Extreme Way

From the comments below, I conclude that the fact that this was intended to be humorous has eluded my readers. I apologize for this failure. --RonJeffries

Now Ron you've been round long enough to know that smilies are a vital part of interactive humour. Sad sacks like me just don't have what it takes to get a joke unless you :-) --PeterMerel

The Way of the ExtremeProgrammingMaster. The Way is a small collection of rules, each stated unequivocally.

For example, the ExtremeWay states: No Newspapers. Taken literally, this rule means that there could never be any newspapers in the work area. Interpreted we come to realize that when there are newspapers in the work area, people pick them up and read them, which has been measured to be a significant time-waster.

When your company is acquired by Daimler-Benz, however, the rule is waived. This is obvious. When your team is winning the Stanley Cup, the rule is not waived. This is also obvious.

Please tell me more about the perception of the DaimlerBenzCulture?. We sometimes call ourselves DilbertBenz? but certainly do not want to become DilbertChrysler?. Note that Dilbert is an American guy. mailto:Frank.Gerhardt@str.Daimler-Benz.com

Rather than list the cases or weaken the rule, the ExtremeWay is to state the rule directly. In application, the rules are applied with wisdom, not blindly.

Further, there must be newspapers, or how does the ExtremeProgrammingMaster whack people on the nose with a RolledUpNewspaper? This is an ExtremeMystery?.

If the rules of ExtremeProgramming were patently contradictory and inconsistent, its Zen flavor might be enhanced. But don't mind me. TheChurchOfTheSubGenius ripped every fiber of Zen yearning and fancy out of me years ago, or satisfied them, depending upon how you look at it. Once you get late Coltrane, you can not enjoy traditional jazz with the same ears. All noise is music.. Everything you know is true.. The 80/20 rule applies only 20% of the time.. Extremity in everything including moderation.

The notion that orderly development will emerge from the scrupulous application of a simple set of explicit rules is not "The Way" of LaoTse, but the "Li" of KungFuTse. Unless ExtremeWay includes the precepts for some MetaExtremeWay, ExtremeWay itself is an oxymoron. --PeterMerel

I apologize for the fact that I didn't make clear that the rules are explicit for emphasis and that they are not in fact scrupulously applied, but instead applied with wisdom. Or for missing the humor of your remark above, whichever happened. --RonJeffries

Please list all the Ways that include such Meta Way precepts and discuss how successful they are. I ask this because I see a lot of successful things going on and I conclude that all these things have a Meta Way (in which case XP probably already does) or that a Meta Way isn't all that necessary. Thanks ... --RonJeffries

Okay, now are you kidding or not here? Definitely.

If "ExtremeWay" turns out to be an oxymoron, little could please me more. Well, actually, a lot could, but still I think it'd be great.

And I'm not kidding here: ExtremeProgramming is its name. What it is is a lightweight approach to software development that concentrates on doing what helps get the product out, and on avoiding what doesn't, in a context of interlacing processes that, through feedback, deliver quality software in a predictable time frame. The only thing extreme about that is that most software projects today don't turn out that way. --RonJeffries

The name of the song is called "Haddocks' Eyes."'

`Oh, that's the name of the song, is it?' Alice said, trying to feel interested.

`No, you don't understand,' the Knight said, looking a little vexed. `That's what the name is called. The name really is "The Aged Aged Man."'

`Then I ought to have said "That's what the song is called"?' Alice corrected herself.

`No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing! The song is called "Ways and Means": but that's only what it's called, you know!'

`Well, what is the song, then?' said Alice, who was by this time completely bewildered.

`I was coming to that,' the Knight said. `The song really is "A-sitting On A Gate": and the tune's my own invention.'

--Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 8.

Living in these ExtremeTimes?, a simple search for the extreme word on amazon.com lists book titles on ExtremeAccuracy?, ExtremeAdventure? (K2 climbing), ExtremeAlpinism?, ExtremeAnimals?, ExtremeAnimorphs?, ExtremeAnswersToExtremeQuestions?, ExtremeAthletes?, ExtremeCanvas?, ExtremeCapitalism?, ExtremeCartoon?, ExtremeChess?, ExtremeDenial? (is that a river in ExtremeEgypt??), ExtremeElvin?, ExtremeEntrepreneur?, ExtremeEnvironments?, ExtremeEnvironmentalChange?, ExtremeEurope?, ExtremeExposure?, ExtremeFaith?, ExtremeFear?, ExtremeFootball?, ExtremeFriendship?, ExtremeInlineSkating?, ExtremeInstinct?, ExtremeIntimacy?, ExtremeInvestment?, ExtremeInvestor?, ExtremeJourney?, ExtremeJustice?, ExtremeMachines?, ExtremeManagement, ExtremeMarketing, ExtremeMeasures?, ExtremeMetal?, ExtremeMethods?, ExtremeMindstorms? (LegoMindstorms), XtremeMysteries?, ExtremeNewTestament?, ExtremeOrganisms? (MartianBacteria?), ExtremePhenomena?, ExtremePokemon?, ExtremeRight?, ExtremeRighteousness?, ExtremeSeaKayaking?, ExtremeSkateboarding?, ExtremeSports?, ExtremeTraining, ExtremeTruth?, ExtremeValueDistributions?, ExtremeWeather?, ExtremeZone ... and that's just from the first 100 of 532 hits. --LarsAronsson (18 May 2001)

Darn it. I used to refer to our team as doing ExtremeOptics?, but I now see that's lame.

I find it amusing to find the statement "The Way is a small collection of rules, each stated unequivocally" above.

To quote the "diplomat" joke, "this turns out not to be the case."

A collection of small rules, each stated unequivocally, is probably the easiest way for a beginner to begin. But the later statement "In application, the rules are applied with wisdom, not blindly." in turn begins to give a fuller picture.

I think the DrivingMetaphor may be helpful here. Or ShuHaRi

EditText of this page (last edited October 26, 2003)
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