Crap Is Gold

3,451 views
3,338 views

Published on

Rather than being a \"meritocracy\", CPAN is a \"used-ocracy\". Not the \"best\" software, but the software that users used.

Published in: Technology, Business
2 Comments
4 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Well, this is one of my favorite favorite slides, thanks to you I'll start to publish my crappie modules with no more fears that one will say that my module is crap :)
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • 'metis' is used in the book 'Seeing Like A State'. It's a Greek word which the author uses to mean 'the knowledge that can only come from practical experience.' An example he uses is a meteorologist vs a sea captain. The meteorologist, with a lot of computers and data, can make accurate, broad predictions and explain all the hows and whys of the weather. But put them both on a ship in the captain's home waters and the sea captain is the one who can look at the sky and tell you if there's a storm coming. It means local, subjective knowledge.

    An example of its application: its convenient to dice up fields into rectangular plots and say 'plant corn in this one, beans in this one...' but if you stand in the field you know that there's the little dip over there that always fills with water when it rains and kills the corn. And there's the spot over there that gets less sun because of a nearby hill.

    Metis is messy. It's specific to your situation (that a farmer has a muddy hollow in his field doesn't help anyone else). It's observation-based. It often doesn't know *why* a thing happens (the sea captain can't tell you why its going to rain, just that is will) but it often fits the situation much better than cookie-cutter knowledge handed down.

    It happens a lot in programming, especially in questions of style. Good style might say to do one thing, but the individual programmer, who knows their situation, might decide that 'good' style would actually be bad in their situation. That is an application of metis (and hubris).
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
No Downloads
Views
Total views
3,451
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
17
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
19
Comments
2
Likes
4
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Crap Is Gold

