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Monday, July 11, 2005

Zen and The Art of Lazy Software Development

Today, very few people appreciate the value of true laziness. Instead, everywhere we are surrounded by it's bastard offspring, sloppiness.

When I was learning Java in an isolated monastery in the mountains of far off Tibet (actually Balzan) my wizened mentor (hi Styx) shared with me the wisdom of the ancients: that while the common hacker is content producing line after line of code, the Zen Masters of coding instead perfect the art of being lazy. Unlike the results of sloppy coders, which produce dysfunctional behemoths, the practitioners of the way of the sloth produce elegant, if unorthodox, applications which work pretty damn well and tend to be nicely reusable.

The mantra: Do only as much as is needed to get the job done in the simplest way possible.

Less than that, and you get inevitable reworks.
More than that, and you will need more maintenance.

How does one walk the path? OOP helps, but the journey must start in the mind. Learn to think carefully before you start to hack away. Most of the greatest software projects start when one's pantaloons are firmly around the ankles, with nary a PC in sight.


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