Questions about problem solving and planning for a solution through software design.

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17
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the principle of least astonishment?

In programming what is called Principle of Least Astonishment? How is this concept related to designing good APIs? Is this something applicable to only object oriented programming or does it permeate ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

Good references for End User documentation examples and advise [closed]

Our in house software has been used for many users and the training department asked us for any tips of end user documentation format. Does any know where can I find good examples of software end ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Alternative to “inheritance versus composition?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where does this concept of “favor composition over inheritance” come from? I have colleagues at work who claim that "Inheritance is an anti-pattern" and want to use ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Legitimate “real work” in a constructor?

I am working on a design, but keep hitting a roadblock. I have a particular class (ModelDef) that is essentially the owner of a complex node tree built by parsing an XML schema (think DOM). I want to ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

Interface and Inheritance: Best of both worlds?

I 'discovered' interfaces and I started to love them. The beauty of an interface is that it is a contract, and any object that fulfills that contract can be used wherever that interface is required. ...
7
votes
3answers
637 views

How can I get better at explaining complex software processes to developers? [closed]

I'm really struggling with my software specs. I am not a professional programmer but enjoy doing it for fun and made some software that I want to sell later but I'm not happy with the code quality. ...
28
votes
3answers
24k views

Which is a better practice - helper methods as instance or static?

This question is subjective but I was just curious how most programmers approach this. The sample below is in pseudo-C# but this should apply to Java, C++, and other OOP languages as well. Anyway, ...
18
votes
9answers
2k views

Good design: How much hackyness is acceptable? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Prototyping vs. Clean Code at the early stages I'm right in front of a difficult decision. I have a problem in my codebase (it's in C++), which I could solve in two ...
5
votes
4answers
462 views

Passing compound object for parameters

I have different data modules, which take a couple of parameters from a configuration list. Do you think it's ok to pass a configuration object as a whole module1(config) and let the module pick what ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to refactor a method which breaks “The law of Demeter” principle?

I often find myself breaking this principle (not intentially, just through bad design). However recently I've seen a bit of code that I'm not sure of the best approach. I have a number of classes. ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Log to file or to database table?

I'm developing a web application which uses MS SQL for various data: including users, user accounts, user licenses, license prices, invoices. I need to log users' real-time usage of the system, and ...
7
votes
10answers
12k views

What do we mean by “design” in software engineering?

I have been reading about different software methodologies. Every method has a design phase to some extent, more or less. I am not clear on what we mean by designing. Does this mean writing your ...
4
votes
1answer
704 views

Composition vs. Inheritance [duplicate]

Here's what is given: public interface Request {} // there are 20 subclasses of Request public class CreateUserRequest implements Request { @NotEmpty public String userName; } // request ...
1
vote
1answer
548 views

How to structure our Javascript so that it is easily editable, testable, and can make calls to render a view without knowing specifics about the view

I am working on a web app that displays some data and uses javascript. Right now, we are serving up parts of our js (to display certain types of information, ie "Render a View") via our server which ...
6
votes
0answers
348 views

How to manage a relatively large one-man project? [duplicate]

I am basically working on https://github.com/KirisurfProject/ entirely alone. This is around 4000 lines of Go code, plus around 1000 lines of Racket (a Lisp) code for the GUI part; the equivalent in ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How is it possible to write the compiler of a programming language with that language itself [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How could the first C++ compiler be written in C++? You probably heard that Microsoft released a new language called TypeScript which is a the typed superset of ...
219
votes
16answers
16k views

Project is nearly done, but procedural spaghetti code. Do I rewrite or just keep trying to ship it? [closed]

I'm a beginner web developer (one year of experience). A couple of weeks after graduating, I got offered a job to build a web application for a company whose owner is not much of a tech guy. He ...
45
votes
14answers
19k views

Isn't MVC anti OOP?

The main idea behind OOP is to unify data and behavior in a single entity - the object. In procedural programming there is data and separately algorithms modifying the data. In the ...
59
votes
10answers
4k views

My proposed design is usually worse than my colleague's - how do I get better? [closed]

I have been programming for couple of years and am generally good when it comes to fixing problems and creating small-to-medium scripts, however, I'm generally not good at designing large scale ...
59
votes
11answers
6k views

“Everything is a Map”, am I doing this right?

