Samstag, 9. Juli 2011

Illusions are powerful abstractions

A little quote from the video in the previous post that I moved to a seperate post because it makes such a good title as well:

"Illusions are powerful abstractions"

In the video, this sentence is meant with a little different meaning than one might expect because Cliff uses the term "illusion" as a synonym for "proper architectural seperation" and wants to express a good thing with it (at the beginning, at least, hehe. Later on, I'm not so sure. Maybe that's why he picked the term, to evolve it during the talk).

But it's also a very describing sentence for the common naivity and half knowledge of many people. Those things that happen everywhere all the time: someone (mostly from management) with only half or even less knowledge of some matter (say, software development, suprisingly) thinks around a little from his (shall I really add "or her"?) tiny point of view, has an idea based exclusively on the most simplest of all cases (which actually never happen in non-trivial projects beyond simple marketing examples), comes up with some sort of "solution" for them and then shouts out "Heureka! This is ingeniously simple and will cover ALL possible cases! Go implement it, you care about the remaining 'corner cases', I'll build the next great idea meanwhile".

(Design) illusions are indeed powerful abstractions. They cover all the real world cases with a minimal effort. Bravo!
Now we just need a universe, a world, a hardware, a language and a JVM that can implement such design illusions to actually work and we're fine.

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