[Pharo-project] Enthousiasm is the main currency among developers

Ben Coman btc at openInWorld.com
Fri Jan 27 12:04:52 EST 2012

Marcus Denker wrote:
> On Jan 27, 2012, at 6:13 AM, dimitris chloupis wrote:
>> This article is really encapsulates the attitude and what is wrong with programming in general. The attitude of superiority and intelligence that seems to plague coders and being the biggest obstacle to progress.
> Yes! The "Everyone is dumb but me" phenomenon...
> What those "intelligent" people don't get is that complexity is inherently exponential. So even if you are 
> 10 times more intelligent than me (very well possible), it is *completely* irrelevant considering that complexity 
> grows non-linearly. 
> If you combine this with the notion of Evolution: that it is impossible to creat "the perfect" out of nothing, yet
> entropy grows when you incrementally improve things... than this has some very serious consequences.
The philosophy "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow" [1] appears 
to have worked well for Linux.  I particularly like this... "[the] 
original formulation was that every problem 'will be transparent to 
somebody'. Linus demurred that the person who understands and fixes the 
problem is not necessarily or even usually the person who first 
characterizes it. 'Somebody finds the problem,' he says, 'and somebody 
/else/ understands it. And I'll go on record as saying that finding it 
is the bigger challenge.'  "

The success of Linux is attributed not to Linus' great hacking skills 
but to his cultivation of his co-developers.

[1] http://catb.org/~esr/writings/homesteading/cathedral-bazaar/ar01s04.html

>> For me the main problem with is the whole aura of  "elitism" , what better example than Lisp, where beginners are attacked and be excluded.
> We had the same effect in Squeak at the end. No progress, every improvement was actively fighted against, if needed with the nice argument that
> one can do it even better, and only "the best" is worth for Squeak.
> Another thing that "intelligent" people don't get is that critizising is trivial: You can *always* do better, there is no perfection. It's an endless process.
> This implies that one has to accept and embrace imperfection if one wants to have a future. Else you end up never finishing anything, the death of any
> incremental progress.
> Pharo was started with the explicit goal to do as many mistakes as possible, as fast as possible.
Same link [1] above... " In those early times (around 1991) it wasn't 
unknown for [Linus] to release a new kernel more than once a /day!/"

alternatively at [2] Linus relates how today a more mature Linux manages 
"low risk" users as well as how features are selected to match the two 
month release cycle based on  "the most important thing about features 
are simply whether they are ready, and whether they have actual real 
users.  A lot of that is tied to our release process - it's largely 
based on _timing_ rather than on features. If something is ready to be 
merged, works, and has real users, it gets merged." [3]


> 	Marcus
> --
> Marcus Denker -- http://marcusdenker.de

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