[lug] Re: recycling code [WAS Fwd: NICHOLAS PETRELEY: "The Open Source" ]

D. Stimits stimits at idcomm.com
Thu Mar 22 11:49:37 MST 2001

Matt Clauson wrote:
> On Wednesday 21 March 2001 22:06, you wrote:
> > >I can look at the code for one of these, rip out the IMAP stuff, and have
> > > a patch slapped together for Kmail in probably a couple of hours.  I'll
> > > have a
> >
> > Then by all means, do. I'd like to see someone patch IMAP into kmail in a
> > couple hours work.
> > You must be code god or something.
> You miss the point I'm trying to make here.  I contend that by re-using
> someone else's still functional code instead of rewriting all of it by
> scratch (even after looking at someone else's to understand it -- I'll cover
> that below) you can save MASSIVE amounts of time and effort, and devote time

That depends on how the code was designed. Not just quality, but
consider some programs are designed for OOP, others procedural. Some
code depends on libraries that are desirable to avoid. Sometimes the
goal isn't just the functionality, but a more modular means of doing
something for later extension. Sometimes reinventing the wheel is just
for one's own fun when not doing things for money. Sometimes it is
necessary to rewrite something just to understand it better. One of my
favorite versions of Murphy's laws is: "Interchangeable parts DON'T".

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