Teamwork anti-pattern: the edge case

Edge Cases are the Root of all Evil:

“I’ve learned over the years that Edge Cases are not meant to be normal rationale or a casual reminder of some odd circumstance that you’ve neglected. Rather, they usually represent an attempt by someone else to gain, show or exert power in a situation. I’ll explain.”

After reading this, I immediately realized the Edge Case is definitely an anti-pattern of teamwork. I’ve observed, suffered and inflicted this particular tactic countless times in the past.

Tackling this one is three-pronged:

* Recognize it. When someone points out an edge-case, quickly try to establish with the rest of the team whether this occurrence is as rare as you think it is or whether its truly important.
* Neutralize it. If it really is a corner case, mark it as such and get back to making actual progress.
* Bury it. Should you throw something out there and find its really an edge case, let it go. Don’t be that guy.

“But Adam”, you say. “It would be really embarrassing if we omitted a condition for the Blurbleflaster Case!” Well, I couldn’t even find the Blurbleflaster Case in Wikipedia! So, if someone finds that we’ve omitted it, then they get the prize; it won’t be the end of the world. We should probably implement that whole social network thing first anyway.

Some low-brow erudition

I want to write something rambling, like Matt Webb. Hopefully interesting too. So in Webbian style, let’s start someplace completely random.

Chaim Witz! — you know him as Gene Simmons. He’s got this tough, misogynist attitude for which he’s famous. But, from the way his kids talk about him, he is mostly harmless. And there is in fact one woman who would seem to have complete control over him — his mom. Go figure.

I don’t eat fish because I might cross one that looks like these guys. And then things would be awkward. “Oh hey, you’ve got about a billion crazy teeth. I ate your third cousin three times removed about ten years ago.”

Finding pattern languages always amuses me. Comedy has its dick and fart jokes. Rap has its hype men. I’d love to find a Gang of Four book on either of those topics.


I saw CBQ (Charless Brian Quinn, for those not in the know) at acts_as_conference this weekend. I want to make a movie shot entirely with the rear-view camera of his Prius. His presentation on teaching Rails was pretty groovy too.

I’m finding that I’m not satisfied to just link to the Wikipedia. Like its not cool enough to link to it. Something more edgy, something old school. Like the C2 link above, having cgi in the URL helps. Pretty URLs are so establishment, man!

Oh, and today I completed my collection of original (Diamond Dave) Van Halen albums. Inspiration? The “Schmitts Gay” commercial sounds like “Beautiful Girls”. “AH, YAH!

I Like Rails 2

Tonight I gave a presentation on Rails 2 at Dallas.rb. Within, I note some of my favorite new things in Rails 2. Some things small, some things large.


If you weren’t there, I should probably explain a couple of the slides. I think Rails 2 is, despite its whole-numberness, an evolutionary release. It makes the Rails “language” smoother around the edges. Granted, its still somewhat blob-esque, but its getter rounder. I dig it.

Besides that, I think Active Resource, or ARes as they call it in the biz, is going to prove useful mostly behind the firewall in your datacenter. As you build more and more applications, you’ll find you need to use resources across multiple apps. This is exactly where ARes shines — providing a common user service, for example.

You can dowload I Like Rails 2 it if you missed it or, for some reason I can’t even fathom, aren’t even in Dallas.