Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free, no registration required.

We stick to standard usages and best practices because they work and communicate intent well, but without trying new things we can't really grow. Have you ever tried something that seemed absurd but worked out really well? When it works, how do you avoid confusing other developers with non-standard usages? And what do you do when things go horribly wrong - refactor, start over, or just go with it?

share|improve this question
2  
How can one use LEGO in a non-standard way? :) –  bobah Dec 3 '10 at 9:03
1  
@bobah: by not following the building plan that comes with the LEGO package. –  rwong Dec 3 '10 at 9:54
2  
@rwong: I never buy those packages for my kids where you can build one thing from it. Usually I buy boxes of blocks, windows, fences etc., and make sure I remove any leaflets helpfully providing ideas what to do with them. True, relatives sometimes will buy special packages, but the kids usually start scavenge them for interesting parts the moment they are built. –  sbi Dec 3 '10 at 10:42

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, but with simplicity wrappers.

Most users will only need to access through the simplicity wrappers. The system would be very familiar to them, because the simplicity wrappers are designed to be very similar to the older systems. However, advanced users who need extra power, and developers on the new system team, will need to become fluent in the new pattern.

If things go horribly wrong, the entire project has to be thrown away. This is why early feedback (integration) is important, so that you can stop loss earlier.

Also, put some effort on educating your fellows about the inside, and any special precautions needed. Put a lot of effort on testing.

share|improve this answer

All the time.

I avoid confusing other developers by only expierementing on personal projects. Id say some of the best and most of the worst code I have ever written has been for personal projects- when trying out new things.

When things go horribly wrong, since its usually just a small part I throw it away or refactor it until it is useable.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.