I was wrong. They’re not rules!

And thirdly, the Code is more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules.
— Captain Barbossa (Pirates of the Caribbean)

In the original writings I did about XP, I often referred to things like Pair Programming as “rules”. My recollection is that the whole C3 team referred to them as rules.

We also had a rule: “They’re just rules.”

Now even on the old C3 pages on XProgramming, they are called practices, but somehow, and I’m sure it’s my fault, the word “rules” entered the XP vocabulary.

They’re not rules, OK? They’re techniques. They’re tools we apply. They’re habits. They’re practices — things we practice.

They’re not rules, OK? You don’t have to do them, any more than you have to use a hammer or a screwdriver. It’s really good, before repairing something, to know how to use a hammer and a screwdriver well, and it’s really good not to try to fix everything with just one of those tools — or even both.

They’re not rules. They are, however, darn good things to know how to do, and do well.

You may now return to whatever you were doing.

Posted on:

Written by: Ron Jeffries

Categorization: Articles

Recent Articles

Emergent Design

Martin Alaimo asked about the Manifesto Principle "The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams."

Codea Calculator II

Ignatz and Jmv38 on the Codea forums commented on the previous article. I had hoped to do more anyway so here's the next one.

Codea Calculator

Based on a simple example on the codea.io forums, I decided to write an article showing all the stuff I might do on a production calculator project. Wow.