There are insightful posts, and then there’s this….
There’s a story “somewhere on the Web” that builds a case for the size of the boosters for NASA’s shuttle being limited in size by the smallest train tunnel that they needed to pass through. That tunnel was slightly wider than a train track, and, ultimately, the width of that train track was determined by the width of a horse’s arse.
I was reminded of this in a meeting recently when someone asked about how continuous build systems provide results of tests to users. Almost all of them do so by looking for XML files generated by JUnit. Specifically, they look for those files in the format generated by Ant’s JUnit runner. It doesn’t matter how sophisticated that continuous build server is, it still needs to read files in that format. In a way, the JUnit runner in Ant is a horse’s arse too.