Only Me and Me


One feature, 62-page spec.

There is just something wrong with software engineering.
Maybe that’s the way we keep our job, just like lawyers, since no one can really figure out what the law book is talking about except them.
All right, at least I love my job and I can put up with reading stuff like RFC’s, ISO standards, blah.  But I seriously feel things need to be simplified in this business.
Perhaps some day software engineering can evolve into something more like mathematics rather than some kind of religion?
In mathematics, people thrive to make stuff simple so that they can communicate their ideas more efficiently.
In religion, people try to make things vague so that it looks like the holy rules kinda cover every possible case.
The sad thing is I don’t know how to change it.  In fact, hardly is there anyone that actually knows.  Even the largest software company in the world can’t get it right, for its No.1 major product.
We designed a maze to defend ourselves so that we think we are invincible or omniscient.
Only to find out that at the end of the day we are trapped.

5 responses to “One feature, 62-page spec.

  1. Yu December 6, 2006 at 12:43 pm

    That\’s a major problem in many software companies.
    There are researchers working on formal methods and specification languages. But due to lack of practical experience, those are rarely used in software production. Current research works only for things like algorithm description, but it seems to me there is none of them works for GUI design and protocol specification like RFC, since external interactions are hardly modelled. There are researchers working in the area of event based control modelling, such as Discrete Event Systems, but few people has applied it to software design (modelling) and testing (verification). Most of the time people just exchange these ideas in human language, which is vague per se.
    Just keep waiting until the issue become serious and hopefully the relevant research become more mature by the time. 🙂

  2. Demon December 7, 2006 at 1:45 am

    Stuff like UML?? What a joke…

  3. Yu December 8, 2006 at 11:39 am

    UML is a well-known <strike>junky</strike> informal specification method. :DThere are formal methods for specification and this one seems to be a little bit relevant example.

  4. Demon December 10, 2006 at 8:13 pm

    I will take a look, : )

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