Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Sep 2012 23:25 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
General Development "Having read this, one realization is that better code often means less code. I don't think about lines of code exactly, or something similarly stupid, but in terms of meaningful code. However, argument for less code isn't about making code as compact as possible, avoid redundancy, etc. The argument is about not writing code at all whenever reasonable or possible. Should we focus on deciding what should and what should not built instead of polishing our software development craft then? Yes and no. Yeah, I know. Exactly the kind of answer you expected, isn’t it? Anyway, you can't answer this question meaningfully without a context."
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The Best Code
by Alfman on Thu 27th Sep 2012 14:32 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

...is a futile metric. Sure there's good code and bad code, but it draws focus away from the solution itself and nit-picks at the implementation. Often times the developers are hired/contracted to implement totally asinine solutions for any given problem. The best code in the world isn't going to be appreciated by the users if the solution doesn't work for them.

Who is good code important to? It's important to us as developers. But in my experience users & clients don't care, at least as long as the developer is able to manage the mess (which isn't always a given).

A specific example I'm fighting with alot these days is OSCommerce. Unfortunately, the code is very poorly written. It is dependent upon php's notoriously problematic "magic quotes" feature. It supports a kind of plugin, but these lack modularity therefore each plugin needs to patch the base source code. Source patches often overlap with one another and our own customisations such that adding new plugins is error prone and not straightforward. These source patches are inherently version specific. Each adjustment we must make locally puts the code base that much further from the mainline. Software updates are non-trivial, which is a major problem due to OSC vulnerabilities. Also, there is tremendous functional overlap between include files of the website and administration panel, resulting in twice the maintenance burden.


So I hate OScommerce code, but it happens to be included at most hosting providers, and because of that many users will try it out and consider it a good base solution for their website without having looked at the code.

Edit: My conclusion is that both solution and the code are important, but they are important to different people.

Edited 2012-09-27 14:34 UTC

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