Thursday, April 3, 2008

Elegance vs. Simplicity

It's a balancing act: balancing elegance of design vs. simplicity.
Simple is frequently a lot easier to maintain than elegant. You have to pick somewhere in between.
In an ideal world all the code would be very simple and very elegant. Unfortunately you don't have enough time to do everything ideally. Because this is not about delivering perfect code, its about delivering business functionality!
If I could spend an infinite amount of time working on a project, I would make perfect code... but I am spending somebody else's money working...

--Jeff Norris, IT matters #2


  1. But sometimes, simple and is possible. Today, I was able to replace 23 lines of your code by a single line...
    And no, it is neither longer than yours nor obfuscated.
    At least, there was a comment that it should be possible to simplify this (not counted in the 23 lines)

  2. Simple and ...? I guess just plain simple?

    I wonder which project you are talking of?
    If it was VB-Code, I am proud that even 23 lines survived that long, even though I dont remeber writing them ;-)
    I guess in the last project I was working on, my traces will not survive as long, since code there has a shorter half-life time than Polonium-212...

  3. Meant simple and elegant, of course (not elegant forgetting half the statement ;-)
    And, for more buzz-words, it is even more performant.
    And yes, it was VB-Code. But I can't tell more here, because if Peter would ever start reading blogs, I might come into severe trouble otherwise. (He recently declaimed his opinion about publishing company knowhow and/or opensource code and code snippets.)


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