[plt-scheme] Perplexed Programmers

From: Brent Fulgham (bfulg at pacbell.net)
Date: Thu Aug 30 16:02:14 EDT 2007

> I remember long ago in Holland such a mistake hit the news.  An entire 
> row of houses had been build whose toilets hadn't allowed enough room 
> for the resident's knees while sitting on them.  The reengineering 
> involved a door with a hinge in the middle, so it could stick out into 
> the hall while still being closed.
> This would seem to be in the style of kludgy patches, all right.

I originally misread this, imagining a "dutch door" where in this case, the bottom half would be open while the toilet was in use.  Either way, that story would make the subject of a great comedy (as long as you were not living it!)  

If I might waste everyone's time with another vignette regarding kludges:

On several occasions, our software team has had to make last-minute changes to correct for mistakes in the wiring design of printed circuit boards.  E.g., a bit in some register that used to mean "sound alarm" is now triggered when the user flushes the toilet (to make up an example).

The reasoning is that it's always easier to work around wiring/PCB errrors than it is to have them corrected (hey, the vendor already shipped us 50 of those -- it will cost too much to revise!  Just change the on-board software.)

Is this a software "delay"?  For some reason, I've never seen it reported in the trade press as the software team saving the company money -- it's always described as "Cell Phone ships one week later than expected due to last-minute software changes."  :-)


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