Software Development IS Like Writing a Story

See the previous post in this series for togetherness.

137180pxtarzan2 The reality is that people do write stories with perfect characters. While the situations in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ books were broken and brought about by despicable (not many shades of gray) men and beautiful but damaged women, John Clayton (or John Carter) was pretty much perfect.

When writing software, you almost never have a perfect feature. There are so many different possibilities that somewhere, in some place, at some time, your feature would be rendered imperfect.

Gemmell might not stand against literary giants, but I’ll read him once a year at least.

Gmail doesn’t do exactly what Outlook does, but I’m not going back.

So what do we do?

We write stories and software to be more than the sum of their parts.

Software Development Is Not like Writing A Story

I’ll be doing another post replacing the “Is Not” with “Is” soon.

109drhorrible-nph-01 In a story, you can’t have a lot of perfect characters. That’s boring. So when you write a story, you write imperfections into the characters, into the situations, into the fabric of the story itself.

In a piece of software, you CAN have a lot of perfect features. Even in a small piece of software, you want 2 or 3 features that rock hard.

A story with Wolverine, Bill Adama, Rand al’ Thor, Captain Mal, Han Solo and Peter Petrelli would explode under the weight of all that awesomeness. But a piece of software with all of that awesomeness would be, well, peachy.

I realise that the above characters are not perfect. They are all flawed. But they are perfect “main man” characters.

And yes, my argument here is flawed. Ha ha.

A story needs flaws. A piece of software needs perfection.

Clarion Folklore Podcast #6 Is Live!

“I think that’s considered a bug isn’t it?”

– Dave Harms

“If you learn everything, then you know everything.”

– Bruce Johnson



Ken “Deep Assign” Wragg (

Dave “Clarion Sharp” Harms (

Bruce “He Didn’t Know That” Johnson (

Stu “I Need More Diet Coke” Andrews (

Some Of The Things We Talk About

  • Ken’s “Deep Assign” tip
  • Dave’s work with Clarion Sharp and Webish Templates
  • 600 Pages Of Manual
  • The new Clarion 7 version
  • My girl’s coming in fighting about a toy

Why C Is Better Than C++ and Other Stories Of Opinion

003joh-bjelke-peterson-wideweb-430x426 Opinion.

It drives our society and our singularity.

C is better than C++.

Python is better than both.

No, Machine-Code is the way to go.

If you don’t use PHP for web you’re an idiot.

Scripter? Please.

Rails rules.

Rails bites.

Language Arguments suck.

If you can get things done in PHP then major (Major) kudos. If Rails makes you your first million, awesome high-fives. If Cobol still floats that old-school boat, go for it.

Don’t tell me why a language sucks. Show me what can be done. Make something. Use the tools you have and get it done.

Get it done.

Get. It. Done.

Here’s my opinion:

I’d rather make something with the tool I have than sit and argue about whether the tool is all it could be, or whether the tool is not what it should be.

Why Is Google Analytics A Boon And A Curse? – The Cry Of A Small Pond Blogger

Ha ha. That’ll learn me. Not five minutes after posting this, Kieron of the most excellent Rock Paper Shotgun just uber-pimped Space Office Fight.

I am no longer sad. Someone should wipe the smile off my face.

Here’s my Google Analytics graph for the last month (ish):


Impressive huh?


I’ve been doing this (blogging) for a while now. Dev Dawn started back in August 2005. So this August will be four years.

Sure, that’s not very long compared to some, but it’s long enough. I’m still here. Still going.

Google Analytics is both a Boon and a Curse.

Boon – Seriously, you need to know this stuff about your blog. And Google Analytics is free. It tells you most everything a little blogger could want to know.

Curse – Have you seen the above graph? One spike. And we’re not talking about thousands here either. The spike is a StumbleUpon hit parade that took me to just under a thousand visits that day. Every other day ranges around the five to ten visits mark. Except there’s another bump when I released Space Office Fight, up to around seventy visits.

I’ve read Problogger and other wisdom on how to be a success at blogging.

I think I am a success because I write about what I’m doing, and I love doing it.

But I’m not a success in the terms that matter on a different level. Numbers. Visitors. Other people listening to you.

So what am I saying? Not a great deal. I’m a bit sad I guess. I’ve written some decent content over the past few months, released software, I’ve created a game and pimped it to the best of my ability (which needs to get much better, obviously).

Sometimes you want to see some concrete evidence of “the numbers” success. This is just one of those moments.

It is well.

The Rugby Man – Reason Why A Drinking “Ban” Won’t Work

Still pumped from the match last night. There was good and bad, however the crowd around where we sat changed my mind about things. Will speak about it in the next Episode.

Also, have some fantastic stuff in mind for the Match Report :)

It’s going in the next Episode, but thought I’d spring this text-wise upon you now.

There’s been a fair amount of news here (separate links) in Aus over the weekend with regards to alcohol misdemeaners by sporting profiles.

Instituting a ban won’t fix anything. That completely misses the point.

You want to start solving the problem? Institute real penalties. Dock Pay. Take players out of the weekend match. STOP THEM PLAYING.

Show some gumption and make them penalised in the best way available. These guys love, or most of them do, to play footy. Stop them playing.

The problem is, and here is the rub, that the Management DON’T REALLY SEE IT AS WRONG.

So until the Coaches, Club Management, State and National bureaucracy actually think it’s a bad thing, this will continue un-abated. Yup, I’m calling out whatever moral code you think is holding together our society.

I’m certain there are Coaches who do work hard at putting procedures into place, and who do have a problem with this. It’s not everyone, but the statement still holds.

It’s time to start thinking about the future. Meshing together the very fabric of who we are as a people. Sporting stars are a big part of that in our world today.

Time to think a little in the opposite way.