Skip to main content

Your code is not a project

Language matters, just as saying the wrong word to the wrong person can leave you with one less front tooth, so too can the incorrect use of language in general create a cascade of confusion that pervades an entire industry.

One of my pet peeves about the use of language in the software arena is the use of the word "Project". This usage as far as I know goes back to IDEs grouping software artifacts as projects. The notion of a project as the top level organizing construct for software projects (see what I did there?) is now a de facto standard. One problem with this is that it is a complete misuse of the notion of a project. A project is not a thing, it is a process! A project has (or at least should have) a well defined start and end.

As a process, by its very nature, its essence is vague. So when something whose essence is precise (software) is called a project it leaves the reader wondering exactly what is being described. Whenever I come across a documentation describing a piece of technology and then goes on to describe some top-level construct of its configuration as a "Project", I am left wondering exactly what this entails. In other words giving the top level construct its proper name would allow a reader to know immediately what is being described, calling it a project means I need to unwrap its meaning somewhere else.

For instance in designing Hivemind I deliberately stayed away from creating any top level construct that could be considered a "Project". Instead there is an application (a thing), then there is a Task/Project management feature which can be used to actually manage a project. In this way the application is just a component of some project (it could belong to more than one project), the application (or applications) are mere artifacts of the project, they are not the project itself. Now you may well need to organize a group of artifacts into some higher order category or construct, but this still won't be a project :)

The words you use for things (especially complicated things like software) often becomes an anchor for how you think about those things, so while it may seem harmless to mislabel things, there can be real negative impact over time. At the very least the rampant misuse of the term project within software leads to what I call "low grade" confusion.

#TGIF

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The feds need to shutdown the bitcoin scam now.

I live in Baltimore, let's say I have some hypothetical friends who are always looking for a good hustle.

Now imagine if my friends got together for a new get-rich-quick-scheme, the scheme is very simple. They invent something called cracken (bitcoins) that they start selling on a few blocks in Hamsterdam.

The way you get crackens is to do laps around the blocks in Hamsterdam. Initially when the scheme was setup, you could get a whole lot of crackens by merely doing a few strolls around the block. Needless to say my friends made out like bandits, since, after all they created the scheme and could take advantage of the first-come-first-serve rules.

Unfortunately for the rest of the hood, the number of laps required to get the same number of crackens keeps going up and after a while even the fittest folks in the neighborhood cannot do the lapse required to earn crackens.

Cracken mania takes hold and infects the whole city. Those with crackens start trading these crackens for exor…

Configuring Kubernetes with Solvent

We've recently been making the rounds showing how Solvent can help with tackling complex configurations often expressed in JSON or YAML.

Kubernetes and other solutions that rely heavily on declarative configurations are ideal candidates for Solvent.

Demo to the Kubernetes SIG Apps group



Demo to the Kubernetes Community


There is an online demo; for anyone who wants login info send an email to ekemokai using google's email service.

What happened to sharing work with other developers?

There was a time when you could create something interesting and post it to a forum with programmers and actually get people interested in what you have. These days it seems short of being blessed (exactly by whom, only god knows) on HackerNews there is little chance you can get anyone's attention.

It is difficult to say precisely what the issue is because it seems multifaceted. It appears a combination of the rise of GateKeepers, perhaps cynicism inspired by the rise of GateKeepers and just a general overload of information has coalesced into a very difficult situation for those of us still daring to create without a VC backed turbo to charge forward with.

Over the past 5-8 yrs I have become quite dishearten by this loss of a genuinely curios developer community, or maybe I am just an old (36) fart who's been left behind.

Even tenure in certain communities doesn't count for anything anymore. I have been a member of HackerNews for 8.5 yrs and have only had 3 or 4 of my po…