Sunday, 22 June 2008

Order-dependence of design decisions

When the proggit community was asked for their best piece of Best piece of insight for computer programming/software engineering? some excellent responses were elicited, including this one from hamsterboy:
The quality of the design of a piece of software depends on the order in which you make the design decisions. 5 years from now, the earliest decisions will have the most far-reaching consequences, and will be the most difficult to re-think.
This can be taken incorrectly as an indictment of incremental approaches or, more acutely, as justification for periodic re-design.

Recently I have been working on a port /re-design of a 2.5 year-old product and it has been an absolute pleasure to be able to take advantage of the insights learned the first time round.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Where did the red hair come from?

Here's a picture of my kids, both of whom are gingies:

Ella (left) and Jake

Since neither I nor Andi (Mum) is a red-head we are incessantly asked "Where did the red hair come from?"

Popular answers include:
  • Postman Pat
  • Alien abduction
  • They are freaky mutants
Incidentally, none of their grand- or great-grand-parents were red-heads, but they have a few carrot-headed cousins.

Apparently the genetics of red-hair is not simple. In particular, it is not just a case of a recessive gene hiding away for a few generations.

Andi and I are not planning any further children. I have suggested that we try for a non-redhead, but the danger of a third gingy has proven to scary.

Jake's 10 Commandments

As part of this year's Shavuot celebrations at my son's kindergarten every child devised his or her own version of the 10 commandments. This is what Jake came up with:

Jake's 10 Commandments
  1. No jumping on other people.
  2. After eating at kindergarten please have a drink to wash down the food that is stuck in your teeth.
  3. No poo-ing in your undies.
  4. I will not bend my glasses.
  5. My sister cannot slap me.
  6. I will not take the mattress off my bed and throw it on the floor.
  7. Do not slam the door on somebody's fingers.
  8. No touching the stove when it is on.
  9. No screaming.
  10. No tipping water out of the bath.