Comments on book review

Tobias D. Robison robison at eosp1.UUCP
Tue May 15 08:16:17 AEST 1984


Many houses are built the way we write programs.  I have listened to
examples in painful detail.  Consider the typical tract house --
the subcontracter assumes that the contracter has given him nice square
corners to work with.  As he builds and discovers the survey was not so
precise, he starts to make changes,  shortening roof trusses and the like,
to make the house fit together.  A friend of mine who went through this
on his first subcontract job died of mortification thinking about the
hacks he had made to make the house fit.  Then he and his crew went and
looked at the rest of the tract and decided they had built the house with
the cleanest compromises!

Then there is the fellow I know who was visting the site of a major rework
to his house when one of the workers came over to the contractor to explain
that two parts of flooring were an inch and a half apart in height where they
met.  The two of them spent ten minutes deciding what to do, and then the
worker went on his way.  My friend marveled to the contractor that such pains
would be taken over such a small misfit.
"Oh, he's well-trained,", said the contractor.  "In front of the customer,
he says 'inches' when he means 'feet'..."
					- Toby Robison (not Robinson!)

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