Overload Of Programming Groups

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(Taken from Dimension-TI February/March 1999 Newsletter)

8) Editorial: Team Programming/Alliances - Fred C.

Lately, there has been a string of programming alliances and group programming projects. Looking at it, I see lots of both pros and cons. I am not going to say that "yes, you must join an alliance" or "no, stay away, they are evil," but rather I'm going to discuss the pros and cons that I've seen, so you can make an informed decision about whether you wish to form your own alliance.

Call me a pessimist, but I'm going to start with the negative side of alliances. First of all, although people can write routines for you, you still must check the routines, so you know what variables/registers are messed up in the course of the routine, and therefore save them before the routine is called. This isn't too negative, but it can be a hassle. Also, in an alliance when you ask someone for a routine, even though there is a deadline people don't always stick to it. Then, you either must wait, which you don't like, or write the routine yourself, destroying the purpose of having others write it for you. Either way it isn't good. Of course, this IS a good thing when the other person/alliance is on time with its routines.

One positive aspect is for those of us who have horrible artistic skills. Those who have this problem would have difficulty in making most games, since they would either involve decent graphics…the most complicated graphics, for example, that I've ever made are circles for connect 4…that's almost nothing compared to the complex sprites in some RPG's and action games. Also, alliances are good in that other people can write routines for you, so that you don't have to spend the time to recreate a routine to swap a few numbers, or something similar. One other good thing about alliances is the potential for optimization. Just like looking at an essay that you wrote, you're bound to overlook little things in your source code that could be optimized for speed and/or size. So, by having someone else look over your source code, it can help.

Don't take this wrong, I'm not condemning alliances. I think they can be good, and I'm even a part of one myself. I'm probably criticizing human nature more than alliances. However, since these alliances are made up of humans, this can affect the alliance. So my advice is this: if you want to program alone, do it. I do a lot of my programming on my own (just don't tell that to the alliance I'm in :) However, if you want to join an alliance, join one that has trustworthy members that will do what they are asked on time. That is the key to a good alliance.

Taken from Assembly-82 mailing list at ticalc.org

A82: Still dead?

To: gro.clacit.stsil|28-ylbmessa#gro.clacit.stsil|28-ylbmessa
Subject: A82: Still dead?
From: "Evil Sam" <moc.liamtoh|mas_live#moc.liamtoh|mas_live>
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 1999 21:12:52 PST
Delivered-To: es.anutnellos.ude.xinu.draugrewot|gniogtuo-28-ylbmessa#es.anutnellos.ude.xinu.draugrewot|gniogtuo-28-ylbmessa
Delivered-To: gro.clacit.stsil|28-ylbmessa#gro.clacit.stsil|28-ylbmessa
Reply-To: gro.clacit.stsil|28-ylbmessa#gro.clacit.stsil|28-ylbmessa

Ok, the list is still dead. Having nothing better to say, here's my
attempt at stirring conversion:

ASM programming groups, a flawed concept? I think so. Also they're
very trendy. Just today I have received 2 requests from newly formed
groups. 2-3 new groups are formed each week: Some BASIC, some ASM.
Everyone wants to be cool and be the president of their own group.

The whole idea sucks in my opinion. They don't actually help
programming efforts, and all it does is promote elitism and competition.
I won't go into further detail without pissing off certain groups, but
if anyone wants to argue in favor of groups, I'm game :)

Anyone remember KickASM? A failed programming group of the past,
what makes the newly-formed current ones any different?