[MUD-Dev] Reinventing the Wheel (was: Object Architecture [Longish])

Brian Hook brianhook at pyrogon.com
Fri Jun 14 15:48:24 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

David B. Held said:

> On the other hand, other programmers know plenty of things that
> you will never learn on your own.  And you probably know things
> that others don't.  So each method has its advantages.

While the above is true enough, there's a big difference between
"knowing something very well" and "knowing something well enough".

I think the value of being a sole coder is that you understand how
an entire system is put together.  I've seen large projects
completely fall apart because everyone tries to black box their
corner of the universe, and integrating the disparate pieces is a
disastrous affair because there's no single individual responsible
for understanding and putting all the pieces together.

I've written about 120K lines of code for my puzzle game code base
(frightening thought, eh?).  Most of it is good code, but not great
code.  My GUI code can probably done significantly better by someone
that is a GUI specialist.  The same can probably be said of my
Windows code, networking code, file system code, image processing
code, etc.  But what I have works well enough, and the experienced
gained by being a lone coder has been invaluable.  In almost all my
previous work I was "the graphics guy" or "the API guy" or whatever
-- now I'm "the guy" and it's a hell of a learning experience.

I think every programmer should do the lone coder thing at least
once, because without it you don't necessarily understand how all
the pieces of any big system can/should/will relate, and you also
don't have even a superficial understanding of the other components
in a big system.  While black boxes that work through well defined
interfaces is great and all in theory, in practice it's rarely that
simple.  When the MySQL has to explain something to the graphics
guy, and neither really understands what the other's domain is, you
get problems.


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