I’m here to delete code

delete your code, development Add comments

I have only made this letter longer
because I have not had the time to make it shorter

Blaise Pascal, Lettres provinciales.

What do you think you are supposed to do as developer? To create code? Nope. To delete it!

delete_eraser1.jpgHave you ever thought why it takes 5-15 minutes to get into the flow? From my point of view, that’s because you have to understand the root of a task, to load its code base into your operating memory – brain. So the less code you have to deal with, the more productive you are in juggling with it.

Alongside this fact consider these statements:

  • Less software is easier to manage.
  • Less software reduces your codebase and that means less maintenance busywork (and a happier staff).
  • Less software lowers your cost of change so you can adapt quickly. You can change your mind without having to change boatloads of code.
  • Less software results in fewer bugs.
  • Less software means less support.

( Getting Real :: Less Software chapter )

At the same time it’s funny how often I got more robust code by moving from 100 lines to 10…

In the next post I will describe the ways I use to achieve that goal.

One Response to “I’m here to delete code”

  1. marrkiz Says:

    It is interesting to hear about yor ways.

    Of course, the best way to achieve smaller codebase it is to drop unnecessary and redundant features.

    But now I’m thinking and trying another approach, implement a small bytecode compiler for a DSL for the problem at hand, and write it in that language. LISPers are fine with with their macros, as well as those who can afford embedding Python/LUA/Guile/etc., but sometimes you *have* to write C, C++ or Java.

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