Feeds

More fables for our time

Moral tales with added anthropomorphic anarchy

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
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?