TITLE: The Instinct To Discard Code Is A Kind Of Faith AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: December 27, 2015 8:35 AM DESC: ----- BODY: I learned this one summer while writing and deleting the same program several times:
The instinct to discard is finally a kind of faith. It tells me there's a better way to do this page even though the evidence is not accessible at the present time.
The engineer in me always whispered that evidence supported the desire to delete the program and start over: a recognition that I understood encapsulation of behavior more clearly, or messages as a means of decoupling subsystems. Yet in the end there is also small bit of faith. "Surely some of the code I'm deleting is good enough to survive to the next generation..." The programmer, like the writer, must be willing to believe in such situations that "nature will restore itself". (The above passage is a quote of Don DeLillo from The Paris Review, The Art of Fiction No. 135.) -----