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Lemons, Lemmings, and Red Herrings


15 Aug 2000

Copyright 2000 Applied
Information
Science

A lemon, in popular vernacular, is a product which doesn't work as it should, never has worked, and shouldn't have been sold in the first place.

Numerous states have "lemon laws" requiring sellers to refund purchases of products (e.g.,  cars), which experience repeated and unrepairable defects. Why not for software? From time to time, I'll nominate some candidates here ...


Lemmings are those renown rodents of the Arctic which at times follow blindly where ever those in view happen to wander. Sort of like IT vendors.

Over the last three or four years I've encountered great herds (hordes?) of lemmings marching nose to tail down a trampled path and over a towering cliff called "UML". Those whom I've asked have told me they're only following others; I've not yet met any lemmings who can tell me what waits for them at the bottom of that UML cliff, other than a pile of writhing lemming bodies fractured in the fearsome fall.

As I sit watching the unwitting parade of willing victims, I'll jot down a few notes on how this tragedy could be avoided, and why it should.


A "red herring" is of course not a fish but a non-sequitor or irrelevance offered to distract from some issue or answer of greater value. Information technology is rife with red herrings (some of them quite ripe), enough to feed the starving e-masses, if only they would eat words.
   
Well formed opinions Still under consideration:
Process Normalization
Work flow Refactoring
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