Re: how to list items

Subject: Re: how to list items
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 13:52:41 -0500

Richard G. Combs wrote:

Well, Dick makes a valid point -- as always. But, Sean, you said that the
interface order had already changed twice and speculated that it would
change again. That suggests that the order isn't locked in by "an
ill-considered architectural decision," this project isn't in the "later
stages" yet, and the order could be rethought. I'd certainly talk to people
and look for the _best_ solution before settling for a less-desirable

I'm sorry if I was unclear before (I know I could have chosen a better example, but none came to mind).

I mean precisely that there are situations--and this _might_ be one of them--where the order the elements appear is an artifact of some uncontrolled, nondeterminant process, so that the developers don't know before the build what the sequence is going to be. I mean it could depend on something as inane as the check-in date of various component files or the last-saved date of a bunch of .dlls, or the autosequence key numbers of a bunch of asynchronously entered rows in a database table, or who-know-what. These would not change as the result of design decisions but as the result of every build of the software. Heck, they could even change at installation time. Now that would truly be a stupid way to design software, but it is clear that if the design decision was made early in the planning for the project it could be quite difficult to change at a late stage of development. That may not be the case here--I hope it isn't--but it is certainly a plausible happenstance.


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