Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to Arsdigita is done !!

Posted by David Cohen on
The market has spoken - aD deserved to die, and it did. Anything of value was produced about 2 years ago.

Actually, Patrick, what is a bit ironic is that it looks like aD was finally getting things right technically--from an anonymous comment on the Slashdot story about Eve Andersson's history of Ars Digita

There were several ArsDigita offices throughout the world when the company began to contract (or implode) in the last half of 2001. The office I worked in was staffed by some of the nicest, smartest, hardest-working people I have ever enjoyed coding with. We wrote unit tests. We pair-programmed. We refactored. We were starting to create something that looked credibly like commercial software.

I have been told that even source control and release management were considered "fashionable but not really useful" back in the TCL era at AD, and that ACS users were expected to grab a tarball and start hacking.

Remember when you were a wet-nosed little code monkey and thought that grinding out twenty functional points over a sleepless weekend meant that you were "productive?" Forget that the code was too slow and buggy to be released, or that it was so over-engineered that every programmer who had to add to it or use it squandered countless hours figuring out the architecture.

Slowly, if you learned at all, you discovered that all the boring stuff you disdained at first enabled you to actually bring products to market in a repeatable, cost-effective way. (Oh yeah, and no 80-hour weeks debugging, either).

ArsDigita was just beginning to learn these lessons and grow up into a real development organization when RedHat acquired it.

(Here is the link if you want to see this as it first appeared)