The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

“We the willing”

I'm was still trying to process that the process of our process is to process the process to ensure the process has processed the process when I came across this rather insightful comment about the FizzBuzz Enterprise Edition:

A combination of wasteful architecture astronomy and legitimate need to divvy up absolutely mammoth line-of-business applications among teams with hundreds of members operating for years with wildly varying skill levels, often on different subsystems from different physical locations, with billions of dollars on the line. You can't let the least senior programmer in the Melbourne office bring down the bank if he screws up with something, so instead you make it virtually impossible for him to touch anything than the single DAO which he is assigned to, and you can conclusively prove that changing that only affects the operation of the one report for the admin screen of a tier 3 analyst in the risk management group for trans-Pacific shipping insurance policies sold to US customers.

The tradeoff is, historically, that you're going to have to hire a team of seven developers, three business analysts, and a project manager to do what is, honestly speaking, two decent engineers worth of work if they were working in e.g. Rails. This is a worthwhile tradeoff for many enterprises, as they care about risk much, much, much more than the salary bill.

(I spent several years in the Big Freaking Enterprise Java Web Applications salt mines. These days I generally work in Rails, and vastly prefer it for aesthetic and productivity reasons, but I'm at least intellectually capable of appreciating the advantages that the Java stack is sold as bringing to users. You can certainly ship enterprise apps in Rails, too, but "the enterprise" has a process which works for shipping Java apps and applying the same development methodology to e.g. a Rails app would result in a highly effective gatling gun for shooting oneself in the foot.)

A comment on HackerNews about FizzBuzz Enterprise Edition

And how having attended several scrum meetings (at the behest of our Corporate Overlords) for “Project: Gibbons” (a slimmed down and simplified version of “Project: Lumbergh”) I can see how this “enterprise development” is shaking out—it's a form of Conway's Law: “[O]rganizations which design systems … are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations.” It's gone from what should be a simple one week project (because all it's doing is looking up a name based upon a phone number and that's it) into a multi-month project mired in internal bureaucratic overhead. I'm not going to go into details, but just note that yes, Dilbert is a documentary.


The Electric King James Bible Remake

It's been a long time since I last mentioned The Electric King James Bible, an experiment I did back in late 1999 in URL addressing a portion of a document (which influenced the structure of my blog). The code hasn't changed much since 1999 (there was a bug fix around 2010 it seems), and thus, it has sat there, chugging along with little attention to the greater world.

Until the past month when I've had email discussions with two different people about The Electric King James Bible. Both people were interested in the addressing scheme, which I think is still unique on the Internet. How many sites will let you link directly to a portion of the Bible and get Noah's Ark or Samson and Delilah? It can also handle some pretty bad misspellings (levitakus 19:19 anyone?). One of the respondents mentioned it would be nice if The Electric King James Bible was available via Gopher.

Well, yeah, I do have a gopher site, so it wasn't all that difficult to present a similar interface (in fact, it uses the same data files as the web version). So of course now you can get your Noah's Ark story and Samson and Delilah story from gopherspace. And any other Bible story you care to, just as long as you know where in the Bible it resides.


The Quick and Dirty B-Movie Plot Generator, now in Gopherama!

As long as I was making The Electric King James Bible available via Gopher, I thought I might as well adapt The Quick and Dirty B-Movie Plot Generator to Gopher as well. It pretty much works the same as the web version. Just reload the page for different plots and when you find one you like, you can just bookmark it.

Obligatory Picture

[It's the most wonderful time of the year!]

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent links to that entry only. The format for the links are simple: Start with the base link for this site: http://boston.conman.org/, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

http://boston.conman.org/2000/08/01

You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.

You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that important.

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