Programmers Building Houses

From Bilbo
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2006-07-13

<RichardNixon> If builders built buildings the way programmers write program an average shack would consist of thousands of custom designed moving parts.

<bilbo> Well ya, obviously it needs to keep its balance somehow.

<rexlunae> Plus, it has to check to make sure the construction technologies are properly licensed.

<bilbo> And that they're auto-updated.

<orcrist> What about back doors for the NSA? Shouldn't they be incorporated?

<bilbo> oh definitely, and auto-update has to be able to change their locks.

<RichardNixon> And it has to be properly modular so that 3 years after it's built somebody can decide it has to be accessible in an entirely different way from how it was designed. For instance, it should now be accessible via the web.

<rexlunae> The smoke detector would have to use a user-friendly alarm explaining that it is bad when it is going off.

<RichardNixon> It would also be required to come with extensive documentation that noone would be expected to read. And it would have to be built on at least an acre of land, because 3 years from now when they want something totally different it's going to balloon in size.

<Eric[0]> and it needs to have memory leaks

<Eric[0]> LOTS of them

<Eric[0]> It's not properly designed if it doesn't consume every resource available.

<bilbo> In other words, it must grow to fill the land available.

<rexlunae> The EULA would require that you only install Microsoft brand carpet, but that's ok since it comes in the nicest shade of orange.

<RichardNixon> Oh yeah, I forgot it would have to be able to dynamically resize itself to to meet all possible conditions, expected and unexpected.

<Eric[0]> It needs to have an error message for any critical problem, for instance the blue screen saying "the roof has collapsed and needs to fall down".

<bilbo> ya, like what if you try to park your car in the kitchen? It has to be able to issue an error, then expand the kitchen (in that order rather than expanding without error -- like windows swap space).

<RichardNixon> Appliances would explode at random time intervals, but if the house was unable to cope with this it would be deemed "junk". Ditto for being unable to keep out swarms of constantly mutating wildlife and teenagers with crowbars.

<rexlunae> It would have a bathroom, but since you only purchased the standard version instead of the professional version, it would be behind a locked door. In order to use the bathroom, you have to rebuild the structure entirely.

<kzarns> Of course you would have to hire some people to test it for a couple years.

<bilbo> You'll have to buy a new one every year (auto-update can only do so much, after all), even though the design is only updated every 8 years.

<rexlunae> It would also include a reminder to install a security system, which would pop up every time you open any door.

<RichardNixon> If you added on to the house and installed crappy locks in the addition, when a burgler broke in and stole your stuff it would somehow be the architects fault.

<RichardNixon> And instead of installing better locks you would be expected to buy an series of increasingly expensive and complex hunter-killer drones to patrol your house. These drones would take up a larger amount of your living space with each iteration and would occasionally shoot your guests and family members.

<langseth> And they would also cause the house to lock everyone out after an update.

<rexlunae> And the purchase agreement would include a statement that prevents the builder from being held liable for anything ever.

<RichardNixon> Even after you got better locks, you'd probably still need the drones because your children and other family members would keep letting random theives, bums, and serial killers into your home because they "looked cute".

<langseth> And some of the Entertainment appliances would install their own drones directly into the foundation without notifying you.

<Eric[0]> Every 3 months or so you'd have to rebuild it to get rid of cruft-creep.