Curing the Addiction to Incongruence

Oct 27th, 2002 by Tony in QSM3

In the nineteenth century, heroin was put into use as a cure for morphine addiction. It was successful at ending morphine addiction so long as heroin was available because heroin was more powerful. Of course, the morphine addiction then became a heroin addiction, which wasn’t much progress. This replacement dynamic is being repeated in the twentieth century with the use of methadone. And, oh yes, morphine itself was thought to be a cure for opium addiction.

In the software world, FORTAN was put forth as a cure for the addiction to assembly language. COBOL was designed to eliminate the dependence on programmers, since executives would be able to write their own code. Spreadsheets were going to replace COBOL, but now many executives spend more time fiddling with their spreadsheets than doing executive-type work.

— Jerry Weinberg, Quality Software Management Vol 3, Chapter 12

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