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new vocabularies for new problems

Posted by michael_n on April 18, 2005 at 1:44 AM PDT

Increasingly, I feel like being a good, responsible Java developer no longer means merely being able to write solid code in Java, but rather increasingly it means knowing when not to program in Java. And that's a lot more work.

(author's note / disclaimer: I just realized after posting this that the title makes this sound like an entry on domain-specific languages, which would have definitely been an interesting blog entry... unfortunately, that'll have to wait. This post is about the proliferation of (open source) frameworks and building blocks, and thoughts on their acceptance, rejection, and their impact (good/bad/ugly) on the lives of developers.)

In any project, there are the typical constraints of time, quality, and cost [1]; and so many fingers can type only so fast to produce so much code. (And, adding more fingers to an already late project only makes the project... have more fingers.)

But, as Rich Unger recently wrote, there's a ton of existing stuff out there already, claiming to make life easier on us poor haggard developers. Sometimes, I swear, more code is written by developers for developers than for projects that have actual users [2].

But then, I think to myself... if only I already completely understood each of these projects, how they can (or shouldn't) fit together.... and, if I were aware of the new ones that are daily popping up on the scene, and their viability, with an awareness of which ones are dropping off the radar.... If only this, I think I could really improve my productivity, and materialize those 15 ideas I've got bouncing around in my head, with chunks of code that themselves will only continue to improve in quality and functionality, just by pasting off-the-shelf building blocks into off-the-shelf frameworks; tab-A into slot-B type stuff. And other developers will understand "my" code, since they've already seen those same building blocks... (That's always been the dream, hasn't it?)

I don't know if we all afford to be such

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