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Re^9: Best practice or cargo cult?

by chromatic (Archbishop)
on Feb 03, 2007 at 03:21 UTC ( #598047=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^8: Best practice or cargo cult?
in thread Best practice or cargo cult?

If the Perl5 defaults are so error prone, then why on earth didn't you work to change them in the perl core...

Backwards compatibility.

I'd really like to say more, but I really shouldn't have to.

they will be enforced by others that don't have any clue about perl - our PHBs and project managers.

In the absence of PBP, clueless managers wielding arbitrary rules with little technical knowledge would wield arbitrary rules with little technical knowledge. That's the thing about justifying stupid rules--they don't need good reasons. They'll do it anyway.

Meanwhile, capable people have one more tool and one more book to read to gain more knowledge--knowledge that some of us learned the hard way.

I'm fairly bad with power tools. I'm also fairly glad that the people who came before me put safety guides on bandsaws. Yes, I know they don't prevent all accidents, but I have all of my fingers and toes today because the people who knew using power tools better than I did not only taught me how to use them well but helped put rules and guides in place in the hopes of preventing me from misusing them.

I fail to see how that's a bad thing, or how people determined to do the wrong thing no matter the cost or justification make the existence of those rules and guides bad either.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^10: Best practice or cargo cult?
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Feb 03, 2007 at 10:55 UTC
    I fail to see how that's a bad thing, or how people determined to do the wrong thing no matter the cost or justification make the existence of those rules and guides bad either.

    It's when the terms 'guidelines' & 'rules' become interchangable or indistinguishable, that the problems start.

    Perhaps this will help:


    In the traditional formulation, courts are required to discover law rather than invent it. In recent years this formulation has come under attack, as presupposing a Platonist ontology, and it is well to put the matter less metaphysically. Clearly we could commission the courts not to waste time giving reasons for their decisions, but to hand down their decisions more expeditiously, with occasional notes about what their policy is going to be for the future. This is the natural practice of administrative tribunals, headmasters and College deans; and it is noteworthy that as the Supreme Court of the United States of America has taken over the functions of a legislature, it has showed signs of being more concerned to make rules for the future than to determine the law actually existing at the time. But in so far as this is done, law ceases to be the common property of all citizens and becomes, instead, merely the rulings of the government; and much of the recent resentment against the Supreme Court is due to an obscure sense that it was putting itself above the Constitution, instead of being under it, like everybody else, and concerned, like everybody else, only more authoritatively, to work out what it meant. Only if the interpretation of the law is guided by reason can we all join in, and regard it as a common possession and bond of unity between us all.

    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
    In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

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