On 10/01/2018 18:39, Michael Morris wrote:
On Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 9:04 AM, Rasmus Lerdorf <ras...@lerdorf.com> wrote:

Describing the syntax/UI for a feature like this is nothing like the
architectural drawings for a skyscraper.
In terms of time and effort spent it is. It often takes years to complete
plans drawn up over the span of weeks. The analogy becomes more firm when
you compare the man hours on each side - an architect can draw up plans for
a house in less than 100 hours (unless it's a freaking huge house).

I don't think Rasmus was saying architects' plans aren't important, or making any comment about the scale of the task. I think he was saying that things like syntax and UI are not the appropriate part of the process to compare to architects' plans. Architects know how buildings work, and spend those weeks making sure the subsequent years aren't going to be wasted because the plausible-looking shape the client asked for can't actually support its own weight.

And just to be clear, this particular feature IS a freaking huge house. Worse, it's a type of skyscraper nobody has ever tried to build before. Sketching the kinds of shapes it might have is interesting; getting hung up on what size the windows are (the exact keywords to use) is probably a waste of time until we've figured out if there's a material that bends that way. And saying "hey, could you make it out of carbon nanotubes?" is a fun conversation to have over a beer, but probably isn't going to be that helpful to people who are experts on skyscrapers and material science.

Apologies for extending the metaphor somewhat beyond stretching point, but I think it acts as a reasonable illustration of where people are coming from in this thread.

Plans still must precede work, and if the ramifications of those plans are
to be far reaching they need to be agreed upon as early as possible.

Absolutely, and unfortunately, the biggest ramifications of this particular type of change is going to be in the very core of the engine. That's not true of every feature, but for this particular feature, one of the parts that needs planning and agreeing as early as possible is "how are we going to do this without killing performance".


Rowan Collins

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