How have you make software less sucky, today?
Posted: Sep 22, 2005 8:52 AM
[...cat food problem...]
> I think this is a dodgy analogy. The problem is that it
> absolves both the developers and the customers of any
> responsibility and heaps the blame on a mysterious third
> party "the buyer". Indeed, looking at the various
> answers, it is apparent the we are in denial the we are
> delivering a lot of bad software.
Well, if someone takes that as being the only problem then, sure, I'd agree with you. However, I don't think anybody is saying that that's the only problem. The cat food problem certainly contributes to the suckage, though.
> A much better analogy (in my opinion) is that the cat food
> is bad because the producers aren't the consumers.
That's just a degenerate case of the cat food problem.
The crux is the fact that the feedback between the producers and consumers is dysfunctional (for whatever reasons).
Making the producers and consumers identical doesn't really solve the problem, it just gets rid of some of the hurdles. For example, look at all of the wars that different developers have over such trivial issues like formatting style, tools, languages, etc.
To be clear, I think that software suckage is a (set of) choices. For a lot of reasons, we as individuals, organizations, communities, industries, etc. choose to support, make, use, buy, condone, incite, etc. sucky software.