Illegal Argument

A discussion of dynamic lanugages with guest Manix Cook.

Direct download: Illegal_Argument_-_Episode_113.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:03am FJT

Join Mark, Greg, and new co-host Peter as we discuss Language Productivity and Estimation.


  • Using Scala will make you less productive - Is Productivity King? There are many more things in “development” which will lower your productivity than the language you eventually implement the solution in. I (Mark) think I made the comment I've never seen scala as being "a more productive language", but a more flexible, adaptable, etc. language which may lead to more productivity, but productivity is WAY more the sum of intangible parts of development
  • How do you measure productivity in a language, and when should you expect to get results, e.g. 6 months, 1 year, 2 years - 5 years?
  • Is there a correlation between small, modular, artifacts and static typing? does having a contract get better with smaller service ( even if generic type contracts )
  • Is static typing a fractal cost on your code base. The better you write your code the more cost you incur?
  • Static typing suits large method and class as you pay the tax less times?
  • How do you determine the productivity of a new language?
  • Statically typed javascript (typescript)


  • How does switching languages affect how you handle time estimates?
  • How do you handle time estimates in general? (Mark) I’ve often seen it said rather than just estimate how long it will take, estimate how long it will take Person X to do it ( if they’re doing the work, taking into account things you know about their productivity/skill level/work load etc.) - you may know Clojure/Scala well, but with DevY is to do the work and not yet fully up to skill with the toolset.....
  • Development estimates are only accurate if you are maintaining velocity. What error margin and corrective multiplier is reasonable?
  • What methods of estimate generation are good? Planning poker can be slow, but can be a great method of generating estimates.
  • Function Point Calculations as a confirmation guideline
  • How far out do you estimate, and how does YAGNI play into this.
Direct download: 103_Illegal_Argument_Episode_103.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:48am FJT

Direct download: 102_Illegal_Argument_Episode_102.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30pm FJT

It looks like we've been having a few DNS related issues with the website and RSS feeds lately following Dotster's new platform rollout. These should hopefully all be resolved now tho.

Category:general -- posted at: 8:16pm FJT

From the archives of "you thought you'd never hear it" comes Episode 52 of Illegal Argument.  We originally recorded this almost a month ago and for one reason or another we found ourselves snowed under and unable to release it.

Unfortunately due to various reasons I don't have show notes available, so this post will get updated with notes soon.

Direct download: 52_Illegal_Argument_52.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56pm FJT

Hey everyone - Richard here. We have started a new Google Group for discussions around Illegal Argument so they are more accessible than the comments on this blog. The URL is

Greg currently has the assignment for "meatier" topics to talk about, but you have some to suggest, feel free to post them here. Java/JVM/JVM Community related please :-)

And for the listener bonus! Infinitest which I have been speaking about using (and which makes a huge difference to my ability to do TDD in Eclipse) have a special 25% off the commercial license cost - just use the coupon "Illegal-Argument-Rocks". There are only 50 of them (well, 49 now) and they last until the end of August, so be in quick! I'll be talking about it more as I try and fold it in to my Groovy development in Eclipse.

Oh, and none of us are commercially (or non-commercially) involved with the guys, I just think their product is incredible.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:14pm FJT

Due to an unfortunate recording problem (someone forgot to plug in the microphone) this weeks podcast got recorded on the internal microphone of the MacBook. As the recording suffered too many sound issues (distance, fan noises, and the on the rare case that Mark actually speaks - frog like sounds) we've decided not to post this episode.

Episode #7 will now come next week - and we'll make sure to plug things in :-)

Category:general -- posted at: 6:15pm FJT