Long story short, I inherited a code base and a development team I am not allowed to replace and the use of God Objects is a big issue. Going forward, I want to have us re-factor things but I am getting push-back from the teams who want to do everything with God Objects "because its easier" and this means I would not be allowed to re-factor. I pushed back citing my years of dev experience, that I'm the new boss who was hired to know these things, etc, and so did the third party offshore companies account sales rep, and this is now at the executive level and my meeting is tomorrow and I want to go in with a lot of technical ammo to advocate best practices because I feel it will be cheaper in the long run (And I personally feel that is what the third party is worried about) for the company.
My issue is from a technical level, I know its good long term but I'm having trouble with the ultra short term and 6 months term, and while its something I "know" I cant prove it with references and cited resources outside of one person (Robert C. Martin, aka Uncle Bob), as that is what I am being asked to do as I have been told having data from one person and only one person (Robert C Martin) is not good enough of an argument.
What are some resources I can cite directly (Title, year published, page number, quote) by well known experts in the field that explicitly say this use of "God" Objects/Classes/Systems is bad (or good, since we are looking for the most technically valid solution)?
Research I have already done:
- I have a number of books here and I have searched their indexes for the use of the words "god object" and "god class". I found that oddly its almost never used and the copy of the GoF book I have for example, never uses it (At least according to the index in front of me) but I have found it in 2 books per the below, but I want more I can use.
- I checked the Wikipedia page for "God Object" and its currently a stub with little reference links so although I personally agree with that it says, it doesn't have much I can use in an environment where personal experience is not considered valid. The book cited is also considered too old to be valid by the people I am debating these technical points with as the argument they are making is that "it was once thought to be bad but nobody could prove it, and now modern software says "god" objects are good to use". I personally believe that this statement is incorrect, but I want to prove the truth, whatever it is.
- In Robert C Martin's "Agile Principles, Patterns, and Practices in C#" (ISBN: 0-13-185725-8, hardcover) where on page 266 it states "Everybody knows that god classes are a bad idea. We don't want to concentrate all the intelligence of a system into a single object or a single function. One of the goals of OOD is the partitioning and distribution of behavior into many classes and many function." -- And then goes on to say sometimes its better to use God Classes anyway sometimes (Citing micro-controllers as an example).
- In Robert C Martin's "Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship" page 136 (And only this page) talks about the "God class" and calls it out as a prime example of a violation of the "classes should be small" rule he uses to promote the Single Responsibility Principle" starting on on page 138.
The problem I have is all my references and citations come from the same person (Robert C. Martin), and am from the same single person/source. I am being told that because he is just one guy, my desire to not use "God Classes" is invalid and not accepted as a standard best practice in the software industry. Is this true? Am I doing things wrong from a technical perspective by trying to keep to the teaching of Uncle Bob?
God Objects and Object Oriented Programming and Design:
The more I think of this the more I think this is more something you learn when you study OOP and it's never explicitly called out; Its implicit to good design is my thinking (Feel free to correct me, please, as I want to learn), the problem is I "know" this, but but not everybody does, so in this case its not considered a valid argument because I am effectively calling it out as universal truth when in fact most people are statistically ignorant of it since statistically most people are not programmers.
I am at a loss on what to search for to get the best additional results to cite, since they are making a technical claim and I want to know the truth and be able to prove it with citations like a real engineer/scientist, even if I am biased against god objects due to my personal experience with code that used them. Any assistance or citations would be deeply appreciated.