>Quality

>So, there has been some recent talk about quality or the lack of it. Here is what Wikipedia says about quality from a business perspective:

Quality in business, engineering and manufacturing has a pragmatic interpretation as the non-inferiority or superiority of something. Quality is a perceptual, conditional and somewhat subjective attribute and may be understood differently by different people. Consumers may focus on the specification quality of a product/service, or how it compares to competitors in the marketplace. Producers might measure the conformance quality, or degree to which the product/service was produced correctly.

Notice that it is refering to a product. Now the questions comes down to is how do you define a product.

The noun product (prod’əkt or-ukt) is defined as a “thing produced by labor or effort”[1] or the “result of an act or a process”[2], and stems from the verb produce (prə doos’ or -dyoos’) from the Latin prōdūce(re), (to) lead or bring forth. Since 1575, the word “product” has referred to anything produced[3]. Since 1695, the word has referred to “thing or things produced”. The economic or commercial meaning of product was first used by political economist Adam Smith[4].

In marketing, a product is anything that can be offered to a market that might satisfy a want or need[5].

So, what is a framework:

A software framework is a re-usable design for a software system (or subsystem). A software framework may include support programs, code libraries, a scripting language, or other software to help develop and glue together the different components of a software project. Various parts of the framework may be exposed through an API.

So, couldn’t this also be considered a product? Since this is a addressing a specific need this can also be considered a product.

The product that the user community has come to expect is the packaging that we have created. Before the EPP, this was just the Eclipse Classic and SDK packages. You have two user communities within eclipse.

  • The Eclipse Membership – which primarly wants to build and sell commercial products on elipse.
  • The User Community – which wants a decent product. Whether that be a full blown IDE for their language/interest, or a framework in which they can build on to construct applications.

Quality however is something else that affects both of these groups, and we only have ourselves to blame. If you want to see Quality in real numbers… run a bugzilla query on items that aren’t enhancements. This is your quality problem. Any project that has been around a long time, and has a bug that’s open longer than 2 years, this is a quality problem. The bugs that go unaddressed filter their way up into the products that are built on your frameworks. We only have our selves to blame. Which is why there is a small but growing group that is trying to bring the Craftsmanship back into software development. Some just want to code and move on to the next feature or enhancement. However if you do not address your technical debt, your overall quality suffers. The blame is our own. We created the mess. Only we can address the overall quality issue.

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