Ayende @ Rahien

It's a girl

Areas of pain vs. frequency of change

A few weeks ago I had to touch a part of NH Prof that is awkward to handle. It isn’t bad, it is just isn’t as smooth to work with as the rest of NH Prof.

I had the choice of spending more time there, making this easier to work with, or just dealing with the pain and making my change. Before touching anything, I looked at the commit log. The last commit that touched this piece of NH Prof was a long time ago.

That gave validity to my decision to just deal with the pain of changing it, because it wouldn’t be worthwhile to spend more time on this part of the application. Noticing areas of pain and fixing them is important, but I am willing to accept areas of pain in places that I need to touch twice yearly.


09/26/2009 11:58 AM by

You know, there's something to be said for leaving code that's working in production untouched. Not every small change requires a massive rewrite of all the code around it. Every new line of code carries the potential for bugs. If it's time-tested and not often in need of maintenance, the only thing necessary to change may be a few comments here and there as you re-discover thought processes. You may have to hold your nose while you do it, but being a good developer isn't about rewriting everything you touch. Good for you for advocating sanity, even when it flies in the face of most developers' natural inclinations.

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