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Turns Out My Code Is A Piece Of American Dog Crap

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So yesterday’s post took a little heat on and off the blog comments. I find that sort of humorous because I really try and stay agnostic to technology particulars only ever writing about the more underlying social problems of software, and the one time I do – WHAMO!

I am pretty thick skinned (or stubborn…whichever…) so instead of taking offense, I thought I would take it as a learning opportunity.

First off, my bad, the headline was probably too strong and wasn’t backed up with the Solve_The_Problem_I_Have_Today function. Second, I fully understand that software is built in numerous other countries and languages, and I was thinking more abstractly that besides the bit, some type of abstracted enumeration had to be on the top of the list of reused pocket code.

Regardless of any of my pointless justifications, as I watched the comments come in from Codesqueeze and DZone, I came to many realizations that I will turn into blog posts over the next few weeks.

Quality of code is relative to…

Although they seem obvious now, I found myself actually being surprised when I saw the backlash of comments (both of anti-American and otherwise). Very few people actually took the time to respond what they felt was the most reusable pocket code, but they did take the time to express their opinion…interesting…

Here are the few rough post titles that I am outlining right now as a result:

Look forward to these posts in the next week or so. If you are interested in guest posting on or around this topic too, let me know, I would love to hear your voice.

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15 Responses to “Turns Out My Code Is A Piece Of American Dog Crap”

  1. Kate on April 17th, 2008 8:46 am

    I can’t wait for the 7 Steps to Overcoming the Not-Invented-Here Syndrome. I’ve got a group that could be replicating code left and right and likely isn’t because they want to do it “their” way.

  2. Man With a Hat on April 17th, 2008 11:52 am

    Hey at least it’s *American* dog crap… not that sissy, low-grade stuff you get when you outsource dog evacuation to Elbonia.

  3. NotMyself on April 17th, 2008 12:56 pm

    I wouldn’t stress to much about it Max. Let me introduce you to Penny Arcade’s Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory. It is true for every forum for expression on the web.

  4. Max Pool on April 17th, 2008 1:03 pm

    @NotMyself –

    ROFL…good stuff. Trust me when I say I don’t let this bother me, but we can all learn from our experiences…

  5. Evan on April 17th, 2008 6:46 pm

    As one of the 95% of souls on the planet that don’t live in your country, I just smiled at the provincialism and moved on to the next article. Life’s too short.

    /American/ dog crap – he he – reminds me of when I frequented the “aus” usenet newsgroups, and we were forever telling all these people from Austin, Texas that the “aus” stood for Australia. The usual responses where either, “But it’s ‘AUS’ which stands for Austin…” or, “Gee you guys speak English real well for foreigners…”

  6. Scott on April 17th, 2008 8:49 pm

    I would not worry about the anti-americanism.. It is currently appears to be a world hobby.

    I am Australian, and I have created similar localised solution’s here.

    A localised problem, requires a localised solution.

    My only issue with the article is that hard-coding a list is hardly a best-ever “example” of the concept re-use.

  7. Kris Hofmans on April 18th, 2008 4:35 am

    Maybe the fact that it wasn’t code at all, just a piece of data hardcoded into code that bothered people?

    I’m not taking any other fact into consideration here, because well they don’t matter, programming language, your location, …

    If something changes in your situation you will have to recompile your app …

    Before your start writing your blog posts ask yourself some questions first, why did you think it was so reusable, fancy enough to show off on something like dzone, and why you had so many comments of presumably not to shabby developers. Using this as a catalyst for writing more blog post would only be usefull if you did some inner reflection before you wrote them.

  8. What About Thad? on April 18th, 2008 10:56 am

    Again, intelligent developers can disagree about whether or not a hard enumeration is the best way to handle a localized list of regions, but some of the criticisms are academic instead of practical. If you start from the basic assumption that we’re dealing with run of the mill apps where it is previously established by the problem domain that you need a list of the fifty United States, and only those fifty, it may not be elegant or clever but it’s simple, quick, and dirty. That’s not always a bad thing. As for the concern that “something” might change: if the likelihood of the problem domain to expand beyond the states is already established as minuscule, there is very little that is likely to change (e.g. addition or removal of a state).

    Again, that’s not to say it’s great *design*. I would prefer to put this kind of thing into a service oriented context so that it is globally available to all apps throughout the organization, and there are probably plenty of problems with that. It’s just to say that in the trenches of making a living with code, this particular dirty little snippet isn’t going to make or break maintainability and it certainly isn’t going to impede initial delivery or damage the user experience.

    Jeff Atwood put it much better:

  9. What About Thad? on April 18th, 2008 11:02 am

    I’m still bewildered that people automatically assume he limited the list to the 50 United States out of ignorance or “provincialism”, as opposed the possibility that that’s what what the problem domain called for. The implication is that the choice was somehow myopic, but how is that not myopic in itself?

  10. V. Jenks on April 18th, 2008 12:16 pm

    I’ve written the same thing in Java for use in our in-house apps. To me, an American who works entirely with American customers, this is a very reusable piece of code.

    To the foreign haters – don’t judge Americans by the character of our occupational federal government.

  11. Evan on April 18th, 2008 7:55 pm

    The fact that the posting containing something very parochial was entitled, “The Most Reusable Piece Of Code Ever…Period” is what made me smile and, I suspect, raised the ire in others.

  12. superjason on April 18th, 2008 9:15 pm

    There’s always someone with a bone to pick. Don’t let it bother you.

  13. altseo on April 19th, 2008 4:21 am

    I think the point a lot of people made, was that an enum doesn’t really consitute as code. It’s just a representation of data. There is no flow or logic, applied.

    But don’t let it bother you indeed, the internets is a tough cookie

  14. Dew Drop - April 19, 2008 | Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew on April 19th, 2008 7:17 pm

    […] Turns Out My Code Is a Piece of American Dog Crap (Max Pool) […]

  15. Neal on April 20th, 2008 1:42 pm

    Thanks for the laughs Max. Your original article was right on target, unfortunately not many people care to look out from the eyes of other to understand their POV.
    As to hardcoding data etc etc, bollocks!! As far as I am aware, the continental US has 50 states (I am a kiwi so my US geography ain’t great), the likelihood of that changing is somewhere between slim and sod all. The code demonstrated YAGNI in its most raw form, I say well done and spot on.

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