60% of Vista Code has to be Rewritten

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
How are they going to do that by January?



From this report it seems a big part of the problem is media center and Viiv.



http://www.smarthouse.com.au/Computi...forms/R7G5G6U4
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    I have a sneaking suspicion that the article is misinterpreting reality.



    60% of Vista may need work. That I completely believe.



    60% of 10-15 million lines of code are not going to be rewritten, tested, and approved from scratch in 9 months.
  • Reply 2 of 23
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Yeah 60% is a lot.



    Ars has addressed this article and also called it an extreme exaggeration.



    I'm sure Vista is a huge project. I doubt all of Vista's features will work as billed on every conceivable PC in the wild. I'm sure MS knows this and are trying to work out as many of the small bugs as possible.



    More than likely MS is attempting to put too much into Vista and raising its expectations too high.



    Which is what adds validity to the wisdom at Apple in adding new features to OS X over a period of time instead of attempting to build one giant OS at one time.
  • Reply 3 of 23
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by TenoBell

    More than likely MS is attempting to put too much into Vista and raising its expectations too high.



    Well, good thing they keep dropping those features then...
  • Reply 4 of 23
    irelandireland Posts: 17,584member
    Who cares
  • Reply 5 of 23
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    95% of the computing world is all.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    irelandireland Posts: 17,584member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    95% of the computing world is all.



    It less than 95%,

    but Still who cares

    I case you didn't know, I was being sarcastic!

    Or was I ??
  • Reply 7 of 23
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,074member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    I have a sneaking suspicion that the article is misinterpreting reality.



    60% of Vista may need work. That I completely believe.



    60% of 10-15 million lines of code are not going to be rewritten, tested, and approved from scratch in 9 months.




    Eight years ago at Nortel we had a project that tried to do that (total re-write of 30 million lines of code) - in the end they threw away the re-written code and went back to the original after wasting a few hundred million dollars.



    In general, re-writes are a good thing - as long as you restrict it to a small area at a time, focusing on the sections of code that generate the most problem reports.



    If they have this much code that needs to be fixed, then that points to a process problem - you can only get into that situation if you have a lot of "shoot the design from the hip" and "fix it quick and dirty" type of developers. Once you get past a million lines, you can only survive with a very heavy dose of process (documentation, documentation reviews, code inspection, testplan review, automated testing, etc).



    The type of organisation that gets this deep into sh*tty code is also the type of organisation that is unlikely to be able to write 10 million lines of good code in 9 months.
  • Reply 8 of 23
    irelandireland Posts: 17,584member
    What's with this stupid Vista!

    Release the damn thing already!
  • Reply 9 of 23
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by e1618978

    [B]If they have this much code that needs to be fixed, then that points to a process problem - you can only get into that situation if you have a lot of "shoot the design from the hip" and "fix it quick and dirty" type of developers. Once you get past a million lines, you can only survive with a very heavy dose of process (documentation, documentation reviews, code inspection, testplan review, automated testing, etc).



    OTOH, the *WRONG* process just makes it worse. I've seen wrong processes implemented so many times it isn't funny, and the developers have to work even harder, just to try and work *around* the bad processes. Read this for a bit of insight into how badly off course this has gone. Amazing.



    Cowboy coding is *one* way to get yourself into this mess. Clueless managers pushing for ill-understood process changes as a way of fixing everything with a silver bullet is the other.
  • Reply 10 of 23
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member
    25+ years of bad coding with patches upon patches had to catch up to MS sooner or later. Looks like they have hit a wall... Splat!
  • Reply 11 of 23
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Does anybody have he straight dope on how new Vista really is?



    I've heard, variously, that it's a "ground up rewrite", that the ground up rewrite was a train wreck so they had to drop back to XP, or possibly the NT code base, or some combination thereof.
  • Reply 12 of 23
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    There's a lot of gritty stuff about it on winsupersite.com, as much as we love the author.
  • Reply 13 of 23
    chris vchris v Posts: 460member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by addabox

    Does anybody have he straight dope on how new Vista really is?



    I've heard, variously, that it's a "ground up rewrite", that the ground up rewrite was a train wreck so they had to drop back to XP, or possibly the NT code base, or some combination thereof.




    Distill your post down to the salient term there -- "Train wreck" for the apparent "Straight dope."



    Sheeesh. This gets funnier all the time.
  • Reply 14 of 23
    curiousuburbcuriousuburb Posts: 3,325member
  • Reply 15 of 23
    chris vchris v Posts: 460member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    OTOH, the *WRONG* process just makes it worse. I've seen wrong processes implemented so many times it isn't funny, and the developers have to work even harder, just to try and work *around* the bad processes. Read this for a bit of insight into how badly off course this has gone. Amazing.



    Cowboy coding is *one* way to get yourself into this mess. Clueless managers pushing for ill-understood process changes as a way of fixing everything with a silver bullet is the other.




    From your link, in the comments section:



    Ok let's take a look back at the great mgmt decisions in one Windows test org: Not an important group; just appcompat. (It's not like anyone really cares about appcompat - who cares if customers' 3rd party apps (and especially MS apps) really don't work that well on this new fustercluck.



    In the last 18 months this org:

    1) Cut the number of testers (several times) from approx 50 to now much less than a dozen. Of course, many top performers also left MS entirely because of middle mgmt in this org.

    2) Hired more PMs

    3) Cut the scope of testing (anyone done any real code coverage testing lately?)

    4) Cut the number of promotions in the test orgs - nothing like a little 'de-incentivization' to increase 'bad attrition'

    5) Dictate that everything can and should be automated. (Ignore that eyeballs catch more in less time...) way to go Darren. Of course, you were probably lied to by your underlings, so it's not entirely your fault. Uhh, yes it is - you made the call.

