Software Development with Linux

About design

TUE, 01 SEP 2009

I'm reading "The Elements of Style" by William Strunk Jr. and E.B.White.  The goal is to improve my (English) writing skills.

In the chapter discussing writing style, this advice stroke me :
"Before beginning to compose something, gauge the nature and extent of the enterprise and work from a suitable design."
Is this the writer's equivalent to Big Design Up Front (BDUF)?  What is meant by suitable design?
"Design informs even the simplest structure, whether of brick and steel or of prose.  You raise a pup tent from one sort of vision, a cathedral from another.  This does not mean that you must sit with a blueprint always in front of you, merely that you had best anticipate what you are getting into."
Ok, it isn't BDUF.  The suitable design depends on the project itself.  The best approach is to select the best approach for the specific project at hand.
"To compose a laundry list, you can work directly from the pile of soiled garments, ticking them off one by one.  But to write a biography, you will need at least a rough scheme; you cannot plunge in blindly and start ticking off fact after fact about your subject, lest you miss the forest for the trees and there be no end to you labors."
Who would have guessed that you can get the best advice about software design from a writing book?  Well, I should have; I already got a coding advice from that book.

Do the right amount of design: no more, no less.  Nowadays, with everything agile, we often forget the no less part of that statement.  This mistake is as big as doing too much of design.

Photo by orangeacid