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Bill Gates on "professional engineers"

Bill stands up for engineers willing to stand up to management.

"The WinFS team, in terms of its progress and performance, is doing very, very good work, but it couldn't take the additional features and make an '06 schedule. That's professional engineering on its part, to stand up and say, "No, if you want us to have those features, we're an '07 deliverable.""

http://news.com.com/Gates%3A+Longhorn+changed+to+make+deadlines/2008-1016_3-5327377.html?tag=nl

(second page)

Might be a good quote to have the next time the manager says:  "You WILL add these features to the next release, and no, the schedule can't be changed."

Jim Rankin
Monday, August 30, 2004

In that article, Bill explains that they don't need the new file system to have robust search because:

> We realized that we could do a lot of rich search capabilities in the OS without the full database, taking some of our text technology that's been used by Office, and actually, MSN is doing some nearer-term local-search things, building on that same technology.

Obviously, he is referring to their 'technology' that enables you do do stuff like search through you Entourage database looking for that email in which you mention lollipops.

Anyone here want to comment on the speed of microsoft's text search technology? Is it acceptable for most purposes? Will it be able to index through a 240GB hard drive as easily as it handles a 400MB mail database?

Dennis Atkins
Monday, August 30, 2004

That was a very interesting interview there. It clearly brings about the democracy that permeates the development arena in that company. And Bill is a man who knows his stuff. Guys, look! He ain't just blowing hot air. He knows and trusts his people, and his stuff. Ever seen a head honcho as focussed?

Thanks!

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Monday, August 30, 2004

I wouldn't mistake external calm for internal fortitude.  I would imagine there's considerable blood on a significant number of carpets not only on WinFS delivery but also on the decision to allow Avalon to leak downwards.

Simon Lucy
Monday, August 30, 2004

+++That was a very interesting interview there. It clearly brings about the democracy that permeates the development arena in that company+++


HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAATHANKYOU

muppet
Monday, August 30, 2004

Microsoft Corporation developed the de facto standard operating systems -- DOS and Windows. It has a strong presence in almost every area of computer software, from programming tools to end-user applications.

Dell is a premier provider of products and services required for customers worldwide to build their information-technology and Internet infrastructures.

Cnet.com is a website that provides news.

These are facts. A chairman of a company gives an interview about one of his products.

Why read too much into this?

Whenever Microsoft is involved discussions tend to turn religious which would only make it difficult to get the real picture.

Senthilnathan N.S.
Monday, August 30, 2004



I'm surprised that there's not some sort of listener service which quickly grabs some info (metadata if you prefer) and keeps a reference to the file...

Viola.  There's your search database.

KC
Monday, August 30, 2004

Microsoft didn't develop the de facto operating system standards, they BOUGHT them.  Just FYI.

devinmoore.com
Monday, August 30, 2004

He used the world "anyway" 3 times in this interview. It's obviously shows somethings. He didn't do that before.

skeptic
Monday, August 30, 2004

I think he got an erection, too, but the camera angle wasn't quite right.

muppet
Monday, August 30, 2004

Muppet, you got an erection here in JoS.


Monday, August 30, 2004

---"Microsoft didn't develop the de facto operating system standards, they BOUGHT them.  Just FYI. "---

Errm who did they buy XP off? And as for the components who sold them NTFS or Active X or the NT Kernel.

Stephen Jones
Monday, August 30, 2004

>> That's professional engineering on its part, to stand up and say, "No, if you want us to have those features, we're an '07 deliverable."

That kind of reasoning/brainpower is the reason why Microsoft dominates the planet. It's also the diametric opposite of the reality that the vast majority of SW people work in.

Generally, an employee or contractor who pushes back on a ridiculous schedule too often winds up jobless. That's why most software is crap. Someone whose job is on the line is flogged to produce results.

Staying employed in our field is usually a result of excellent political talents, with technical output and quality usually being only a weak second order determinant.

Bored Bystander
Monday, August 30, 2004

"That kind of reasoning/brainpower is the reason why Microsoft dominates the planet. It's also the diametric opposite of the reality that the vast majority of SW people work in.

Generally, an employee or contractor who pushes back on a ridiculous schedule too often winds up jobless. That's why most software is crap. Someone whose job is on the line is flogged to produce results. "

Seconded.  I agree so much, I wrote this a couple hours ago:

http://www.christopherhawkins.com/08-30-2004.htm

Christopher Hawkins
Monday, August 30, 2004

The unwillingness or inability of programmers to push back on ridiculous schedules is the number one cause of the pathetic state of the software industry.

