Bill opdyke refactoring thesis

Buildings are tangible, physical structures. This is, incidentally, the same benefit that sexual reproduction brought to the genome. With larger projects, cultural, process, organizational and resource allocation issues can overwhelm technical concerns such as tools, languages, and architecture.

This experience may inspire changes to data formats and the user interface that undermine architectural decisions that had been thought to be settled.

This is akin to a phenonmenon dubbed the PeterPrinciple of Programming by authors on the Wiki-Wiki web [Cunninghan a]. The hacker in the trenches must engage complexity in hand-to-hand combat every day.

The class of systems that we can build at all may be larger than the class of systems we can build elegantly, at least at first.

You can look at a building. Architecture is often treated with neglect, and even disdain. Not every backyard storage shack needs marble columns. Data structures may be haphazardly constructed, or even next to non-existent. However, its undeniable popularity leads to the inexorable conclusion that it is a pattern in its own right.

Every shred of important state data may be global. Programs are made of bits.

Opportunities and insights that can allow for architectural progress often are present later rather than earlier in the lifecycle.

Some analysts, designers, and architects have an exaggerated sense of their ability to get things right up-front, before moving into implementation.

Big problems can arises when the needs of the applications force unrestrained communication across these boundaries. Only after these are identified do the architectural boundaries among parts of the system start to emerge. You can walk inside it, and admire and critique its design.

Programmers differ in their language and tool preferences and experience as well. The system becomes a tangled mess, and what little structure is there can erode further. Often, the people who control and manage the development process simply do not regard architecture as a pressing concern.

Without knowing the architectural demands of the domain, such an attempt is premature, if not foolhardy. Loftier architectural goals are a luxury that has to wait.

Renegotiating these relationships is often difficult once the basic boundaries among system elements are drawn. Kent Beck has observed that the way to build software is to: One reason for a muddled architecture is that software often reflects the inherent complexity of the application domain.

As with anything else in the universe, counteracting entropic forces requires an investment of energy. Sunlight, it is said is a powerful disinfectant. Indeed, reviews and pair programming provide programmers with something their work would not otherwise have: There is little concern for infrastructure, since infrastructure requires coordination and capital, and specialized resources, equipment, and skills.

Ralph Johnson is fond of observing that is inevitable that "on average, average organizations will have average people". Subjecting convoluted code to scrutiny can set the stage for its refactoring, repair, and rehabilitation.

More often, change takes place a building or block at a time, while the city as a whole continues to function. Shantytowns are usually built from common, inexpensive materials and simple tools. The "right" thing to do might be to redesign the system.

There are significant forces that can conspire to compel architecture to take a back seat to functionality, particularly early in the evolution of a software artifact. Everyone seems to agree they are a bad idea, but forces conspire to promote their emergence anyway.

Such code can become a personal fiefdom, since the author care barely understand it anymore, and no one else can come close. This should not be the end of the story, though. An investment in architecture usually does not pay off immediately. The code exhibits the unmistakable signs of patch after patch at the hands of multiple maintainers, each of whom barely understood the consequences of what he or she was doing.

This approach leads to inefficient resources utilization, analysis paralysis, and design straightjackets and cul-de-sacs. During this period, it can become evident that certain wish-list items are not going to make it, and that exotic experiments are not going to work.

Once all this has been done, one can consider how to make it cheap.Cost: Architecture is a long-term is easy for the people who are paying the bills to dismiss it, unless there is some tangible immediate benefit, such a tax write-off, or unless surplus money and time happens to be available.

Port Manteaux churns out silly new words when you feed it an idea or two. Enter a word (or two) above and you'll get back a bunch of portmanteaux created by jamming together words that are conceptually related to your inputs.

For example, enter "giraffe" and you'll get back words like "gazellephant" and "gorilldebeest". Refactoring consists of improving the internal structure of an existing program's source code, while preserving its external behavior.

Also, if you play board games, auction theory explains why fixing game imbalance via an auction mechanism is non-trivial and often makes the game worse.

Bill opdyke refactoring thesis
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