Sunday, April 15, 2012

the future of coding practices: bad is good

When you run your searches using your favourite search engine, not all the results ranking high are useful, unbiased or even accurate. Sometimes you need bias to understand what most people think is a good idea. Sometimes, even with bias, it's often difficult to figure out that what most people do is a rather bad way to do things. So you find yourself going to portals like TheServerSide and StackOverflow to get answers that are reasonably sane, answers that you can trust (with a good degree of confidence). Of course, you also stay abreast of articles posted in places like DeveloperWorks,, JavaLobby and Dzone.

A post came up on dzone a few days ago and it portends a dark future for sensible software engineering.

It's laced with idioms (Though .. but still) that are now getting increasingly common in IT writing thanks to the growing number of people from Patil's Estate, who are able to churn out code like a cow with a bad stomach churns out you-know-what, but never really bothered to get competent in the department of technical writing (or perhaps -- the horror -- even writing itself).

And then we have egregious advice that, one hopes, anyone with a modicum of common sense will ignore. Consider a few samples:

Add comments for each ending block so that it is clear which code block is going to end

Clearly, this gentleman does not use an IDE.

Comment out the code which could be reused in future but could not be implemented this time

Surely this writer has either never used version control or uses it without really understanding what purpose it serves.

The comments on the post are encouraging -- here's hoping that this is not a trend and just an aberration.

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