Arnt Gulbrandsen
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2013-05-08

Someone should

The should rules went out of fashion at Trolltech after I left. I don't know when, but some people who started in 2006 didn't learn them.

Which is a pity, they were good rules and in my opinion they still are.

The rules were: In a meeting (which at early-Trolltech usually meant over lunch), the phrase we should … meant I will …, and someone should … meant I immediately will ….

The rationale for this is what we should and someone should was weasel wording for I think we should …, but I know I can't persuade anyone else to take on the work. Often (but far from always) noone else thought the result was important enough to justify the working time. Sometimes there were many other reasons. But the reasons don't matter, the results matter, and the should rules made people speak more realistically.

For what it's worth, the rules were suggested by Paul Olav Tvete.