Here is a piece of text:

Since Dapper has been in production and operating at large scale for years now, we decided it would be most appropriate to focus this paper on what Dapper’s deployment has taught us, how our design decisions played out, and in what ways it has been most useful. The value of Dapper as a platform for XXX development of performance analysis tools, as much as a monitoring tool in itself, is one of a few unexpected outcomes we can identify in a retrospective assessment.

Which articles would you place before two words in bold (development and retrospective assessment)?

Do not they mean/imply particular and very specific development (that has led to the developing of specific and well-known tools)? Is so, should not the development be there?

On the other hand, does not a retrospective assessment mean literally just any retrospective assessment ever made by anyone?

  • xxx=the or none; The dapper team have conducted a retrospective assessment which has a surprising outcome. It is not just any but a specific assessment
    – mplungjan
    Nov 21, 2017 at 9:13

1 Answer 1


Without "of performance analysis tools", you would use no article:

The value of Dapper as a platform for development, as much as...

But adding "of performance analysis tools" makes the development specific, so use the:

The value of Dapper as a platform for the development of performance analysis tools, as much as...

I would say that "retrospective assessment" is not specific in itself (it is not defined), so use a. If it was a specific assessment defined elsewhere, then use the.

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