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software_that_has_the_quality_without_a_name [2014/05/16 07:37]
yann [Comments]
software_that_has_the_quality_without_a_name [2014/05/16 07:47]
yann [Comments]
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   * Non-separateness:​ Everything depends on everything else. You can't separate a fish from the pond and the aquatic plants. You can't separate a column from the base of the building.   * Non-separateness:​ Everything depends on everything else. You can't separate a fish from the pond and the aquatic plants. You can't separate a column from the base of the building.
  
-The author goes on with Alexander'​s idea of transformations,​ which preserve the structure of the things, as refactorings preserve the behaviour of a software program.+The author goes on with Alexander'​s idea of transformations,​ which preserve the structure of the things, as refactorings preserve the behaviour of a software program. He then gives an example by Richard Gabriel to transform a ''​PhoneCall''​ class to create two strong centers, then extract the latent center in the middle, and then reach a design where multi-way calls, conference calls, can happen. 
 + 
 +The author summarises the fundamental process to apply structure-preserving transformations:​ 
 +  - Start with what you have - an empty lot, or an already-built building, or a program that looks ugly and is hard to use. 
 +  - Identify the centers that exist in that space. Find the weakest center or the least coherent. 
 +  - See how to apply one or more of the fifteen structure-preserving transformations to strengthen that weak center. Does it need to be delimited? Does it need to be blended with its surroundings?​ Does it need more detail? Does it need to be de-cluttered?​ 
 +  - Find the new centers that are born when you apply the transformation to the old center. Does the new combination make things stronger? Prettier? More functional?​ 
 +  - Ensure that you did the simplest possible thing. 
 +  - Go back to the beginning for the next step. 
 + 
 +The author recalls that Alexander does not like destroying things to build new ones. Similarly, we should refactor code rather than scrap it. Also, Alexander does not like detailed, up-front design because "you cannot predict absolutely everything that will come up during construction or implementation"​. Instead, we must "​continually evaluate what [we create] against real users and real use cases"​. Finally, the author concludes that "​Quality without a name" is really a (mysterious) synonym to "​living structure",​ i.e., things "that are build according to that method"​. 
 + 
 +This article is interesting because it put Alexander'​s consequent work into perspective and summarises Alexander'​s main ideas and finding. It also relates real-world architecture with software design and makes a good case for reading books about refactorings and design patterns.
software_that_has_the_quality_without_a_name.txt · Last modified: 2018/03/04 02:53 (external edit)