Essential Refactoring (MG)

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    Al Shalloway

    The reason I got hung up on the word “need” was because I couldn’t tell whether you actually meant need (like I need gas to make my car go) or a choice (like I need goggles to swim).

    Admittedly, maybe I’m also just generally hung up on need/choice confusion because I have an eight month old and I’m noticing how many people say things like “you need to hold still while I put on your onesie”.

    Al Shalloway

    So the only difference is the meaning of “small”. You can suggest that it be some small concrete amount of time. But others may “choose” a larger amount of time, based on their experience, choice, etc.

    Al Shalloway

    I guess. The size of changes or classes is a topic worth discussing but out of the scope of this blog entry.

    The Aside

    “Small” and “validated” are both implicitly related and asymptotic. You can never reach infinity small because that’s zero large but you can get damn close to zero large. You can never get 100% validated because that would be 0% risk but, likewise, you can get damn close.

    Remember, in this case, “validated” is shorthand for “validated as non-behavior-changing”.

    “Small” and “validated” are linked. The maximum amount of risk carried by two small validated changes is never greater than the maximum amount of risk in lumping them together. It is often less because you are, at the very least, risking abandoning less work when validation fails. Similarly, (as an aside) “automated” and “validated” are linked, too, because automation makes fewer mistakes and makes the same mistakes every time.

    So choosing to do something larger when you can figure out how to do it smaller, or doing it by hand when you could lean on automation is wrong. That’s not a big deal. Everything we are doing will eventually look wrong.

    In one-thousand years, they will laugh at how we do nearly everything we do just like we laugh at people who used leeches to solve problems. That doesn’t h

    That Said

    This article is about the what the process is, not about how to optimize that process. I could write another blog entry about working in the smallest increments possible and another one extolling the virtues of defining the smallest classes possible.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by Al Shalloway.
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