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On Wed, 11 May 2016 08:45:06 -0700, Electric Comet

lot of effort.
Writing documentation first makes both the documentation and the product better.
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On Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 6:22:37 PM UTC-4, krw wrote:

Yeah, but you always draw the flow-chart *after* you write the code.
At least that's the way it was done in college. ;-)
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On Thu, 12 May 2016 11:23:41 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

Ayup! ...and that's why software is so buggy. ;-)
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On 5/12/16 5:25 PM, krw wrote:

Being a software engineer, I can relate to this!
The typical design process is:
Hardware people make a design and any missing/iffy parts are left to the software people to deal with.
The software people write the code and any missing/iffy parts are left to the document/manual writers to work out.
Tech writers type up the manuals and any missing/iffy parts are left for the end user to figure out.
-BR
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problem is that no one had a complete specification in the first place. When I worked for IBM, a *complete* specification was a requirement. The specification was half the work and drove all of the rest of the above "people".
From another job... Inverting a signal isn't so much of an "iffy bit". I was once told by our software engineer that flipping a bit was too difficult because he'd have to release all his code. Management bought it, so I had to spin a board (several thousand dollars - and a couple of month hit to the schedule), re-test, re-release all of the documentation. All *real* money. He had to re-release his code (something that happened fairly regularly anyway) because the all of hardware part numbers changed.
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On Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 11:08:58 AM UTC-4, krw wrote:

I hang out in an Excel forum and often write VBA macros for people that submit their "requirements". They'll post what they want the code to do and I'll respond with a macro that fulfills their stated requirements.
Their next response will often be: "Hey thanks! That works great. Now can you make it do "this"?" I'll chastise them a bit about incomplete requirements, rework the code and then post it.
"Hey thanks again! Sorry about leaving out those extra requirements. BTW, can you also make it do "this"?"
It's at that point that I'll usually ask them what they think would happen if they were actually paying for the code and kept adding requirements after the contracted-for specifications had been met. Do they think that they can just expect re-work after re-work with no implications - either additional costs or bloated code with all sorts of bolt-ons that impact the efficiency and maintainability?
I can only hope that it plants a seed for the next time they need help - even if it's free help.
...snip...
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Good luck with that!
Bill
BTW, my wife came to me the other day asking me how to get rid of the annoying message that kept appearing on her screen. It said "Out of file space". It's beside the point that there is a second drive on the machine that has 50GB of free space. It might as well not even be there. I think I'll go find her a few more GB to work with...
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"DerbyDad03" wrote in message

I've been watching for decades for things to be different... hasn't happened and I doubt it ever will. I see a lot of what I refer to as "western movie set" applications done with tools like MS Access... fancy interface with barely anything behind it or things that don't work correctly. IT hasn't supported the Excel or Access apps in any company where I've worked... nor on the college campuses. Those apps are the business's problem and very few "in the business" have formal training. IT also hides behind the phrase "out of scope" as a dynamic business environment moves forward IT checks off their "in scope" boxes... the finished product doesn't meet the business needs. It's been like this for decades... Agile is the latest thing to raise it's head in my business circles... at least it looks like something is getting done. ;~)
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On Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 4:47:57 PM UTC-4, John Grossbohlin wrote:

What's even scarier is that I know for a fact that some businesses are being run on programs that came from a free-help forum. I know that because I've written Excel macros to create invoices, track inventory, tracks projects, etc.
Scary indeed!
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"DerbyDad03" wrote in message

My father's theory is that the only reason any business survives is because they are all screwed up... ;~)
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clear mission statement for the project, combined with terminal feature creep. When the programmer starts programming he has no idea of what the actual requirements are for the program, and before he gets that (whatever it is) figured out, there are a dozen or more features thrown in - whether requirements, or just "gee whiz, I didn't know I could do THAT!!!"
If the requirements were properly laid out, and the processes properly flow charted, a programmer today could still do the equivalent of running a full featured spread sheet on a 4K machine with a 4.3Mhz 8 bit processor. And the documentation would be adequate and accurate enough to allow a programmer 20 years from now to modify it as necessary - and even understand what the program was doing and how.
In todays (custom software in particular) world, fixing one problem or adding one feature invariably causes numerous other problems - due in Large part to totally inadequate program documentation..
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On 5/14/16 2:56 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Amen!
My current project is first defined by the end users (scientists) dreaming up a set of features that 'would be great' and others that are needed. Nothing wrong with that, but still rather vague. The hardware people make the 'mechanics' possible. All the while management wants a complete middleware design before any work begins. I get a good laugh when rereading those docs and comparing with what we had to do to get there. Some projects are simple enough to do the fully engineered program, others are just too cutting edge or completely beyond anything done before you always end up doing the 'spiral' where you get the thing working, re-design, re-work, etc.
I had an embedded processor that I had managed to get all the code into a few MBs of memory. At one point someone wanted a web server built in so they added not one, but two tomcat servers, full blown features, written in Java. Needed to up the memory from 64M to 1 GB.
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The old addage needs to be remembered - first you make it work - THEN you make it pretty!!. Doesn't matter how glitsy the interface is if it doesn't do the job.
Or the other one - It doesn't matter if you've got your shit together - if it's shit - it's still shit..

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wrote in message

I seem to run into more glitzy front ends than I do things that work... Management buys into the pretty front end and assumes it actually does what the front end suggests it does. I've had to fix three of those types of apps in recent months. The same developer built all three... and changed roles leaving the dysfunctional mess behind.

Garbage in... Gospel out...
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On Thu, 12 May 2016 11:23:41 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

I see you don't believe in "intelligent design"??
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote in wrote:

Could you imagine the Universe if it was designed by "trial and error"? It'd probably be like a lot of software...
Puckdropper
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On 13 May 2016 05:55:41 GMT, Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote:

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On 13 May 2016 05:55:41 GMT, Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote:

built" documentation. Their "onboard software" would serve to support their thesis.
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On 5/12/16 11:55 PM, Puckdropper wrote:

Kind of like if civil engineers (bridge builders) worked like software writers...
-BR
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[Build a Bridge] -> <Is Bridge still Standing?> --Yes--> [Good Job!] ^ V------------------ No ^----------------------- | [Oops!] --> [Add another layer of abstraction and try again] -------------[Perhaps Regular Expressions would help?] <---
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