.
Monday, August 30, 2004

It comes back to the lack of group solidarity in our field and the general level of contempt in our industry for listening to the voice of experience. 

Sic: competent programmer A breaks ground on new products and technology, pushes back, is fired, then is badmouthed by past employer.

Incompetent or green "bouncing up and down at all the neat toys" Programmer B is then hired in A's place, doesn't argue, relies on A's work and effectively stands on A's shoulders, yet produces subpar swill because he says "yes" all the time, and is regarded as great guy by management.

The point is, if you're surrounded by wankers who will dance when their feet are shot at, you the "real professional" are at a huge competitive disadvantage - unless your marketing is REALLY GREAT.

I don't doubt that lawyers and doctors commiserate about good and lousy clients, and have group standards for reining in the inexperienced idiots that will do the stupidest things that clients/employers will request. Programmers don't really seem to care about the ones who make the rest of us look bad.

Bored Bystander
Monday, August 30, 2004

XP isn't much of a software development from the original NT kernel which was essentially bought in when they hired the crew from DEC originally and they brought in their micro-kernel design.

That's not to say that Microsoft doesn't do original work, just that if it already exists they'll buy it.

Longhorn could be the first operating system wholly designed and developed internally.

Simon Lucy
Monday, August 30, 2004

"the original NT kernel which was essentially bought in when they hired the crew from DEC originally and they brought in their micro-kernel design"

I hear Microsoft hired most of their employees -- the vultures!

profound insights galore
Monday, August 30, 2004

> when they hired the crew from DEC originally and they brought in their micro-kernel design.

Which sounds like a good engineering practice. Why reinvent the wheel if you don't have to?

And what is wrong with Microsoft "buying their code" from someone else? Sounds like not-invented-here syndrome, which is another cancer in our industry.

--
ee

eclectic_echidna
Monday, August 30, 2004

Microsoft did actually design an OS, albeit with IBM input - OS/2.

Björn Roth
Monday, August 30, 2004

"And what is wrong with Microsoft "buying their code" from someone else?"

What's wrong with Microsoft buying software? Nothing at all.

What's wrong with Microsoft buying software then taking the credit for "inventing" the "innovative" new technology that they, um, er, actually bought from someone else? Oh, right, that's all good, too. Sorry.

Look, Microsoft might be God's gift to computing, but they should get the praise for what they actually do, right? If they're the leaders in buying software and marketing it well that's great and you can praise them all day if you want, but why praise them for something they didn't actually do when there's so much that they have done?

Isn't Apple still the R&D branch of MS?
Monday, August 30, 2004

> The unwillingness or inability of programmers to push back on ridiculous schedules is the number one cause of the pathetic state of the software industry.

No, it's not. It's the fact that most of the "software" business is run by non-programmers who don't understand the issues, and then blame their programmers when things go wrong.

If you want a list, let me know.

(Yes, you dumb CEO, internet project manager, etc, you're on that list.)

.
Monday, August 30, 2004

"Isn't Apple still the R&D branch of MS?"

Well, now that you mention it, I'm finding it quite amusing that Bill Gates is claiming you can do search just fine without a database file system, as that's exactly the approach I believe Apple is taking in OS X Tiger.

Jim Rankin
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

OS X will still have a database running the searches, it just won't be a 'database file system' whatever that means anyways.

Steve Jobs
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I didn't say there was anything wrong in hiring from DEC, I didn't say there was anything wrong in Microsoft buying in software.

And when I used the word 'wholly' I did so specificially because of the joint technology agreement with IBM over OS/2.

Read the words, not what you think I mean.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

'All of the “core 12”: Dave Cutler (KE), Lou Perazzoli (MM), Mark Lucovsky (Win32), Steve Wood (Win32, OB), Darryl Havens (IO), Chuck Lenzmeier (Net), John Balciunas (Bizdev), Rob Short (Hardware), Gary Kimura (FS), Tom Miller (FS),  Ted Kummert (Hardware), Jim Kelly (SE), Helen Custers (Inside Windows NT), and others.  These folks came to Microsoft from Digital Equipment with a vision to create something brand new.  As Tom Miller put it, it was likely to be the last operating system ever built from scratch (and no, Linux doesn’t count – NT was 100% new code (ok, the command interpreter came from OS/2), the Linux kernel is 100% new, but the rest of the system isn’t).  And these guys delivered.  It took longer than anyone had originally planned, but they delivered.  And these guys collectively taught Microsoft a lesson in how to write a REAL operation system, not a toy operating system like we’d been working on before.  Some day I’ll write about Gary Kimura’s coding style."

http://blogs.msdn.com/larryosterman/archive/2004/08/27/221572.aspx

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

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