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From "Mark Lowe" <>
Subject Re: [FRIDAY] Re: has struts reached the saturation
Date Sat, 18 Mar 2006 11:49:26 GMT
I've stayed out of this silly thread up until now, but i guess its
time to be silly as well..

Now I imagine that I'll get burned by micheal o'grady (dakota jack)
for quoting this, but Ted's central principle that "darwin decides" is
a sound one. Its sound because it's also a principle that doesn't
state that struts or anything is good because its better or because he
influenced a group of people to act in a certain way, but because a
technology survives the ecological pressures of the economy and
projects that adopt such a approach remain profitable.

Now natural selection doesn't produce perfection, even in biology, but
what you can be sure if is that any organism that lives today has been
begat by organisms that have survived "well enough". If best technical
solutions always won then betamax would have won the video wars.

While struts is adopted and projects survive the ecological pressures
of engineering and economics it will probably survive. If a different
technoloy is adopted by other folk and they can knock out projects for
less then they will "probably" outlive struts or at least have a
better chance.

But all these abstract principles of perfection serve very little.
>From a darwinian perspective a ford motor car is more successful than
a ferrari. Now my understanding of the apache development that if
solutions (commits, patches etc) are best when they are real world
solutions, by facilitating these "adaptations" software is more likey
to survive ecological pressures because the adaptations are in direct
response to the enviornment in which these products find themselves.

The other important factor to have a healthy ecosystem that there is
never a single organism/technology that covers all niches. Its also
true that in a single ecosystem there are never two organisms that
occupy the same niche for very long. This is nature, and I don't see
the human activity of software development being very different.

I could carry on, but I wont.. What the main point is that it doesn't
really matter what anyone thinks of this and that. What will survive
will survive (excuse the tautology). Ferrari survives as does ford
(albeit from selling the financial products to buy their goods) they
occupy different niches. In the case of betamax and vhs only one
survived because they occupy the same niche. All any of us can do is
try and knock out projects as best and as cheaply as possible, and
darwin will decide the rest. Central to a good ecosystem is diversity.


On 3/18/06, Steve Raeburn <> wrote:
> I think the flaw in my analogy is that nobody will starve if they choose
> not to eat at the Struts shelter :-)
> Steve
> Frank W. Zammetti wrote:
> > Steve Raeburn wrote:
> >> Let me try another analogy. Let's say you go down to volunteer at a
> >> homeless shelter. You serve a few meals and wipe a few tables a
> >> couple of times a month. Do you become bound by any responsibility
> >> other than to show up and help? Do you become responsible for solving
> >> the homeless problem? Should you feel obligated to give someone a
> >> bed? Some people may feel they do have such a responsibility. Others
> >> won't. It's not my place to criticize a volunteer for not taking on
> >> those additional responsibilities. I am just grateful that you've
> >> just done a little bit to help out.
> >
> > That's a good analogy, it took me a while to figure out why it wasn't
> > right for me with my position in mind (you had me doubting myself for
> > a few hours before it hit me!)...
> >
> > If the volunteer does as you say, then I would agree, there isn't any
> > added/assumed responsibility.  One would hope they have their own
> > sense of responsibility and treat the homeless people kindly, but
> > that's about it.
> >
> > However... if the volunteer does good work and is consequently asked
> > to become a permanent volunteer by an existing group of permanent
> > volunteers, and as a result is given some degree of authority to make
> > decisions that will affect those that come to the shelter, then I
> > think there is definitely a higher level of responsibility to that
> > "community" of homeless, as well of course to the other permanent
> > volunteers. Again, as I've said all along, the degree of extra
> > responsibility I think is debatable.
> >
> > In your original analogy, the volunteer would be someone like me.  In
> > my modified version, they would be a committer.  At least in my eyes,
> > there is a difference.
> >
> > Excellent analogy though, you definitely made me think and evaluate my
> > position, I appreciate that! :)
> >
> >> Steve
> >
> > Frank
> >
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