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KernelTrap: Linus On Specifications

“In a conversation that began as a request to include the SAS
Transport Layer in the mainline Linux kernel, there was an
interesting thread regarding specifications. Linux creator Linus
Torvalds began the discussion saying, ‘a ‘spec’ is close to
useless. I have _never_ seen a spec that was both big enough to be
useful _and_ accurate. And I have seen _lots_ of total crap work
that was based on specs. It’s _the_ single worst way to write
software, because it by definition means that the software was
written to match theory, not reality.’

“Linus went on to list two reasons to avoid specifications when
writing software. First, ‘they’re dangerously wrong. Reality is
different, and anybody who thinks specs matter over reality should
get out of kernel programming NOW…'”

Complete Story