Feeds

More fables for our time

Moral tales with added anthropomorphic anarchy

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The prince and the straw man

A prince needed an IT system, and offered the hand of his daughter in marriage to whomsoever completed it to his best satisfaction.

A team of top consultants, who lived in fancy offices in town, tackled the problem using the Rational Unified Process.

A professor from one of the "new" universities – I believe it was the University of South West Fairyland – decided to undertake a design based on formal methods.

A straw man decided to use the waterfall process, which is indeed always the development process choice of the software-writing straw man.

Fifteen months later, the prince knocked at the straw man's door and asked how he was getting on.

"Well, I've nearly finished, although it still crashes inexplicably, and I'm afraid I failed to take into account your shifting requirements – unlike the IT consultants with their diligent application of time-boxed iterations."

"Actually," said the prince. "They were always round the bloody palace with 'Have you tested this?' and 'What do you think of that?' – got right up my nose. In the end I was obliged to banish them from the kingdom."

"Oh dear," said the straw man. "And what of the learned academic? He has surely delivered a system of demonstrable safety, such as is fitting for royalty."

"Just had a progress email off of him," said the prince with unprincely coarseness. "After 15 months' effort, all he has to show is a few symbols on a bit of paper – mostly upside down "A" and backwards "E". Nobody knows what it means, but it is provably correct. So you are the winner, by default."

"Excellent," said the straw man. "I'll get my morning coat."

"One other bit of news," said the prince. "Jayne didn't like being a chattel and ran off to join the navy. I am afraid it's only me up the palace these days. Fancy a spot of civil partnership?"

Moral: Don't mock the straw man – you'll be clutching at him soon enough.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.