You may have noticed my posting’s been a touch light recently. There’s an embarrassingly good reason for this: my computer blew up during the snow. For one reason and another, it has taken me an absolute age to replace it. Instead, I’ve been using my wife’s old laptop, which isn’t really up to serious development. On the other hand, it’s made me a voracious reader. In particular, I finally read Paul Graham’s love letter to Lisp, which contains a passage that I think sums up why discussions of standardization always leave me feeling uncomfortable.*
I believe this term [industry best practice] was originally used to describe accounting methods and so on. What it means, roughly, is don’t do anything weird.
The problem with gut reactions, of course, is that they’re hard to explain, but I think Paul nailed it right there: I’m not an accountant, and I’ve no interest in behaving like one. There are, of course, good rational reasons for rejecting standardized practices as limiting. Of course, none of this is going to help me persuade my auditors to throw away their checklists, but I’d rather have happy developers than an ISO 9001 certification. And believe it or not, I had one of the latter once…
Anyway, the computer arrives tonight, just in time for Lucid Lynx. It’s downloading as we speak. 🙂