Monday, April 16, 2012

Artistic Utilities

One item designers consistently overlook during the redesign of a legacy system is capturing the hundreds of small utility programs in use to perform the mundane and necessary dirty work: one shot fixes, bug patches, cyclical clean up, ad hoc requests, et cetera. I suppose the consensus might be that the old utilities should be irrelevant for the new design.

Just the fact they exist however shines a light into the dark corners of workarounds and the prolific ability to bend to the flexibility of user demands and their processing errors. When redesigning a system therefore, at least pay attention to the general circumstances and conditions where utilities get invoked, and plan to support a similar panoply of solutions in the new environment.