Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

How I evaluate software

When I'm looking at software, I evaluate a lot of criteria. Usually, it's all in my head, since I'm good at keeping a feel for what others might use hard numbers for. Things I look at include:

  • Arrogance. Does the software try to invent a new organizational system, or does it just submit to the perfectly workable way that everyone else does it: libraries in /usr/lib, config files in /etc. Has it ignored installation issues entirely, and assumes it'll run out of the directory it's unpacked in? (This is a red flag for me: anything that demands special treatment like this is usually going to demand special attention every single time the system boots, every time it's installed on a new machine in the cluster, it'll need babysitting every step of the way. As a sysadmin who has plenty to attend to, this is not acceptable unless the software saves me a lot of time. That hasn't happened yet, either.)
  • Simplicity. Can I get an overview of how the code works in a few minutes? Some idea of what parts are magic, and what parts are easy? Is there magic everywhere, or just in a few performance critical spots? Boring is good. Really. If the way everyone else does stuff works, please don't reinvent the wheel. I grok the way everyone else does it already.
  • Modularity. If the interesting part of your application is pretty independent of the rest, do I have to install it all?
  • Orthagonality. Are unrelated parts tangled together? Can I use the pieces in ways you didn't intend? This is a good thing if so.
  • Standards compliance. That thing about arrogance? Yeah, that. Only more so.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 10th, 2005 10:13 am (UTC)
Orthagonality-- are you saying being able to use the software in a way the designer didn't intend is good or bad? I think it could really be either....
Feb. 17th, 2011 03:51 pm (UTC)
ginecologo rivoli
farinet hotel
gianluca giammatteo
[url=http://proftua4586.myip.hu/AOQL.html] Indoor park n swap at 43rd ave & thunderbird [/url] [url=http://tranga3188.myip.hu/KHVL.html] Arielle kebbel nip [/url] [url=http://closphe7761.myip.hu/uhyk2.html] Craigslist farm and garden in oklahoma [/url] [url=http://profen8803.myip.hu/FYAI.html] Comcast cuentas [/url] [url=http://cioro9166.myip.hu/ggmi4.html] Bakugan codes 8 [/url] marialessandra panozzo
bahia dorada
[url=http://mispu5954.myip.hu/dxot2.html] Tiger woods ed sullivan show [/url] [url=http://proftua4586.myip.hu/TAZD.html] Houston craigslist motorcycles [/url] [url=http://drossour2405.myip.hu/upne0.html] Ludlow falls christmas lights 2010 [/url] [url=http://maitrap9589.myip.hu/vcju5.html] Remington 511 magazine [/url] [url=http://papha4707.myip.hu/ifbm9.html] Disney espn wide world of sports super bowl [/url]
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )