Hitchhiker's Guide to Software Architecture and Everything Else - by Michael Stal

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mojave - Episode II

Did you hear about Microsoft's Mojave Project where they told a bunch of selected people - most of them Vista critics -  of a cool new operating system called Mojave? Supposedly, most of them were kind of enthusiastic about Mojave. To their big surprise, Mojave turned out to be Vista - the devil in disguise if you will in remembrance of an old Elvis hit.

What can architects learn from this?

  • First of all, we can hide all the mess of our systems behind a nice look and feel. The best software system will not be accepted if its usability sucks, and vice-versa.
  • Secondly, if we got an excellent system that people for some strange reasons don't appreciate, we could try to put a new API or Look & Feel on top. Maybe, the interface is the only thing that sucks in our system.
  • Last but not least, we could also learn that nice architecture and design diagrams might impress others so much that they consider the system as a neat piece of design while in fact the implementation is totally different from the design.

Regarding the original Mojave experiment I really doubt that the reviewers had the write level of expertise and mind set. Don't judge a software system by its cover!  Review and evaluate the design and the implementation thoroughly. 

Architects shouldn't just believe but rather evaluate and enforce.

But of course, in some stakeholder presentations such as presenting the system to your top management you can add a marketing layer while remaining politically correct and honest.  

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