Framework Wars: “Now all restaurants are Taco Bell.”

September 28, 2007 Christian Sepulveda

Software development is full of framework wars: passionate debates about technology choices that unfortunately degenerate into winning and losing, rather than understanding benefits, risks, and suitability for contexts.

I have unfortunately found myself embroiled in more than one such battle and haven’t always been a balanced contributor. What amazes me though is the common drive towards absolute resolution, the quest to find the “right answer.”

There is a scene in the movie Demolition Man that I think offers a good perspective on these issues. At one point, Sylvester Stallone’s character is confused by an invitation to dine at Taco Bell. Sandra Bullock’s character notes that there were restaurant wars, and “Now all restaurants are Taco Bell.”

Nothing against Taco Bell specifically, but do you want to live in a world where the only restaurant option is Taco Bell?

A common corollary argument in such framework debates is that the industry, or some relevant subset community, is embracing and standardizing on some particular platform, and as such, this is offered as justification for following suit.

While this line of thought sometimes has merits, its important to consider the Taco Bell scenario: if all restaurants are Taco Bell, sometimes its preferable to make dinner at home.

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Treetop 1.0.1
Treetop 1.0.1

I've been working on a parsing framework for Ruby since January called Treetop. I just released version 1.0...

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