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Re: RTFM

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:00 am

Since we're on a thread about whys and wherefores, it's worth taking a moment to understand the concept of Agile development (note the capital letter, this has nothing to do with gymnastics).
In the old days (pre-2001), if you were building a new and complex thing, you'd put together a project plan that followed a linear sequence. Requirements would be defined, both functional and non-functional (what it does and what it is), then the solution would be designed, then built, then tested, then launched.
At least that was the theory.
Unfortunately projects are susceptible to many different spanners in their works. Requirements are added to get the product into certain distributors (not because the end user needs them) or they're missed because underlying assumptions are wrong. Designs are built to the spec of the requirements not necessarily what the customer actually wanted, or compromises are built in because of inherent contradictions in requirements. Similar challenges occur in the build stage, requirements and design features being specified that can't be built or call for components that can't be sourced within budget. The test cycle then gets squeezed because delays earlier in the chain have eaten into the time and it can't be replanned because the CEO has promised that it will be available by a certain trade show...
Finally the product gets launched and in the meantime the market has moved on and customers are no longer buying minidiscs...
This is called the waterfall cycle and, despite being a brilliant example of how the Pareto principle works at each stage of the project, it's still the best way of delivering certain kinds of projects.

Long post, part 2 follows...

[Edit]
Late P.S. - of course everything that got dropped along the way got bundled into 'Phase 2' of the project. But the marketing department claimed all the benefits for phase 1, so there was never a business case for phase 2, so it never got delivered and the poor buggers in customer service had to keep going with manual workarounds and customer complaints...
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Re: RTFM

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:13 am

ef37a wrote:Why then does Java, and Firefox for just two systems seem to have updates every couple of weeks?

I bet your hardware had faults but didn't have people actively seeking to find those faults so that they could exploit them to, as it might be, raid your bank account. So I would always update Firefox as soon as possible after a release and I would also for Java for the same reason if it were present on my computer.

Can I mention that a significant zero-day exploit on Firefox was patched just a couple of weeks ago? If you use Firefox and haven't updated it recently please do so because the exploit is actively being, um, exploited.

Other software less critical to my security, plug-ins for example, then yes, I sympathise with your argument.

CC

PS looking forward to your discussion of Agile. In my experience Agile's primary use is to cut development budgets. It's a wonderful approach for managers who believe that running around looking busy and shouting a lot is good management.
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Re: RTFM

Postby OneWorld » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:17 am

ef37a wrote:Well said Mike but it is very annoying when they SEEM to take away a function you found useful!

Dave.

As I know to my cost, I updated to the May update of Win10 and I have had nothing but grief, one piece of hardware ICON QCON has stopped working, as may be seen in my other post

I updated to the May2019 release because I found Cubase 10 needed it. I got things working again with compromises but as I look at Cubase 10 now, it idles at 25% and I have to use 128 samples and more latency. If I load a Groove Agent into C10 with the real-time peak at 32 samples it goes right up to 100%

I have gone back to Cubase 8.5 - latency at 32 samples with several VSTs - no problem
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Re: RTFM

Postby OneWorld » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:19 am

ConcertinaChap wrote:
ef37a wrote:Why then does Java, and Firefox for just two systems seem to have updates every couple of weeks?


I abandoned Firefox in favour of Opera, FF was updating every few days, hardly worth the bother
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Re: RTFM

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:35 am

Part 2, Agile development:
Initially software development followed the same kind of lifecycle, but gradually people started to realise that, because software didn't have all the same restrictions as hardware, projects could be managed in a different way, and products could be designed and built in a different way. The widespread availability of the internet suddenly allowed for an upgrade cycle that didn't require returning products to the manufacturer.
In 2001 the Agile Manifesto was published, defining a set of principles that allowed projects to run in a different way, and hence products to be designed and built in a different way.
There are different types of Agile development, but most of them work on the principle of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
Cutting through the jargon, this is basically asking, "what is the simplest product we can build that a customer will buy and use?"
Build that. Test it. Release it. Gather feedback from your user group and release an update with fixes and the next most important set of features grouped as an MVP. Repeat.
To do this effectively requires significant changes to how an organisation works. Co-located, cross-disciplinary teams, simultaneously working on all stages of the lifecycle, running to two-to-four week delivery cycles, working continuously from user feedback...
It's a very different environment to the old sequential and siloed approach.
But if done correctly it can yield massive benefits: time to market can be hugely reduced; effort is not wasted producing features that are never used; having your business analyst, designer, programmer and tester in the same room throughout the development cycle means you don't go chasing down rabbit holes of undeliverable features; the customer gets a constantly improving product that is focused on exactly what they need; etc. etc.

