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From "Terence M. Bandoian" <>
Subject Re: [Seriously OT] Help in diagnosing server unresponsiveness
Date Thu, 14 Feb 2013 06:23:40 GMT
On 2/12/2013 9:36 AM, Christopher Schultz wrote:
>> On 2/11/13 4:30 PM, Terence M. Bandoian wrote:
>> I understand the considerations above and they are a part of the
>> prevailing thinking. However, one underlying assumption of the
>> supporting argument appears to be that today's programmers are not
>> capable of developing maintainable code which I don't believe is
>> true. As I understand it, programmer productivity is one of the
>> most significant factors in the decision making process and it is a
>> valid concern. IF (that's a big if) an application can be developed
>> in half the time using a generalized solution, then that approach
>> has to be considered along with a host of other concerns including
>> the end product and the effect on the organization. I say reliance
>> on generalized solutions is short-sighted because knowledge of the
>> underlying technologies is lost, or never gained, along with the
>> skills to work in those spheres.
> Are you suggesting that people who program using Java are oblivious to
> the innards of hardware architecture and are remain ignorant of these
> important details? That's the logical conclusion to your argument.
> I'm not saying you're wrong, but you have to admit that a Java
> programmer (of which I'm one) saying that using a generalized solution
> makes you ignorant is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

Not at all.  I probably should have said there is a "potential for lost 
knowledge".  Here are a couple of anecdotal examples that I hope will 
help illustrate what I mean.

- I was told recently by a person in a software architect position that 
they use Hibernate because it prevents SQL injection.  I'll give them 
the benefit of the doubt and assume they have other motivations but 
still, is escaping the input strings to a query really advanced 
knowledge?  Think about that from the perspective of a junior or 
mid-level programmer who has only ever used an ORM. What happens when 
something goes wrong or performance has to be optimized.  For that 
matter, what does happen?  Now you have to know SQL, the DBMS, and HQL 
and understand Hibernate behavior.  Double the complexity?

Disclaimer:  I don't have anything against Hibernate or JPA.  I worked 
with an early implementation of JDO for a short time and am beginning 
some work with Hibernate.

- A JavaScript programmer told me not too long ago that you really have 
to use a JavaScript library (e.g. jQuery) if you're going to use AJAX in 
an interface because it's just too complicated.  Is instantiating and 
using an XMLHttpRequest object really that difficult?  What about those 
programmers who have only ever used a JavaScript library?  Another 
developer says he tells clients that they shouldn't consider a feature 
if it isn't supported by jQuery. Still another says that one of the 
reasons their organization uses a full-blown framework is that their 
programmers can't develop cross-browser compatible JavaScript.

Disclaimer:  I think jQuery is a wonderful library and, if you plan to 
make good use of the features available, it should definitely be considered.

What I'm saying is there should be a good reason (really good) to add 
significant complexity, performance overhead, memory requirements and 
megabytes of code to an application.

>> Efficiency, flexibility, repairability, extensibility and
>> reliability are all components of software quality and all are
>> affected by complexity. Less complex systems are easier to
>> maintain.
>> To continue the aside, wasted energy is wasted energy and it may
>> become a factor in software development at some point. I think
>> decision makers should be taught that there is more to the bottom
>> line than dollars and cents.
> In my experience, by far the biggest time waster is trying to deal
> with code that is (or has become) unmaintainable. Re-writing just
> because a piece of code has become out-of-touch with current standards
> or because nobody understands how it works is entirely wasted effort.
> We have lots of places in our code where we have been spending -
> literally - years recording from bad decisions in the past.

Granted.  Reading other people's code is a learned skill and can be 
problematic.  Isn't that where design and code reviews and coding 
standards come into play?  Also, apples and oranges.  Energy is precious 
resource that deserves special consideration.  I'm just blue-skying here 
and don't have the answers but how much electricity is wasted by 
inefficient programming?  We may have to factor that in some day.


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