Craft Ite

An article used to be available at http://www.access.digex.net/~ell/craft_def.html. Unfortunately, if you follow that link you will now find the following message: "The site that you are looking for is no longer hosted on this server. There are no files located here for the username: ell." The WayBackMachine? has a copy: http://web.archive.org/web/19991117020129/http://www.access.digex.net/~ell/craft_def.html

An excerpt: Craftism - the combination of pragmatist and empiricist practices in software engineering. Those who practice this combination in software engineering are Craftites.


Followers of comp.object will recognize "Craftite" as an ill-defined label invented to smear various people who the term's author took exception to.
Pardon me for being dense, but... is this for real? This looks to me like a joke that I'm just not subtle enough to understand. (Unfortunately, it's all too real.)
I don't know if anyone has found out whether Elliott is a real person or not. If anyone knows one way or the other, they're certainly not telling... (He's real.I have his address.)
Nothing like a good StrawMan argument to attack your fundamental programming practices. Makes me wonder if I should take off OOAD from my resume and replace it with Craftism.


h) non-belief in objective reality, or non-belief in the ability to know, or understand objective reality.

I, for one, know I'm not smart enough to understand objective reality. I work off some simplified representation of the world. I believe everyone else does. So, in my view, everyone is a Craftite

Seriously, this is an odd article. I'd agree that StrawMan seems the appropriate description -- Paul Hudson


Elliott Coates is notorious on comp.object and ObjectTechnologyUserGroup. One could even argue that he inspired the creation of comp.object.moderated. His fame has rippled like waves across the OO forums. I haven't attended an industry conference in the past two years where his name was not mentioned.

I'm also trying to fathom out this Elliott/Craftite business. In what context is his name mentioned at these conferences? How many other people suspect that its some sort of subtle joke? I just don't get it.

EC inflicts constant agitation on comp.object, vacillating between 1990-era OO wisdom and gratuitous name-calling. Most trolls give up bating their group after a year or two and move on - Elliott's addiction runs deep & lasting. Most people who write serious posts also attend conferences. In these places they meet each other and discuss Elliott's posts.

One wonders what Elliott's like as a colleague. Regarding his posts; he inspires legions of other posters to write lucid and simple rebuttals to his ravings, and these posts are often very illuminating and educational. The sad fact remains that Elliott himself could find better ways of eliciting such education, and that he himself is not learning anything. --PhlIp

Assuming Elliott is a real person...


One unfortunate bit that I can see is that software is intended to solve _human_ problems, and human problems are quite often not solvable by "rational", "scientific" methods. Quite often a "craftite" approach is the correct one.


No, it's you craftites and your kin with your ridiculous insistence on backwards, un-holistic, un-healthy Right-Wing ideas who are a threat to the mental health of those around them and the world in general. But you are losing, all the way. First you created comp.object.moderated with your paid moderators, but nobody comes to participate in your fake craftite discussions! Typically of you, instead of admitting defeat, you flee to WikiWikiWeb to spout your insane concepts, thinking that I wouldn't find you! You are mentally ill! I vow I will fight craftism wherever it raises its ugly, insane head! --ElliotCoaError? in module ecoates.bin, line 29805: Division by zero.

My blood ran cold when I saw "Craftite" on RecentChanges. Elliot is all too real. If anyone could kill Wiki it would be he. Please, someone confirm that the post above is a troll.

Yes, it's a troll. I'm JosefWeizenbaum?, and I wrote ElliotCoates? after my huge success with ElizaDoctor. He's one of my favourite scripts. But you probably suspected that all along, didn't you?

I'm confused. Are you saying, if above post had been written by the real ElliotCoates?, it wouldn't have been a troll?!? --FalkBruegmann, happily trolling along :-)

Thanks. I'll sleep easier tonight knowing this.


Has any of the comp.object regulars been able to form a consistent picture of what Ell is trying to say? Is there a core to his ideas that you understand and find valuable? --FalkBruegmann

Yes. No.

Like most cranks who alternate between lucid (if lame) posts and name-calling rants, we can tell when he's had a bad day.

Some key Ell points (as I understand them): The only reason these items appear frequently in his posts is because RobertCecilMartin likes to frequently point out that calling OO a "model of the real world" is distracting sophistry, and programs that manage dependencies become easy to upgrade.

Ell has an immense woody for RCM, and he'll flame anyone caught saying anything that remotely resembles RCM's statements. The way the industry's going, this is nearly everyone. The fixation, as with any stalker, is truly saddening.

As this fixation predates ExtremeProgramming, if RCM had come out against XP Elliott would have embraced it wholeheartedly as supporting his theories.

Elliott used to fawn over GradyBooch. Then Booch came out as non-hostile to ExtremeProgramming, and instantly moved to E's shit list.


E has admitted to a drinking problem. The lucid posts are infrequent, sometimes high quality, rarely confrontational, and during the day. The rambling "craftite" posts occur at night (EST), in batches lasting a few hours (sometimes into the morning), and with many edits and re-posts.

There have been many time periods, some lasting a couple of months, without any posts. These seem to coincide with times when E has admitted he was drinking less.

Addictions come in many forms. The "Elliott" personality is clear-headed, but only adequate to meeting life's challenges (which the posts never discuss). Alcohol, however, liberates the superman within - the "Universe" personality that can do verbal battle with any of OO's bigshots.

-- PhlIp

Has anyone ever seen RCM and Universe in the same room? Hmmm? -- EricHodges

It's occurred to me that RCM may have invented EC as a way of educating people as to the perils of multiple acute by-the-book-itis, which is truly a terrible disease. But after talking with RCM, I thankfully got a fairly clear notion EC was not created by RCM, but /for/ RCM, to hound him incessantly for the crime of merely making sense. I also got from RCM that RCM believes that EC is fundamentally nuts. Which, given my own observations, is fair enough. -- Thomas G. Marshall

Gods bless those USENET participants who make me look good. --PhlIp


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