    6) Hire only a small handful of devs to write automation code. Oh, and don't forget to swamp them with added process and have embittered leads review their code...

    7) Hire more PMs

    8) Outsource all testing to non-accountable and barely trained CSG firms overseas (Ever try to translate/clarify a bug written not by a tester, but by their lead based on notes? )

    9) Limit the number of heads the abovementioned overseas firms can use. > Fewer testers, less experienced, with little training, a much (ahem) 'slower' approach to testing.





    Results: Client appcompat % hovering at <40% (GASP - INTERNAL INFO... better moderate this one out!!!!)



    Here's an anomaly for PM's to 'splain away. If automation is such a great tool, why is it not finding more bugs than a small handful of testers in a lab on the other side of the planet?



    Mgmt Response:

    (CRICKETS chirping)



    Prediction:

    In an amazingly fortuitous time frame (say, just before some upper mgmt BOTL really is), a new and more insightful way of looking at the raw numbers will reveal that the appcompat % is actually >75%. No, wait, did I say 75? I meant 85. At RTM it will be 95.6, or whatever other arbitrary happy-happy number they came up with like last time. In reality, last go-around, the appcompat % was quite high, despite the PM lies, just not as high as they claimed.



    What? You're going to dispute the numbers that some lower functionaries spun up through the labyrinthine PM food chain? At each 'filter' point one gets to improve his own rep by making his ownership area look better. What's a few % points between bureaucrats?





    While I'm in rant mode, why exactly IS MCE so bad? Didn't anyone test this puppy before kicking it out the door and having another PM party?

    A brand new Dell with full OEM installed load and almost nothing works in the expected 'just plug it in Dad and it works'.

    Sure is great he has a son who works at MS. Oh, no he doesn't. His son left.



    Vista - I wouldn't buy it with someone else's money. Then again What do I know, I've only been testing the dog for the last 2-3 yrs...




    wow
  • Reply 16 of 23
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    That's funny. I love the rantings of pissed off underlings about their clueless managers.







    With the resources available to these corporations it is amazing that they don't release better product.



    Microsoft needs to do this Vista thing then let it languish while they start over from square one; backwards compatability be damned.
  • Reply 17 of 23
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member
    That IS hilarious, almost sad to read were it not for what we know about MS. They deserve what's coming. Karma sucks, doesn't MS?
  • Reply 18 of 23
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    Read this for a bit of insight into how badly off course this has gone. Amazing.



    Thanks for that link Kickaha. Great reading. Here's a quote from that link that gives insight into what MS is up against.





    Quote:

    hi there, nice blog. Today's announcement is of course no surprise to anyone inside MS. The only surprise is that it was such a short delay announced.



    Basically we do not believe Vista will make January 2007 or even March 2007. Anyone with any access knows what a frankenstein's monster NT is on the inside. At some point there is a law of diminishing returns trying to do anything to it at all, it seems like that limit is being reached today. The release is pushed back because of bugs but fixing those bugs will create more bugs. It is just godawful to be honest. And the process gets in the way at every step.



    At some point we will have to do something and i know at least some in my team privately agree with me. We will have to throw out everything and start again. This is what Apple did with OSX, and sure it was painful, but it worked and now they're kicking our asses. We should have done that in 2000. Now it is even more obvious we should do it. Start again and just run a compatibility layer on top. Apple did it with classic why can't we???



    IF we manage to ship vista at ALL then it is a miracle and the absolute last rev we can possible do working like this. It is insane the manhours wasted rearranging a house of cards. We need to START AGAIN PEOPLE.



    After vista if we don't do this i am outta here. For every step forward there is a step back. After 5 years who can be proud of the actual distance forward they have come??



    I didn't sign up for this BS. And you know the rumors that apple has a full DBFS for 10.5. I want to be working on that, i need to feel like i'm creating something good, not fighting 10 years old cruft every step of the way. I know i am not the only person who feels this way!!



    And BTW mini PLEASE enable https on your comments page. You would have to be nuts to post here from inside the network via plain http. Anyone else wants to do it, do what i do, email the comment (encrypted) to a friend and get him to post it. Anyone who thinks SMG doesn't have a filter looking at anything to or from minimsft is kidding themselves.



    OH and "PM61" give me a break. No-one is personally criticising you or saying you are a bad person. I don't hate my colleagues and we are all in the same boat. It is easy to lose sight of the big picture after 5 years but just try to zoom out and look at the outcome, no-one should be proud of this. Just imagine what we all could have done if we were truly free to code our hearts out and create the next generation. Just imagine what you would have achieved in five years working for Apple. I don't hate MS but everything is so tangled up now. We need to change because eventually we will be so tangled up we can't do anything at all, and that's the end of that. I honestly do not believe we can ship another OS in this way. Either we do an OSX or Vista is the end of the line, YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE!!!




  • Reply 19 of 23
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by curiousuburb

    *cough*



    Oh that stuff is *TAME*.



    Seriously, self-deprecating and angry comments are bread and butter for devs to blow off steam. (You should see some of the comments in my phd research tools - I'm even an asshole to myself.)



    Also, I can't say that much from the minimsft blog surprises me *that* much - every project has those problems... the problem is that MS seems to have allowed the problems to scale up with, or faster than, the size of the product, and *THAT* is deadly.



    What's the most telling to me are the brief crumbs littering the comments about their internal processes. Truly fascinating. Too bad we'll never see an adequate post-mortem of this project - it could be a major contribution to software engineering data. \
  • Reply 20 of 23
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Boy would I love to be a fly on the wall in MS HQ. Bet they have had some interesting meetings lately.
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