Posted Jul 23, 2006 13:08 UTC (Sun) by pizza
In reply to: inotify
Parent article: OLS: On how user space sucks
"Fast, cheap, good. Pick two" is a reflection of the reality that nothing is without cost.
If you want your software to be developed "good and fast", then it's not going to be cheap. If you want it "fast and cheap" then it's not going to be all that good. If you want it "good and cheap" then it won't happen particularly quicky.
"fast and cheap" is usually where software ends up when someone is directly footing the bill (and hence, there is an upper bound on cost, aka budgets/deadlines, and "good" tends to suffer). "Good and cheap" is where F/OSS software traditionally lies, where the "it'll be done when it's done" attitude is the norm. Then we end up with the likes of NASA (or other life-critical situtations), where the requirement of "good" is so important that it happens neither quicly nor cheaply.
The problem with the above generalization is that many larger F/OSS projects (including Gnome) actually fall into the first category, as the majority of the "work" is done by people required to do so, with formal goals, deadlines and budgets. F/OSS has gone up and been corporatized!
(Another glaring hole in this generalization is that "good" means different things to everyone -- In the end, only the one who is footing the bill gets to make that call -- but that is the nature of generalizations..)
And finally, I would agree with you and chalk up the problems that Dave raised to (A) and (B), although they both are symptoms of (C) -- which is usually due to inexperience, not idiocy. Subsequently, with better awareness of (A) and (B), (C) is lessened as the programmer presumably will learn from their mistakes.
Dave's ("spot on", as you put it) paper was a direct result of the idea embodied by the "no premature optimization" blurb that you took so much of an issue with. Without that instrumentation, this handful of bugs/mistakes wouldn't have likely come to light, and we wouldn't have been able to learn from them.
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