Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Coding is Bad For Your Code

There is nothing as destructive to a computer program as a good day of coding. An afternoon can wipe away a week's supply of simplicity and clarity. Gone are the clearly defined functions with well commented logic. In it's place is mess of IF and WHILE logic addressing all those special cases that didn't come up in the initial design.

We all know we "should" refactor. But the clock is a remorseless taskmaster. It's so easy to just hack in the feature we need and "design it better next time". Of course, there is no next time. Only now. There is no "design once, write once". Only design and re-design. Code by design, or hack without one--there is no middle ground.


  1. Once somebody told me that software architecture is similar to housing architecture. Since you have a foundation, departments, wirestructures etc. It is alike isn't it? If only that would be true... You can't add a room on the first floor like that. You have to redesign the whole building to do so. If software architecture is similar, you can't add much either withour redesigning the whole app. Oh.... the horror....

    - Unomi -

  2. well, you can fix this by TATFT

  3. That depends. On a really GOOD day of coding, my net output in lines of code is negative.

    -- Michael Chermside