Tuesday, April 10, 2007

About Signal-To-Noise

In the context of Domain Driven Design and Domain Specific Languages the Signal-To-Noise-Ratio of a Language/Programming-Environment is getting more and more attention lately.

I like the following statement on Object Mentor:

Clarity of code is a signal-to-noise ratio. We need our code to be as concisely meaningful as possible (not as cramped and crowded as possible, and not unnecessarily spread out over many pages). Whatever size provides the most accurate and quickest reading for trouble-shooting and enhancement is the best size.

In my opinion in the perfect programming environment every single statement a application developer is writing would have direct business meaning. All infrastructural concerns should be handled by the environment, and the developer should not have to care about it.

At the same time, the code the developer actually does write should be very expressive, and therefore might well be elaborate. It is the goal to minimize ‘non-business-code’ but it is not the goal to write as less code as possible.

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