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From Bruce Barkstrom <brbarkst...@gmail.com>
Subject A Note on Software Design to Make Maintenance Easier
Date Tue, 04 Nov 2014 13:12:36 GMT
I was working through some intricate programming yesterday and
observed that I should put in some input consistency checking
before turning a workflow over to the production
system.  My guess is that in complex workflows, that kind of
automated checking would cut down on errors enough to be very
worthwhile.

Don't know how much of the OODT software does that kind of
checking, but it might be interesting to see if it would help.
Even better would be documentation of cases where it did.

This kind of work is like the help my Ada compiler provides
in detecting errors such as type inconsistencies and violations
of interface consistency.  That kind of error checking really improves
my coding productivity.  I've even gotten in the habit of building
exception handling right into my standard code construction and
testing work.  Each module (i.e. subroutine) returns a Boolean
variable labelled 'OK' and a string called 'Err_Msg'.  That makes it
easy to figure out where things have gone wrong, including diagnostic
notes on values of key parameters (sort of like "Err detected when x = 0
in routine `check input'.  It seems like a bother sometimes during code
writing, but it saves a lot of time after development moves on and some
new error crops up in the previous code after you've forgotten the details.

Bruce B.

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