Caveat 1 - Agile is not always the best solution, don't believe anyone who tries to tell you otherwise.
Caveat 2 - it is just as easy to run a bad Agile project as it is to run a bad waterfall one, and the wrong management behaviours can screw it up in exactly the same way.
Caveat 3 - setting up an organisation to work this way is much easier than trying to remake an existing organisation into this form. Hence it's a very common scenario in start-ups and it's why you'll frequently see large organisations hive off their 'innovation teams' into a separate structure, probably called a 'digital garage' or something equally wank. It doesn't generally work but it's easier to get past the Board...

Anyway, the point behind all this is to address the idea that because a modern bit of software might need a constant development cycle because it's not been properly designed and built.
Hopefully I've explained that actually that constant development cycle is a feature and is, in fact, a sign that the product is being designed and built exactly as planned.
It's just a different kind of plan.
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Re: RTFM

Postby The Elf » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:22 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:Costs me nothing apart from 10 mins max of my time. So, I always instal software updates.
+1 Literally takes seconds and near-zero effort.

Not to do so seems unfathomable to me. New features and improvements are always welcome.
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Re: RTFM

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:57 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:PS looking forward to your discussion of Agile. In my experience Agile's primary use is to cut development budgets. It's a wonderful approach for managers who believe that running around looking busy and shouting a lot is good management.
Yep, Agile is just a tool like any other. It can and will be abused like any other, and if you set out to do the wrong job with it, then you're unlikely to come up with an outcome that you like.
There are lots of consultants out there selling it as a wonder drug that will magically make everything quicker and cheaper - and an absolutely staggering number of executives who believe them.
Spolier alert: it won't! ;)
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Re: RTFM

Postby James Perrett » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:48 pm

The Elf wrote:
Mike Stranks wrote:Costs me nothing apart from 10 mins max of my time. So, I always instal software updates.
+1 Literally takes seconds and near-zero effort.

Not to do so seems unfathomable to me. New features and improvements are always welcome.

Conversely I rarely update the software on my live recording rig. The computer and interface are ancient by modern standards but they work well at the one function that they have to perform - record 24 tracks reliably with no glitches. I treat it as an embedded system so that it never goes on the Internet and I'm careful with connecting unknown disk drives.

I keep my Internet connected editing PC updated though.
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Re: RTFM

Postby CS70 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:59 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:In my experience Agile's primary use is to cut development budgets. It's a wonderful approach for managers who believe that running around looking busy and shouting a lot is good management.

Oh the cynicism! :D

But no it ain't. Managers tend to hate Agile methods, generally, and that's when they understand 'em.
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Re: RTFM

Postby awjoe » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:09 am

Arpangel wrote:I've noticed since I've been contributing to this forum lately, that a lot of questions could be avoided if the posters had just read the manual.

Yeah, I'm guilty of that sometimes. In my case, it's a preferred learning style to ask somebody a question. No excuse, of course. I don't need one. It's just a different learning style.

Arpangel wrote:... and the most amazing music of the past, and possibly the future, will come out of a passion for what you do, and a desire to experiment, without someone holding your hand.

Really true. And that value you described right there goes beyond music making, even. It's pretty universal, it seems to me. But I don't see a connection between it and reading the manual. RTFM is doing your homework, and experimenting on yer onesie without someone holding your hand moves in the other direction. They both require and exhibit independence, of course, but one moves toward form and the other moves toward going beyond form. I'm better at the second one. I didn't read this thread before responding to your first post, for example.
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Re: RTFM

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:13 am

awjoe wrote:
Arpangel wrote:I've noticed since I've been contributing to this forum lately, that a lot of questions could be avoided if the posters had just read the manual.

Yeah, I'm guilty of that sometimes. In my case, it's a preferred learning style to ask somebody a question. No excuse, of course. I don't need one. It's just a different learning style.

Arpangel wrote:... and the most amazing music of the past, and possibly the future, will come out of a passion for what you do, and a desire to experiment, without someone holding your hand.

Really true. And that value you described right there goes beyond music making, even. It's pretty universal, it seems to me. But I don't see a connection between it and reading the manual. RTFM is doing your homework, and experimenting on yer onesie without someone holding your hand moves in the other direction. They both require and exhibit independence, of course, but one moves toward form and the other moves toward going beyond form. I'm better at the second one. I didn't read this thread before responding to your first post, for example.