  1. 1. Balancing Sharing And Selfishness The CPAN Way
  2. 2. or
  3. 3. The Used-ocracy
  4. 4. or
  5. 5. Crap Is Gold
  6. 6. Hi I'm Michael Schwern I went to CMU I failed.
  7. 7. Perl
  8. 8. Perl is part of Unix
  9. 9. Perl has to work!
  10. 10. Comprehensive Perl Archive Network
  11. 11. CPAN
  12. 12. CPAN is half of Perl
  13. 13. CPAN breaks, Perl breaks
  14. 14. CPAN has to work!
  15. 15. CPAN is 90% crap 90% of everything is crap (present company excluded) That's ok because ideally you never find it And nobody uses it (for long)
  16. 16. Only 10% gets used That 10% is really good
  17. 17. Isn't that inefficient? Yes... ...but maybe it's the least inefficient in the long run
  18. 18. Oslo QA Hackathon Lots of arguments and productivity Lots of things that have been festering for years resolved
  19. 19. Improving CPAN Improving Perl testing
  20. 20. Why Us? Why this bunch of people? Why not somebody else?
  21. 21. Testing experts? Nope
  22. 22. Fancy degrees? Nope
  23. 23. Big companies? Nope
  24. 24. Why Us? Why this bunch of people? Why not somebody else?
  25. 25. We do
  26. 26. People use People use our stuff
  27. 27. Selected by use
  28. 28. Merit-ocracy? We're not there because we wrote the quot;bestquot; thing What is the quot;bestquot;? How do you select what is the quot;bestquot;?
  29. 29. Do-ocracy? We're not there just because we do the work. 90% of CPAN is crap They did, but they're not selected.
  30. 30. Used-ocracy We're there because our stuff gets used. That's it Even if it's internals are crap, it's useful
  31. 31. Selected by use
  32. 32. Not by poll
  33. 33. Not by vote
  34. 34. Not by asking
  35. 35. Not by what people want
  36. 36. By what people need Not just what they think or say they need But by what they actually need
  37. 37. Use illustrates need
  38. 38. Use is measurable Clearly measurable Downloads, phone homes, quot;popularity contestquot; Mailing list activity, robust communities Forks, patches...
  39. 39. Select By Use A healthy system selects by use
  40. 40. CPAN is a Used-ocracy The users select what is important.
  41. 41. Use is evolutionary
  42. 42. Pave the cow paths We were in Oslo to pave the cow paths
  43. 43. Pave the wagon trails
  44. 44. Descriptive Describing More formally Because the community had grown too large for conventions Word-of-mouth only goes so far Spread best practice
  45. 45. English dictionaries are primarily descriptive
  46. 46. Proscriptive Every time we proscribed something Came up with our own best practices Strayed off the cow paths It all went to hell We didn't have enough information Caused implementation problems
  47. 47. Proscribe the potentially bad
  48. 48. Proscribe the potentially good also proscribe the good
  49. 49. Proscribing change Nobody will ever want to do it this way Proscription backs you into a corner Proscription bets everything
  50. 50. My prediction for the future?
  51. 51. YOU'RE WRONG I'll win So many people make so many predictions over so much time Odds are they're wrong
  52. 52. Be Descriptive Describe only as much as you need Leave the rest open as a user playground Even the bad things They provide wedges to do amazing things years later
  53. 53. Descriptive embraces change The world will change Technologies change People change Safe bet Have a system that works with change
  54. 54. Can't predict change In the long term Who could have predicted the web? NCSA Mosaic 15 years ago in 1993 So you can't control it
  55. 55. NCSA Mosaic is 15 years old (The stable releases) That was the beginning of the modern web. The first graphical web browser.
  56. 56. Perl 5 is 15 years old Developed before the web took off
  57. 57. Perl is 20 years old
  58. 58. CPAN is 12 years old And for much of that time it wasn't intensely used. Not like it is now.
  59. 59. Perl predated the web Perl did not predict the web Perl became THE web language
  60. 60. Linux is 17 years old
  61. 61. Unix predated it Unix became THE web server Who had trouble?
  62. 62. Microsoft w/Win 95 and 98 And Windows 95 came *after* Mosaic
  63. 63. Controlling change is death or at least really painful in Microsoft's case
  64. 64. Descriptive embraces chaos
  65. 65. 90% is crap Taking a big crap is healthy
  66. 66. One man's crap Is another man's gold
  67. 67. App::Asciio For example
  68. 68. App::Asciio - Plain ASCII diagram | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | v | v | v | v v v ______ _____ / _ __ __/ __` L ____ ___ /_/_ / -----> __ /',__ /'___/ / -----> / /__, `/ __/ _ _ _/____/ ____ _ _ _____ /_//_//___/ /____/ /_//_//_____/ | | | | | | | | | | | v | | | v | | | v | | | v | | v v v (_/) (O.o) ASCII world domination is near! (> <)
  69. 69. default elements in an empty diagram .------------------------. | | | | | | .-------|---------------|--------|------------------------------------------. | | | | asciio | |-------|---------------|--------|------------------------------------------| | ......v---------......v........v......................................... | | .....| |..edit_me....--->....................................... | | .....'----------'........................................................ | | ......................................................................... | | ...................----------------..---------------..................... | | ..................| ASCII > || thin_box |.................... | | ..................| Rules line > || text |.................... | | ..................| Load || wirl_arrow |.................... | grid------------->..........| Save || arrow |.----------......... | | ..................| Export > || box > || star_box |........ | | ..................'----------------'| Rulers > |'----------'........ | | ...........................^........| Misc > |.................... | | ...........................|........| T_star |.................... | | ...........................|........'---------------'.................... | | ...........................|............................................. | | ...........................|............................................. | | ...........................|............................................. | | ...........................|............................................. | | ...........................|............................................. | | ...........................|............................................. | '----------------------------|----------------------------------------------' | context menu
  70. 70. .---. .---. .---. .---. .---. .---. OS API '---' '---' '---' '---' '---' '---' | | | | | | v v | v | v .------------. | .-----------. | .-----. | Filesystem | | | Scheduler | | | MMU | '------------' | '-----------' | '-----' | | | | v | | v .----. | | .---------. | IO |<----' | | Network | '----' | '---------' | | | v v v .---------------------------------------. | HAL | '---------------------------------------'
  71. 71. ‫ﻧﺪﱘ ﺍﺑﻦ ﺤﻣﻮﺪﺓ ﺍﳋﻤﻴﺮ‬ (Nadim Khemir) He had no idea if this would be a cool thing
  72. 72. He's written all this other stuff that hasn't gotten a lot of attention He happened to mention asciio at the hackathon Everyone made them show it off It was cheered, surprise hit of the conference
  73. 73. Will this be useful? People spend a tremendous amount of time worrying if something will be useful to anyone else. Should they release it?
  74. 74. No release == No information You can't predict use Unless you release it you'll never know if anyone's going to use it.
  75. 75. Don't worry, Be crappy Guy Kawaski Just throw it out there and see what sticks.
  76. 76. Release Early, Release Often Because you don't know what's going to be crap and what's gold Throw it out there and find out If nobody uses it, no worries, work on something else If the first release is crap and it gets used, you can always fix it in the next one
  77. 77. Cheap releases The release process should be so cheap that the cost of release is not a consideration I automate most of the process
  78. 78. Low barriers to entry CPAN only requires your release is... freely re-distributable (not even Open Source) something to do with Perl
  79. 79. Feedback about use The author should get lots of feedback about their release, if it's getting used, if there's bugs, patches, critiques...
  80. 80. Feedback Loop Starts a feedback loop Author makes changes based on use
  81. 81. Evolution System evolves based on use Evolution is very healthy and very robust
  82. 82. How do you know what people need? Nadim came up with this great thing, asciio Why did it he do it?
  83. 83. You don't know.
  84. 84. What do you know?
  85. 85. You know yourself.
  86. 86. You know your needs. Instead of writing what others need...
  87. 87. Write what you need. Knowing and doing what you need for your situation is known as...
  88. 88. Mêtis
  89. 89. Local
  90. 90. Practical
  91. 91. Personal
  92. 92. Subjective
  93. 93. Necessary It is the knowledge you need. It solves the problems you have. It includes all the necessary hacks to make it work in the real world. As opposed to...
  94. 94. Generalized Knowledge
  95. 95. Global
  96. 96. Abstract
  97. 97. Impersonal
  98. 98. Speculative
  99. 99. Simplified
  100. 100. About control Top down control. Making it easier for the implementers at the expense of the users.
  101. 101. Finding the holy grail Often never found
  102. 102. About getting things done Metis is...
  103. 103. You know your problem best
  104. 104. You know best if the solution fits quot;Art of muddling throughquot;
  105. 105. You write what you need. Then release it and see if anyone else needs it. Astoundingly effective.
  106. 106. Don't look up for help
  107. 107. Look side to side Look to yourself and the people around you They have a similar problem They'll accept a similar solution
  108. 108. Even the best authors only make a handful of useful modules
  109. 109. 90% is useless to others
  110. 110. 100% is useful to yourself
  111. 111. Write for yourself It's ok to be selfish The primary reason for working on something is because you need it Not because others need it Working for others for free means burnout.
  112. 112. (Mêtis)
  113. 113. Release for others
  114. 114. (Generalize)
  115. 115. Adapt for both
  116. 116. Work for yourself Share with others
  117. 117. Thanks
  118. 118. Questions? schwern@pobox.com

×