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Qualities of Software

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TANSTAAFL

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I used to maintain a list of five qualities that software should have. This was a number of years ago, and geared towards database applications, but here they are, as best I can remember them, in order from most to least important:

Robustness
Maintainability
Extensibility
Elegance
Speed

This list is obviously for largish installed systems that have to operate for an undetermined amount of time, usually measured in years, and is used every day or at least rather frequently by a company in order to do its business.

Rethinking this stuff to apply to the games I'm currently making, Maintainability and Extensibility, still important qualities to have, drop to the bottom, making the list look like:

Robustness
Elegance
Speed
Maintainability
Extensibility

I may also either swap Maintainability and Extensibility, or put them as equal. Since my games are small, there isn't a lot of "bonus pack"ing or customization to do, and typically few patches if any. Basically, I need to give thought as far as what I'm going to do with these games over their lifespan, and leave enough open so that I can easily do so without having to really mess things up.

Oh, and by "Elegance" I mean simplicity, ease of use, low learning curve for the user, and transparency of the user interface. It is one of the more difficult qualities to achieve.
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