.com/presentationzen/2005/11/the_zen_estheti.html

No, no, no, Mr. Jobs!

“This”:http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/ is not what I want, “this”:http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2006/01/dear_god.html is. 5.6lbs weight. Dongles for VGA (forgot mine again this week). New, incompatible power connection.

Another year to wait, then.

My bug report made the headlines…

I was trying to “upload a keynote presentation”:http://37signals.com/svn/archives2/trouble_with_directories_posing_as_files_in_browsers.php to “backpack”:http://backpackit.com/ and they wrote up the bug in public…

A new generation of Lego Mindstorms

Described “here”:http://nxtbot.com/blog/?p=9.

Via “lemonodor”:http://lemonodor.com/archives/001324.html