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Re: Conway's Law [was: Point of Extensibility]

From: Marghanita da Cruz <marghanita@ramin.com.au>
Date: Fri, 04 Apr 2008 13:34:28 +1000
Message-ID: <47F5A1C4.2080901@ramin.com.au>
To: "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>
CC: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>, public-html@w3.org

Michael(tm) Smith wrote:
> Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, 2008-04-03 23:30 +0300:
>>  The Web platform already has Conway's Law written all over it, but we 
>>  shouldn't make the situation worse by adding more syntactic sign posting 
>>  between the parts created by different Working Groups. It's bad enough that 
>>  to script the DOM you need to know which element (or, in the case of XLink, 
>>  attribute!) came from which committee and use a different namespace URI 
>>  accordingly.
> Before seeing this mention of Conway's Law in your message, I got
> to admit I don't remember ever hearing of it. But after reading
> about it, it seems to me worth citing the actual wording here for
> the record:
>   Conway's Law states:
>     - Organizations which design systems are constrained to
>       produce designs which are copies of the communication
>       structures of these organizations.
>     - If you have four groups working on a compiler, you'll get a
>       4-pass compiler.
>   Or more concisely:
>     - Any piece of software reflects the organizational structure
>       that produced it.
> Given some of the communications structures we're working with, I
> guess the idea provides a lot of food for thought/amusement/worry.

Ah so that is why many Software Projects never see the light of day and those 
that do are so difficult to implement.

But as we are designing a language perhaps this is more relevant: "The Language 
of Thought Hypothesis (LOTH) postulates that thought and thinking take place in 
a mental language."


Marghanita da Cruz
Phone: (+61)0414 869202
Received on Friday, 4 April 2008 02:31:58 UTC

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