cleaning up a kitchen as a metaphor for refactoring

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Yves Hanoulle

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Jun 9, 2010, 5:40:51 AM6/9/10
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I personally like Metaphor, but I know it is very hard to come up with some.

This one I blogged about because I used it some many times in the last year.

It's not mine it's from Pascal Van Cauwenberghe Or Vera Peeters who use it in there 3 Xp Loop presentation

I'm convinced all metaphors have their limitation, I'm also convinced that when you use a metaphor you don't always see the limitations.
Will you tell me what are the limitations of this metaphor?

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Stefan Roock

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Jun 9, 2010, 9:15:22 AM6/9/10
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Hi Yves,
I like your description of the metaphor very much.

For my master studies 14 years ago (arrg, I can't be that old...) I found a (german) study about the use of metaphors in innovations and product development. The authors of the study found a recurring pattern: successfull innovations/products often used metaohors but broke explicitly with certain aspects of the original.

I remember a story about the Wright brothers: They used birds as a kind of metaphor. They transferred the form of the wings to airplanes. But the airplane became useable when they decided not to have flapping wings but fixed wings.

The limitation of the kitchen metaphor might be that it totally makes sense for professional cooking but most people at home first cook and then clean up the kitchen. And sometimes they delay the cleaning until there is no more place to place the dirty dishes. And guess what: That works also :-)

Stefan
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Nat Pryce

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Jun 9, 2010, 9:24:00 AM6/9/10
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Watching Master Chef on TV some time ago I was struck by how the chefs continually clean their work areas, the more so when under greater pressure. At one point, a dish went horribly wrong for one of the chefs in the competition and he had very little time to improvise something from th ingredients he had at hand. He worked very fast, chopping, cooking, plating up etc. And all the time wiped up spills, placed utensils back in their correct locations, moved things he no longer needs out of the way, and so on.

A common query about refactoring, TDD and test automation in general is whether teams should drop the practices when deadlines are close, or have been missed altogether, and how to recover the technical debt. My answer is that in my experience those are the times when the practices *most* help, when you most need the predictable rate of delivery the practices give you.

--Nat   

Joshua Kerievsky

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Jun 10, 2010, 7:56:09 AM6/10/10
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On Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 2:40 AM, Yves Hanoulle <Mai...@objectsoft.be> wrote:
Will you tell me what are the limitations of this metaphor?

Metaphors are used in a context and therefore the limitations relate to the context.  Are you finding limitations in this metaphor when you use it?   

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best regards,
jk

Joshua Kerievsky

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Jun 10, 2010, 8:00:11 AM6/10/10
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On Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 6:15 AM, Stefan Roock <stefan...@it-agile.de> wrote:
For my master studies 14 years ago (arrg, I can't be that old...) I found a (german) study about the use of metaphors in innovations and product development. The authors of the study found a recurring pattern: successfull innovations/products often used metaohors but broke explicitly with certain aspects of the original.

That study sounds fascinating. Any ideas what it is called? 

I remember a story about the Wright brothers: They used birds as a kind of metaphor. They transferred the form of the wings to airplanes. But the airplane became useable when they decided not to have flapping wings but fixed wings.

And returning to the metaphor of birds, they progressed to the point of learning how to "soar."   BTW, if you need some Summer reading, check out The Bishops Boys - hands down the best Wright Brothers biography ever written.  
 
best
jk

Stefan Roock

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Jun 10, 2010, 8:20:12 AM6/10/10
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HiFor my master studies 14 years ago (arrg, I can't be that old...) I found a (german) study about the use of metaphors in innovations and product development. The authors of the study found a recurring pattern: successfull innovations/products often used metaohors but broke explicitly with certain aspects of the original.

That study sounds fascinating. Any ideas what it is called? 

The study is avaiable only in german language - as far es I know. The key essence is (just in case you can read german :-)

"Diese 1:1-Übertragung von der Natur in ein technisches Produkt scheint regelmäßig in eine Sackgasse zu führen, die sich nur durch zeitiges Lösen vom Vorbild, von der Analogie vermeiden läßt. [...] Die Vorbilder geben Anregungen für technische Lösungsansätze oder Anregungen für Erkenntnisse, sie sind selbst aber nicht die Lösung. Nur in der Übertragung vom Konkreten zum Abstrakten und der Rückübertragung in das Konkrete aber Andere besteht der adäquate Weg."

The study is (again german language): Peter Mambrey, August Tepper. Metaphern und Leitbilder als Instrument - Beispiele und Methoden. Arbeitspapiere der GMD 651. Sankt Augustin. 1992.

I found this reference, that may be the essence of the study in english: Peter Mambrey / August Tepper, »Technology Assessment as Metaphor Assessment. Visions Guiding the Development of Information and Communications«, in: Vision Assessment: Shaping Technology in 21st Century Society, hg. von John Grin / Armin Grunwald, 1999, Berlin: Springer, S. 33-52.

Stefan

Joshua Kerievsky

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Jun 10, 2010, 9:38:44 AM6/10/10
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On Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 5:20 AM, Stefan Roock <stefan...@it-agile.de> wrote:
The study is avaiable only in german language - as far es I know. The key essence is (just in case you can read german :-)

"Diese 1:1-Übertragung von der Natur in ein technisches Produkt scheint regelmäßig in eine Sackgasse zu führen, die sich nur durch zeitiges Lösen vom Vorbild, von der Analogie vermeiden läßt. [...] Die Vorbilder geben Anregungen für technische Lösungsansätze oder Anregungen für Erkenntnisse, sie sind selbst aber nicht die Lösung. Nur in der Übertragung vom Konkreten zum Abstrakten und der Rückübertragung in das Konkrete aber Andere besteht der adäquate Weg."

Thanks.  The only word I know in German is Fahrvergnugen, as used in the famous VW commercial. 

The study is (again german language): Peter Mambrey, August Tepper. Metaphern und Leitbilder als Instrument - Beispiele und Methoden. Arbeitspapiere der GMD 651. Sankt Augustin. 1992.

I found this reference, that may be the essence of the study in english: Peter Mambrey / August Tepper, »Technology Assessment as Metaphor Assessment. Visions Guiding the Development of Information and Communications«, in: Vision Assessment: Shaping Technology in 21st Century Society, hg. von John Grin / Armin Grunwald, 1999, Berlin: Springer, S. 33-52.

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