Yes, some equipment seems to reward blind experimentation, no hand holding, not even the manual. But some equipment seems impenetrable, with or without the manual, or someone "trying" to explain it to us. How we identify and relate to gear depends on how it connects with us, or how we connect with it, and that varies enormously from person to person.
A lot of people like gear that is familiar to them, but sometimes it will be unfamiliar and we will have to explore and learn it, but sometimes, it's as though an engineer has designed and laid it out in what he thinks is a very logical and technically obvious way, to him anyway, but not to a musician who will probably not apply the same logic, if any at all. The musician will probably not even "see" the reasoning or logic behind the engineers design.
I'm not plugging Buchla stuff, but it's one of those, sometimes, confusing concepts that rewards uneducated blind experimentation extremely well, with Buchla there is a certain amount of disorientation designed in, so that you don't take preconceived paths, but you don't end up frustrated and disappointed, instead, most times you find yourself somewhere good, but it's somewhere you didn't plan.
A lot of digital synths, recording equipment is the opposite, it's a set of rigid do's and donts, and if you don't make the right connections nothing happens, Buchla is the opposite to this it's as imediate and natural as playing my piano.
The Buchla just happens to work for me, but it's this connection that must be made between any of us and the gear we use, musicians are not engineers, and we don't think like engineers, and it helps if the people that design our stuff are from both backgrounds, or at can least acknowledge our requirements. Interface design is still a major issue, and menu diving seems to be going deeper and deeper, manufacturers aren't learning much at all, or listening it seems.
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Re: RTFM

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:22 am

OneWorld wrote:
ef37a wrote:Well said Mike but it is very annoying when they SEEM to take away a function you found useful!

Dave.

As I know to my cost, I updated to the May update of Win10 and I have had nothing but grief, one piece of hardware ICON QCON has stopped working, as may be seen in my other post

I updated to the May2019 release because I found Cubase 10 needed it. I got things working again with compromises but as I look at Cubase 10 now, it idles at 25% and I have to use 128 samples and more latency. If I load a Groove Agent into C10 with the real-time peak at 32 samples it goes right up to 100%

I have gone back to Cubase 8.5 - latency at 32 samples with several VSTs - no problem

OMG, these grief stories about Win10 updates just keep coming. No need to RTFM on Win10 it just assumes what you need and plonks it on you. I dread the day I have to update...open the pod bay doors hal. i'm sorry dave. i'm afraid i can't do that.
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Re: RTFM

Postby The Elf » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:33 am

envamt wrote:OMG, these grief stories about Win10 updates just keep coming.
That's because those of us for whom it's been absolutely no problem don't write our stories on the net.
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Re: RTFM

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:40 am

The Elf wrote:
envamt wrote:OMG, these grief stories about Win10 updates just keep coming.
That's because those of us for whom it's been absolutely no problem don't write our stories on the net.

Apart from the annoying auto updates, I too, can smuggly say, while touching wood madly, that it's been solid here too.

:)
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Re: RTFM

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:45 am

...And here. :wave:
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Re: RTFM

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:56 am

Yep, Windows10 has been pretty solid for me too. The only quibble I have is that the major updates tend to knock out use of my focusrite compressor software, but focusrite have always been quick to re-authorise me when it happens.

Going back a couple of posts to the discussion about certain instruments / systems facilitating experimentation...
The latest update from Martin on this thread https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... ead#unread (Friday 21 Jun) has a video featuring a chap who's created a bunch of instruments. In it he makes a really interesting point that if you give someone a guitar, they might say, 'oh I don't play guitar.'
But if you give them a unique instrument, that no-one knows how to play, well they can just get started - because there is no established 'way' to play an no established music for it.
I think that would be very liberating.
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Re: RTFM

Postby John Willett » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:36 am

OneWorld wrote:
ConcertinaChap wrote:
ef37a wrote:Why then does Java, and Firefox for just two systems seem to have updates every couple of weeks?


I abandoned Firefox in favour of Opera, FF was updating every few days, hardly worth the bother

Though, from what I am reading, Firefox seems to be the most secure of them all now. :thumbup:
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Re: RTFM

Postby Folderol » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:38 am

Where I used to work it was a continual source of frustration (and I expect still is).
The worst of all was one occasion half way though doing the company VAT returns, the accountant went to the loo, only to find when she got back Windows had decided to do a major update... for several hours :(

Bear in mind none of the office staff are particularly computer savvy, and just want to be able to use the system as normal users.
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Re: RTFM

Postby John Willett » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:45 am

John Willett wrote:
OneWorld wrote:
ConcertinaChap wrote:
ef37a wrote:Why then does Java, and Firefox for just two systems seem to have updates every couple of weeks?


I abandoned Firefox in favour of Opera, FF was updating every few days, hardly worth the bother

Though, from what I am reading, Firefox seems to be the most secure of them all now. :thumbup:

Interestingly - Firefox had two updated this morning.

First it upodated to 67.0.3 and, ten minutes later, updated to 67.0.4
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Re: RTFM

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:20 am

I'm on the Firefox Extended Support Release sequence. You don't have half so many updates and you don't get the very latest features. What you do get is enhanced stability plus immediate updates for serious bugs like the zero day exploit I mentioned earlier. So, no updates for me today, I'm still on 60.7.2esr which is the current ESR version. I'd recommend it if you like Firefox and value stability.

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