[erlang-questions] Rhetorical structure of code: Anyone interested in collaborating?

Grzegorz Junka <>
Wed May 4 18:45:01 CEST 2016


> - I have said several times that we write code because it is quicker to
> write it from scratch, than to discover code that does what we want, or
> modify code that does almost what we want but not quite.
>

That's very true, but it applies all the way through. The more time has 
been invested into some code the more time it would be needed to write 
it from scratch. For example, I would prefer Elixir's convention of 
listing the object on which the operation is being performed as the 
first argument in library function calls over the OTP convention of 
listing it as the last argument. But I am not going to rewrite OTP 
libraries for that small inconvenience.

Very often understanding an existing application and fixing issues is 
easier and quicker than writing a new one from scratch, especially if 
one only need to understand a specific or small part of it, and even 
more if the existing application supports plugins allowing to skip large 
parts of its code in custom modules.

This should be a lesson for those who design applications and its 
interfaces, and in my opinion putting effort into designing the 
application properly is more important than documenting everything, 
because it's always a trade-off. Very often the documentation isn't 
there not because it's not needed, but because there was not enough 
resources to put it there in the first place.

If the architecture is good then the documentation can always be added 
later. But if the architecture is not good, then no matter how much 
documentation is written, it will be quickly outdated by the constant 
and often fixes and patches to that architecture to make it working.

Grzegorz


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