ZacKnox
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Design Ideas

Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:15 am

When you are doing a project design,
how many design ideas do you sketch before choosing one?

Heater
Posts: 14777
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Design Ideas

Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:47 am

Nah, just start hacking code.

Actually in our small company we often find ourselves discussing designs over lunch and/or beer. Sometimes even organized meetings. We will scrawl diagrams on anything from white boards to napkins. When we are done discussing a picture of the scrawl is taken, that gets distributed and becomes the design.

This is mostly so that we all agree on:

1) What needs doing, as per requirements.

2) Who is going to do which part of it.

3) How those parts are going to connect together, protocols, message formats, database schema etc.

We away and hack on it. We have progress meetings were the design may get tweaked a bit here and there. What we end up building is likely very different from the plan we started with. Then we have to document that....

I think the you kids today cal it "Agile Development". They call the meetings "scrums" and the work in between "sprints". All which is pretty stupid and puerile.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

Paul Hutch
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Re: Design Ideas

Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:16 pm

It varies between projects and especially project types. Generally between two and twenty, half dozen on average.

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Imperf3kt
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Re: Design Ideas

Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:27 pm

ZacKnox wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:15 am
When you are doing a project design,
how many design ideas do you sketch before choosing one?
As many as necessary.

I find your post suspiciously lacking any actual question.
55:55:44:44:4C
52:4C:52:42:41

Heater
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Design Ideas

Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:52 pm

The thing is I'm really lazy.

The second thing is I'm only averagely intelligent.

The happy result of all this is that typically there is only ever one solution to a problem. If I have one at all.

Perhaps I thought of it myself, perhaps I learned it from elsewhere.

No matter, it's enough to get the job done.

Which is great until it is discovered the solution is too slow. It does not scale with data set size. Or whatever.

Then it's time to turn to google and find out how people have met such requirements before.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

W. H. Heydt
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Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Design Ideas

Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:26 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:47 am
Nah, just start hacking code.

Actually in our small company we often find ourselves discussing designs over lunch and/or beer. Sometimes even organized meetings. We will scrawl diagrams on anything from white boards to napkins. When we are done discussing a picture of the scrawl is taken, that gets distributed and becomes the design.
Ever read George O. Smith's "Venus Equilateral"?

Heater
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Design Ideas

Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:41 pm

W. H. Heydt,
Ever read George O. Smith's "Venus Equilateral"?
No.

Wikipedia tells me it might be an interesting read.

But I don't immediately see the relevance to the question.

Meanwhile, what I describe happening in our little company is pretty much what happened it every big organization I ever worked with. From GEC to Nortel to Racal to Nokia....

Small teams, tacking the problem how they like.

Nokia was interesting for an Englishman. If there was a problem holding things up a meeting was held. After working hours. In the sauna. With much beer. Nobody leaves the sauna until a solution is agreed on.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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PeterO
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Re: Design Ideas

Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:04 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:41 pm
W. H. Heydt,
Ever read George O. Smith's "Venus Equilateral"?
No.

Wikipedia tells me it might be an interesting read.

But I don't immediately see the relevance to the question.
You didn't read enough of the wikipedia page ....
A frequent background character is Joe, operator of the "best Bar in Twenty-Seven Million Miles, Minimum!", upon whose tablecloths the engineers do much of their brainstorming.
PeterO
Discoverer of the PI2 XENON DEATH FLASH!
Interests: C,Python,PIC,Electronics,Ham Radio (G0DZB),1960s British Computers.
"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

Heater
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Re: Design Ideas

Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:36 pm

PeterO,
You didn't read enough of the wikipedia page ....
That is true.
Joe, operator of the "best Bar in Twenty-Seven Million Miles, Minimum!", upon whose tablecloths the engineers do much of their brainstorming.
Is that it?

I have seen engineers discussing and solving problems over beers from London to Chelmsford. From Helsinki to Milan. From San Jose to Mountain View.

It was happening when James Watt was working on the steam engine with Mathew Bolton.

I'm sure it goes on in the Raspberry Pi Foundation. As it did with Sinclair and Acorn back in the day.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 11693
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Design Ideas

Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:47 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:36 pm
PeterO,
You didn't read enough of the wikipedia page ....
That is true.
Joe, operator of the "best Bar in Twenty-Seven Million Miles, Minimum!", upon whose tablecloths the engineers do much of their brainstorming.
Is that it?

I have seen engineers discussing and solving problems over beers from London to Chelmsford. From Helsinki to Milan. From San Jose to Mountain View.

It was happening when James Watt was working on the steam engine with Mathew Bolton.

I'm sure it goes on in the Raspberry Pi Foundation. As it did with Sinclair and Acorn back in the day.
In the stories, the engineers tend to sketch their ideas on the table clothes. As a result, the barkeep has to maintain a large bond, and the table clothes are taken off the be copied at times.

It's a good read, even if the ideas are more than a little dated (vacuum tube driven interplanetary communications, with a manned relay station).

Heater
Posts: 14777
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Design Ideas

Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:32 am

Yes, sounds like a good read.

If we actually had table clothes to scrawl on now a days. And if the bar tender/waiter could get them scanned and uploaded to Evernote or whatever that would be great!
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Design Ideas

Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:14 am

I have seen engineers discussing and solving problems over beers from London to Chelmsford. From Helsinki to Milan. From San Jose to Mountain View.
So that's why designs are so slow here these days, no beer.
The synergy of more than one makes for much faster solutions and beer helps take the mouth governor off the limit.
With just me in a team of one I have to listen to those voices in my head when I'm talking out loud to no one :lol:

Other times is is just sitting around with manager and client , throwing ideas and solution around until consensus.
Mostly agile type methods, but with cost and time the major considerations.
Time can quickly become cost when charging the client an hourly rate.

White boarding. Mostly for the manager and client's use.
Sometimes those designs stay up for years, but snaps get put in the files.
It helps to have a few decades of experience to know what will and won't work in the cost and time window allowed for the project.

RDP = Research, Design, Production.
Research is the hardest to put a time frame on, bites me every time.
Design is easy as I have lots of experience and rarely need to sketch things now, most are on the white board in the head.
Production is handled by a tech once prototype works and documented.
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

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