Good Enough!

A blog about "good enough" things - for those who don't need, can't afford, or don't care about the "very best".

Friday, March 17, 2006

"Good Enough" programming

Look, I'm not exactly a Web Developer, having spent most of my career bending mainframes to my will (while mainframes can and do perform Web duties, my job is to install the software making it happen, not the applications) - but this post by Tim Bray, who IS very knowledgable in web development, resonates with my "good enough" meme.

It appears to me that the RESTful and LAMP techniques, which you can certainly read about in a hundred different places should you be interested, are the application development embodiment of "good enough". This is also stated elsewhere (probably again by the inimitable Mr. Bray) as "the simplest thing that could possibly work". The WS- stuff, however, is at the other end of the spectrum, being dependent upon the definition of a bunch of complex standards and specification. Which isn't to say that it won't work - but if you want an analogy, REST and LAMP are the 32" color TV you bought cheaply this year, to replace something else, and which shows the game quite well thank you, whereas WS- stuff is the multiple-thousand-dollar plasma screen which also does the same thing.

Beyond that, there's also the resource cost of developing in these technolgies: these days, people doing the down-and-dirty development work of applications for businesses know that their application may have a short shelf life: business needs change very quickly, and therefore the software does too. Why spend all that money developing WS-compliant stuff if you're just going to throw it out later? Use something instead that's "good enough" to get the job done, and move on!

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