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RE: Is "simplicity" a useful architectural constraint?

From: Jeff Lowery <jlowery@scenicsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 11:58:35 -0800
Message-ID: <3549BAFD79A7D411A1CF00508B62B5BC0124B997@exchange-us.scenicsoft.com>
To: www-tag@w3.org
Cc: "'Roy T. Fielding'" <fielding@ebuilt.com>
>  Which hints that simplicity (as a mental function) is 
> related to implicit
> order or being natural and intuitive.

But I think Mr. B is asking for a metric of simplicity. Intuition is hard to
quantify. However...

Let's think about the Lowery-Fielding Grokability scale (ah, sweet fame):

1  - Jeff understands it (and, by extrapolation, everyone)
2  - 
3  -
4  -
5  - 
6  -
7  -
8  - 
9  - 
10 - Only Roy understands it (and no one else)

Now, I'm not saying I'm a stupid man, but I am handicapped by having an
attention span comparable to that of a small rodent. Safe assured, I can
hold up the bottom end of the scale pretty well. Roy may be uncomfortable at
the very top end, but I think he's up there somewhere. Maybe James Clark or
one of the Tims should sit there, I dunno.

Okay, now where was I?  Oh yeah..

Now we need candidates for the vacancies in the scale. We can start will
self-ratings, although I suspect most on this list are not as humble as I
(ahem), so we're going to be a little top-heavy at first. 

Slots can be filled on a first-come basis, with alternates designated when
there's contention for a slot.

Onces the vacancies have been assigned, then comes the fun part: we start
rating the specs!

We have a mini-scale for grokability:

1 - What the ...?
2 - Lost me after the intro
3 - I think I kinda get it, maybe
4 - I can work with this
5 - There's errors on Page x, Section y, Paragraph z, where it states...

Every person at each slot (or alternate) starts reading the some spec, and
rating their understanding on the above scale. We adjust slot assignments
every 5 specifications in case one person on high slot seems consistently
more confused than another on a lower slot. 

The specs simplicity or impenetrability is then graphed, like so:

grok
5                         x  x
4             x  x     x  
3 - - - x - - - - - x - - - - -
2 x  x     x
1
  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  slot


Where the line of least squares crosses the dashed line (grokability=3) on
this scale is the simplicity rating of the spec. In the graph above, it
looks like it would cross at about slot 5, giving it a 5.0 simplicity index.

Now, if I can get some volunteers for the empty slots, I can start on the
W3C tech note. I'm shooting for a submittal date of April 1.

Jeff
Received on Thursday, 3 January 2002 14:59:06 GMT

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