09 September 2002

There was a heated discussion about when casting should be used in C++ in our group assignment meeting yesterday. This URL http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~wiseb/xrds/ovp3-1.html seems to have a fairly convincing introduction on the subject.

Argh! A morning of writing specs at work! At least Gordon (our project manager type person) found a funny article which makes me feel better about it all: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000036.html.

My favourite quote:

The moral of the story is that with a contrived example, you can prove anything. Oops. No, that’s not what I meant to say.

This is a runner up though:

When you write a spec, you only have to communicate how the program is supposed to work once. Everybody on the team can just read the spec. The QA people read it so that they know how the program is supposed to work and they know what to test for. The marketing people use it to write their vague vaporware white papers to throw up on the web site about products that haven’t been created yet. The business development people misread it to spin weird fantasies about how the product will cure baldness and warts and stuff, but it gets investors, so that’s OK. The developers read it so that they know what code to write. The customers read it to make sure the developers are building a product that they would want to pay for. The technical writers read it and write a nice manual (that gets lost or thrown away, but that’s a different story). The managers read it so that they can look like they know what’s going on in management meetings. And so on.

Of course, the ultimate arguement against asking people what they would like is: http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/faq/misc.html#BIKESHED-PAINTING.

At the risk of making it sound like I spent an infinite amount of time web surfing today, this MS press release about the project manager who oversaw the final release of Windows 2000 is also interesting.