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MATT VANE (Reading, Berks United Kingdom)

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The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High-tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity
The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High-tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity
by Alan Cooper
Edition: Hardcover

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Suitable for those with High Blood Pressure, 6 Dec. 2002
I had to force myself to finish this book. On more than one occasion I had the compulsion to shred my copy, and every other copy in existance.
I entirely agree with everything in Ben Carey's review, with a few extra points.
The new panacean methodology he proposes is nothing more than renamed UML (actors for personas, use cases for scenarios, etc). Fortunately, a short while ago you didn't need to do much more than think up some funky new names for ideas to market your product in the Silicon Valley.
Worse is the suggestions that programmers are power-hungry, obtuse individuals who like nothing better than to write software that noone can use. What would be the point in creating software that was so unservicable that noone could use it?
I think the three main reasons software ends up in the state he describes are 1) sometimes there actually are badly designed interfaces (graphically and interactively) 2) the problem is sufficiently complex and extensive that there is no easy solution or 3) conflicting or dubious requirements from users and management confuse the real requirements of the software.
Rather than try to convince the people responsible for the "dancing bearware", he immediately sets about berating them. At the same time he gives credence to every manager who couldn't work a coffee pot and wanted to blame "them" for all his woes.
Don't read it before going to bed.


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