Monday, January 07, 2008

"Toolbox"-based Tools and Concept

The greatest lesson of learning a lot of stuff, trying tools and concepts are not on how it actually solve our problem but, I guess, is on this : It teach us that people and problem are unique and there's no one single tool/solution that can cover all and it's better to have something that is modular, customizable and adaptive.

Even before we start to implement something new we'll probably already see how it has some edges and parts that does not really mirror with our situation. We then pick some part that is useful and left or modify the one that does not.

Learning from this picking and modification, I think a good tools and concept is the one that is more modular and flexible. People prefer to use something modular and flexible to something that requite "All or nothing" approach. It enable people to adapt it more to their situation.

However, for concept and methodology, this modular, toolbox-based approach is also necessary in learning and adapting new things. The tools and concept should enter into our toolbox and not hijack our mind. We should only let inside something that can be a good citizen in our mind i.e: helpful but not destroy our mind flexibility. Intrusive tools and concept should be avoided, or if it's not avoidable should be allowed with care.

This could explain why many people like the concept of plugins or interdependent little tools in UNIX-based system, it allows to play with it more and be creative instead of feeling being overwhelmed and somehow foruced by the tools. This also why some concept or methodologues can be fun to follow when they consist of several interdependent components where we can still see effect of each of them independently.

I prefer toolbox-based tools and concept then the "framework"-based one although it still useful in the cases where they are specifically made to solve.

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