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From Nicola Ken Barozzi <nicola...@apache.org>
Subject Re: What is Avalon?
Date Mon, 24 Jun 2002 06:46:22 GMT
Pete Carapetyan wrote:
> There is no better vaccination against re-use than similar, but 
> divergent approaches and syntax. In this, I seem to differ with all 
> committers, as most committers believe deeply in making the right 
> decisions. I believe consistency, in this regard, is much more important 
> than perfection, though it would also be nifty keeno better etc to have 
> both.

IMHO it's good to anelate towards perfection, but obsessiveness in it 
can hurt us.

The Middle Ages paradox, often referred to as "Buridan's ass", states 
that, when given the option of two equally wonderful piles of hay, the 
ass will starve to death because it cannot choose.
This concept was first discussed in writing by Aristotle, but has been 
in existence long before it was documented in writing.

If we keep many implementations, as wonderful as they may be, we will 
make our users starve to death, or do so ourselves in trying to make the 
perfect container.

> English is a lot like Avalon in that respect. If you have ever studied 
> languages, you might come to the conclusion that there are really some 
> much better languages that could be used as a common world wide 
> language. Yet it is [a/the] primary language not because it is the best, 
> but because it is the most universally spoken in certain key circles. 
> Consistency wins out over quality. This is not an endorsement, but 
> rather an observation of the way the market works. I don't necessarily 
> like it, but nobody asked me either. And nobody ever will. Yet if 
> language experts were in charge, the focus would be fixing the problem, 
> or the language, or the choice of languages as the standard. But to the 
> market, it is already fixed. Learn English. Kinda stupid, but one goes 
> with the flow.

That's also why many outsiders say: "Hey, we have commons-logging, JNDI, 
JMX, why do you want to rewrite all?".
Making excalibur a fucine of Avalon-commons didn't help us in this 
regard, but we are addressing it now.

> If you want software re-use, make Avalon consistent, as simple as 
> possible, provide less rather than more documentation, and tight 
> coupling becomes avoidable. We all win. Except maybe the perfectionists, 
> who want to keep making it more perfect.

This is an updated humoristic version of Buridano's ass (the donkey, 
stupid, what did you think? :-P

An ass, standing equidistant from two identical bales of hay, would 
convene a Congressional subcommitee to appoint a panel of experts to 
interview those involved to produce a thirty-five pound ring-bound 
document detailing the problem and then starve to death.

> If you are looking for good swordplay, I have given you all you would 
> ever want, just twist my words into saying that Avalon should be 
> imperfect, and battle forever. But that is not the case. Nail it down 
> and keep it consistent - we got some friggin geniuses working on it here 
> already. Perfection would probably come anyway.


Nicola Ken Barozzi                   nicolaken@apache.org
             - verba volant, scripta manent -
    (discussions get forgotten, just code remains)

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