[Bioperl-l] Refactor mercilessly

Hilmar Lapp lapp@gnf.org
Tue, 16 Jan 2001 14:34:33 -0800

I found some thoughts about code refactoring at
http://www.extremeprogramming.org/rules/refactor.html. As we are
experiencing something similar with Bio::Root::*, what do people think
about the points made there with particular regard to Bioperl? I enclose
some quotes from that page.


We computer programmers hold onto our
software designs long after they have become
unwieldy. We continue to use and reuse code that is
no longer maintainable because it still works in some
way and we are afraid to modify it. 
Refactor mercilessly to keep the design
simple as you go and to avoid needless clutter and
complexity. Keep your code clean and concise so it
is easier to understand, modify, and extend. Make
sure everything is expressed once and only once.
There is a certain amount of Zen to
refactoring. It is hard at first because you must be
able to let go of that perfect design you have
envisioned and accept the design that was
serendipitously discovered for you by refactoring.
You must realize that the design you envisioned was
a good guide post, but is now obsolete.

Hilmar Lapp                            email: lapp@gnf.org
GNF, San Diego, Ca. 92121              phone: +1-858-812-1757