Re: XP versus "Charmingly 1970's"

From: Douglas W. Jones <jones_at_cs_dot_uiowa_dot_edu>
Date: Sun May 30 2004 - 11:04:57 CDT

On May 27, 2004, at 12:21 AM, james_in_denver wrote:

> My thoughts are XP works well when the organization is solely
> responsible for the release and implementation of new features. However
> given the constraints that each and every release must be submitted to
> an external verification/acceptance process that may last several
> months, this leads me to believe that this is not an acceptable release
> cycle. For development/internal review cycles XP works just fine. But
> when it comes to verification/acceptance, I personally feel that a more
> structured release approach is required.

XP and other styles of incremental design are extremely valuable, but
some elements of XP are particularly problematic.

One of them is an insistance on never backing down. Another is an
insistance on never doing overall architectural design. In effect,
pure XP works primarily in the context of straightforward GUI driven
applications, where you take an overall architecture (event driven
object oriented GUI framework, for example), and incrementally grow
your application in that context.

It's much harder to use XP to grow the framework itself, or to use
XP to develop systems that must conform to complex specs, such as
voting systems. XP, in its doctrinaire form, lets marketing write
the development roadmap, deciding which feature to focus on for the
next step. This is crazy in the world of voting systems.

But, some key parts of XP transplant very well into other contexts,
for example, incremental development, where rigorous acceptance tests
for each development increment are developed in advance of or in
parallel with that increment.

                Doug Jones
                jones@cs.uiowa.edu
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Received on Mon May 31 23:18:13 2004

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