Thursday’s Letters to the Editor
EDITOR: The vote tallying debacle in the Iowa Democratic caucuses is being blamed, at least in part, on inadequate testing of the software. I tested software for many years, and I can tell you how these big projects all too often go.
First, there is a hard and fast due date (as was the case in Iowa), and a project schedule is developed working backward from this date. Unrealistic estimates are produced that accommodate the due date. Everybody already knows at this point that there won’t be enough time to produce a quality product.
Then the project begins. The development takes much longer than expected — always. The time allowed for testing shrinks and shrinks. Finally, the testing phase begins, much closer to the due date than planned.
The implementation date looms as defects are found, fixed and retested over and over. Panic sets in. There are daily meetings to review the problems — what can we live with, what has to be fixed right now?
Finally, the due date arrives, and the app is released. Everyone involved in the project crosses their fingers and hopes for the best. This time, instead of the best, the worst happened — embarrassment on a national scale, and who gets the blame? The testers.
NANCY J. FLOM
A scary downtown
EDITOR: It seems to me that Santa Rosa’s downtown is hanging by a thread. Our family has frequently visited for movies and dinner, but less often now. The City Council should be concerned.
The night hours bring a scary element that tends to dominate the square. I’m a pretty big guy, but walking from a Fourth Street restaurant to my car makes me extremely uncomfortable. There is no question this is at least part of the problem leading to so many empty storefronts. This paper reporting downtown stabbings is a little scary, but having had my car broken into at City Hall was a firsthand experience.
The economy will go through a down cycle eventually. When this happens downtown will become a ghost town, except for the large number of homeless people sleeping around the creek. I challenge city leaders to walk the Prince Memorial Greenway at night by themselves. The leaders of the city, while truly compassionate in their hearts, are going to destroy the tax base they need.
Seeing the effectiveness of a city that took five years to fix Stony Point Road (and now I drive down Highway 12, which still isn’t completed near Farmer’s Lane after two years), I am not hopeful that they can really fix anything.
The Gallahers’ world
EDITOR: So Molly Gallaher Flater throws $1.2 million at efforts to undercut the SMART train, while Bill Gallaher sues over the ban of natural gas in new construction. Lovely to know that the Gallaher family is going all in on 19th-century infrastructure while battling critical progress toward a sustainable future. Seems like, in their ideal world, we would enjoy lazy hazy days on a completely clogged Highway 101 while doubling down on fossil-fuel investments. What a wonderful world this would be.
STEVEN DAVID MARTIN