Prototyping / Re: ... Bugging != Hacking

Clay Phipps phipps at fortune.UUCP
Tue May 8 05:02:45 AEST 1984

I contend that what John McNamee is doing in designing his message
system is closer to "rapid prototyping" than "hacking".
After all, the guy did give the project a lot of thought
before he sat down and began coding.  
Advance thought rarely characterizes a hacker's style, at least to my mind.
It is quite reasonable that someone who has to implement a poorly-defined
project (no offense intended -- I suspect that the school system in question
can't tell in advance what they want, but like "art", are sure they will 
recognize it when the see it) eventually sits down and starts to code
a first pass at the system, to make sure that it is in the ballpark
for what the end-users want.  Recall Fred "Mythical Man Month" Brooks' 
admonition to "build one to throw away".

Experience does not necessarily have anything to do with "hacking";
it can simply cause a hacker's bad habits to become more deeply ingrained.
There *are* people who fail to learn from their mistakes, after all.

-- Clay (where did I put my asbestos suit ?) Phipps

   {cbosgd decvax!decwrl!amd70 harpo hplabs!hpda ihnp4 sri-unix ucbvax!amd70}

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