Talk:User-written software

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This article has been merged into End-user development[edit]

Reason for merge:

  • Substantial overlap between articles. End-user development was longer, with more citations than this article, and had already covered most of the points listed in this article.

All content from this article that was not already present in End-user development has been copied across and integrated, and the talk page for End-user development points back to this page. - Pointillist (talk) 23:35, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

On questioning facts[edit]

Having the abilility to question a fact, does not make one correct. The recent classic example is that Bush questioned Iraq's assertion that it had no weapons of mass destruction. Bush had every right to question what Iraq claimed as 'fact'. But, that does not mean that Bush was right. So far, no WMDs have been found, so Bush was actually wrong.

I hope this debate will shift to something more productive, such as the question of "what kind of evidence is adequate for Wikipedia?" Then perhaps we could attempt to go find some more evidence. Note that the standard for Wikipedia is probably very different than the standards for any one contributor.

I did not state that I was correct; I simply removed it because there was debate on its correctness. By the way, why do you refuse to get a username? "Phantom Avenger" might work well. supadawg 23:04, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I just googled "spreadsheet programmers" and one of the top links was link. The first paragraph says "It is predicted that by 2005 in the United States alone there will be 55 million enduser programmers compared to 2.75 million professional programmers".
P.S. I have too many passwords and I never remember them. So, I give up. No more accounts! No more accounts! No more accounts!
OK, I put back the most meaningful sentence. By the way, I just use the same password for everything. What do you think of renaming the page to "User-written software" for clarity? supadawg 23:13, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)
That name sounds nice. Go for it.
Thank you for putting the sentence back. I have been keeping tabs on the numbers of programmers for many years, which is why I know about this. However, it was good of you to be skeptical. You have no way to know that I have kept tabs on the numbers of programmers. I believe that Wikipedia should be relevant to people today. This means that where old stereotypes are wrong, I want to work hard to improve them, even though stereotypes are much easier to defend. For example, I believe it is important to tell the truth about the number of end-user programmers, even though (in my opinion) many people in CS and SE would rather ignore them.

Page rewrite?[edit]

This article strikes me as a bit confused. After doing a little research, it also seems to me that the article does not define "user-written software" as the term is actually used.

I Googled "user-written software", and, aside from the zillions of Wikipedia mirrors, the vast majority of hits seemed to be using the term in the following sense: Some company/organization writes and distributes (usually, sells) a software package. Users (usually, customers) write add-on's for the package. If the package includes a scripting language, users often write using it. Thus, user-written software includes many Excel scripts, some Firefox extensions, the infamous Hot Coffee mod, etc.

Thus, as the term is usually used, user-written software is not "software that is oriented towards the users, "; nor is it "software that is tailored for a specific user or users ". Rather, user-written software is typically software associated with a package and written by a user of the package other than the person/company that wrote the package.

Thus, user-written software does not include the web. Nor does it include (say) Linux, despite the fact that both of these began as someone's spare-time project. The fact that many huge endeavors in the computing field started life as small spare-time projects, is an interesting fact, worth noting. But not in this article. The fact that most programmers are not professionals is also worth noting, but it is not extremely relevant to the topic of user-written software (although I suppose one might mention that user-written software can be considered as part of a larger phenomenon of small, amateur projects, which, evidence indicates, comprise the bulk of software-development efforts).........................................................................................................................

So, how about starting as follows:

User-written software is software written by users. Typically, "user-written software" refers to add-ons to a software package written by its users, often customers of the company that sells the package.

Then give examples, similar to the list currently in the article. Mention that the open-source development model can blur the distinction between user-written software and the primary package itself. And note that user-written software is part of a larger phenomenon of small, non-professional software projects. (If numbers are desired, then we'd need a reference.)

Comments, anyone? (If I get no comments, I plan to rewrite the page in a week.)

Nowhither 09:29, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

I have rewritten, based on the following points:
  • We should explain the term "user-written software" as it is actually used in the real world (see my earlier discussion).
  • User-written software is not a software-engineering topic.
  • The fact that much software development is non-professional, is not what this page is about. (However, someone certainly could write a Wikipedia article on non-professional software development and/or the fact that many large software packages started as small spare-time projects.)
  • Unsupported statistics, however true or false they may be, do not belong on Wikipedia.
Nowhither 00:38, 26 August 2005 (UTC)