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Re: Knowing where a function has been used (bis) [Was: Re: Optimising El

From: tomas
Subject: Re: Knowing where a function has been used (bis) [Was: Re: Optimising Elisp code]
Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2018 09:55:06 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Sat, Oct 13, 2018 at 10:51:56PM +0200, Emanuel Berg wrote:
> Barry Margolin wrote:
> > Sounds like a bullshit rationalization.
> > The real reason is probably that refactoring
> > is a PITA.
> If so, why did they write the code that way to
> begin with? [...]

Code "grows", one single (minimum-effort) step by step, following
a path of minimum resistance over a time-changing fractal landscape.

As one colleague of me used to put it (and he's one of the most
gifted programmers I know personally), code grows all by itself,
and the programmer's job is to prune it and to keep the pruning
rate high enough so to not be drowned by the jungle.

Put in more sober terms, usually you start with one idea and a
rough sketch. Most of the time, this sketch is wrong (because
you aren't God), but when it's right enough you start getting
users, so you keep going, and fixing up things as they come.

From time to time the tension between your original vision and
the one you have now (because you're older, or because the folks
pushing the project have changed, or because reality, or your
users, or the weather evolved) is so big that you take the hurdle
of a Big Refactor. Then your users will hate you :-)

-- tomás

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