Sunday, December 02, 2007 

More synchronicity

While reading the same issue of IEEE Software that I mentioned in my previous post, I came across a paper from Ed Yourdon, "Celebrating Peopleware's 20th Anniversary". I mentioned Peopleware while answering a comment to Process as the company's homeostatic system, but so far, it's just a coincidence.

It got more interesting as I went further, as Ed says:
"my colleague Larry Constantine and I had borrowed an even earlier collection of Alexander's ideas from his 1964 book Notes on the Synthesis of Form as the basis for the structured-design concepts of coupling and cohesion."
Oh, look, Notes on the Synthesis of Form, that's another interesting coincidence :-).

Speaking of cohesion, I should note that the process described by Alexander (modeling relationships between requirements as a weighted graph) has strong resemblances to the process adopted in KAOS (which I've mentioned in several posts now). The purpose is different however, as Alexander aims to derive clusters of highly cohesive requirements mechanically, while KAOS is leaning more on the soft side, allowing people to "see" the interplay between requirements.

Funny enough, in the same issue there is a paper by Simon Buckingham Shum ("There's Nothing Like a Good Argument..."), which describes a tool (Compendium) "providing a flexible visual interface for managing the connections between information and ideas" (from the compendium website).
I haven't tried it out yet, but from the screenshots, it seems to embody everything we need to apply a KAOS-like technique to requirements analysis, and also keep track of major design decisions.

Gee, everything seems so interconnected these days :-)

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Visto che non ci sono post su questo argomento (la forma e il sw, Alexander, l'architettura) scrivo due righe per esprimere il mio interesse e sollecitarti a continuare. Non ho niente di interessante da aggiungere, osservo solo che Alexander nei suoi lavori "fa nascere" dalla forma la Qualita' (Wholeness) e la bellezza. E negli ultimi lavori andando oltre i pattern parla di proprieta' oggettive (principi?) del bello (il processo cosciente di cui parli?). Non ho ancora letto nulla ma potrebbero essere idee fertili anche per il nostro campo.
e' solo un periodo un po' intenso e complicato :-), spero di scrivere qualcosa sull'argomento nel week end...

A presto!!
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