Jeff Darcy on Linus on specifications


Jeff Darcy over at "Canned Platypus" has written a nice piece on specifications and how Linus has got it wrong.

Any post that contains the phrase: "... who wouldn't know good code if it got into a robot and literally bit them ..." has to be worth a read, and as Jeff says, there's a vast difference between a truly good specification and a bad one. Good specs are worth their weight in gold and can be a joy to work from.

I'm just about to resume a project for a client who produces very good specifications and the certainty of the task at hand makes it easier to quote for the work and considerably less stressful to produce the code. A good specification and unit tests written to make sure that the code adheres to that specification usually makes for a very relaxed project delivery and release phase.


Don't forget to assert liberally.

Sorry, couldn't resist it ;-)

On Linux kernal development... I can heartily recommend listening to the presentation by Andrew Morton, "lead maintainer for the Linux public production kernel". Available here,

Over-paraphrasing part of it, 'if we break something, and if it matters we'll hear about it from our zillions of testers, if we don't hear about it, it obviously doesn't matter'.


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