dynamic naming for hierarchical problem

Peter Hansen peter at engcorp.com
Sun Aug 12 05:32:48 CEST 2001

Jeremy Jones wrote:
> I will probably use XML for a number of reasons:
> 3)  (And this one is primarily for Peter Hansen, to answer his statement on
> picking something simple and getting it working)  

To be fair, Alex was the one who first brought that up in this 
thread and I was really just echoing my agreement with his 
Pythonic reminder about simplicity.  :)

> I could use stuff that I am already more familiar with
> rather than learning XML and how to walk down a DOM tree; and I could
> probably put together a set of scripts with the familiar technology more
> quickly.  And I would probably (as Peter pointed out) be following good XP
> rationality by doing so.  However, I think that XML fits in nicely for a
> future project that I have in mind.  I know that this violates XP, but I
> have that flexibility with the project that I am working on right now.  So,
> for my technological growth and for learning something for a future project,
> I will probably go with XML.

All the reasons you mention are excellent reasons to go with 
an approach which might not give you a working solution "right away".

XP is not about doing tiny and in-the-long-term-wasteful baby steps 
towards a distant goal.  It's a more pragmatic approach to things.
If you do not need to get the current task out of the way really
quickly, taking an approach which teaches you about a technology
you will probably use in the future is a useful thing.  It might
even mean you conclude XML is not suitable for your future project,
in which case learning that now is very much aligned with XP ideals.

XP might flip things around for you: pretend that your short-term
task is to get a quick foundation in XML, and getting a working 
solution to your test data problem is "free". 

so-hateful-of-birds-he-never-kills-just-one-ly yr's,
Peter Hansen, P.Eng.
peter at engcorp.com

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