Flutterby™! : Why re-invent the wheel?

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Why re-invent the wheel?

2009-01-27 15:43:42.015748+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

Perhaps it's just that I've been doing a bunch of stuff in Visual Studio lately, but The Boston Diaries: An illformed rant at the back of my mind spoke to me:

Perhaps I'm scared that programming will (is?) turn (turning?) more into “glue this code to that code” and less a creative endeavour? Should I just give up and only use existing code because everything that's been written has been written and stop wasting time “reinventing the wheel?”

In playing with .NET I'm exposed a lot to the "this is great, all I have to do is plug modules together!" mentality. Which is great, don't get me wrong, I love that an idea can take form quickly, but then you end up with... well... a Windows Forms app. Control focus is clunky. Even on high end machines controls flicker and you can watch 'em redraw. They remind me of nothing so much as interfaces back in the day of BASIC:

PRINT "Enter the name of the thing:"

It's hard to complain too much because you can say "hey, look, an app!", but it's like Ikea furniture, it's not an application built to last, if you try to do anything heavy with it the shelves will sag, and the veneer's gonna peel off and... well... it can still be wonderfully commercially successful. So if you win by this Christmas's sales numbers, it's great, if you're used to working on code with decades old copyright notices, stuff made to last, it grates.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-02-04 02:35:43.333461+00 by: concept14

It's good to reinvent the wheel when the first inventor made it square or was constrained to 256k bytes or didn't realize that the wheel would ever be connected to the internet.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-02-04 05:16:18.189379+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Just to go off on a tangent:


#Comment Re: made: 2009-02-04 13:23:34.969661+00 by: meuon

Those tires have been out for a long time..Or at least I remember seeing them in old Popular Mechanics.

As for hand coding things, it allows you flexibility that you can't get using large "do everything" modules that require a lot of tag along functionality. It allows you to break rules and/or make new ones.

I'm at a utility trade show this week, seeing a lot of J2EE WebSphere powered stuff. It's got pretty interfaces, or at least the demo's do. But I seem to cringe when I hear about Java centric web-apps controlling mission critical high voltage and current devices.

The idea of something like:
Exception on line 4900212 of master.substation.control.nuke0042.output.mW.coolent.value. = NULL

scares me.