I watched Stuart Sierra's talk "Thinking In Data" and took one of the ideas from it as a design principle in this game I'm making. The difference is he's working in Clojure and I'm working in ...
30
votes
15answers
2k views

What can programmers learn from the construction industry? [closed]

When talking with colleagues about software design and development principles, I've noticed one of the most common sources for analogies is the construction industry. We build software and we ...
25
votes
9answers
4k views

How do you organize highly customized software?

I'm working on a large software project which is highly customized for various customers arround the world. This means that we have maybe 80% code which is common between the various customers, but ...
26
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a named anti pattern for historically grown software? [closed]

Is there an anti pattern that describes a historically grown software system where multiple developers just added new features to the system but no one really kept an eye on the overall architecture ...
31
votes
7answers
4k views

When NOT to apply Dependency Inversion?

I am currently trying to figure out SOLID. So Dependency inversion means that any two classes should communicate via interfaces, not directly. E.g. if class A has a method, that expects a pointer to ...
34
votes
2answers
20k views

When to use Advanced Message Queuing Protocol like RabbitMQ? [closed]

Can somebody explain me in what use-cases I should consider using AMQP like e.g. RabbitMQ? What are the pros and cons?
39
votes
7answers
4k views

Can a system be 100% Data Driven?

My new boss has been working on this project for many years. I've only been here a few weeks, but I am not sure it's possible. He would like to design a system that is "100% data driven". So if we ...
18
votes
3answers
7k views

Should I use a config file or database for storing business rules?

I have recently been reading The Pragmatic Programmer which states that: Details mess up our pristine code—especially if they change frequently. Every time we have to go in and change the code to ...
9
votes
8answers
22k views

Constructor should generally not call methods

I described to a colleague why a constructor calling a method can be an antipattern. example (in my rusty C++) class C { public : C(int foo); void setFoo(int foo); private: int foo; } ...
54
votes
10answers
3k views

What is meant by, “A user shouldn't decide whether it is an Admin or not. The Privileges or Security system should.”

The example used in the question pass bare minimum data to a function touches on the best way to determine whether the user is an administrator or not. One common answer was: user.isAdmin() This ...
26
votes
12answers
2k views

How large is ok for a Class?

I’m a long time developer (I’m 49) but rather new to object oriented development. I’ve been reading about OO since Bertrand Meyer’s Eiffel, but have done really little OO programming. The point is ...
16
votes
3answers
10k views

Is there a list of common usernames to reserve in a new system?

I need to reserve usernames in my new website. These generally fall into three categories 1) usernames no-one should have (eg: admin, user, service, help, root, etc) 2) names of super famous people ...
15
votes
4answers
482 views

How can I get free artwork for my free software? [closed]

So many free software projects have beautiful art, specially websites, that I wonder where the coders meet their artists. Is there some place to ask for this besides the local art majors' schoolboard? ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How to create better OO code in a relational database driven application where the database is poorly designed

I am writing a Java web application that consists mainly of a bunch of similar pages in which every page has several tables and a filter that applies to those tables. The data on these tables comes ...
36
votes
7answers
3k views

What makes a piece of software an Engine? [closed]

The descriptor 'Engine' gets thrown around a lot: graphics engine, RegEx engine, AI engine, etc. but what actually makes a piece of software an Engine? Design, Input/Output, Purpose, Size?
21
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a good reason to make pure functions non-public?

I had a little debate going on with a coworker. Simply put, is there a good reason to hide/encapsulate functions that are pure? By "pure" I mean the wikipedia definition: Always returns the same ...
19
votes
5answers
15k views

Design documents as part of Agile

At my workplace, we face a challenge in that "agile" too often has meant "vague requirements, bad acceptance criteria, good luck!" We're trying to address that, as a general improvement effort. So, ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

How would one go about building pluggable software?

If you have an application of some sort and you want your users to be able to write plugins for it, how should the application be designed? What do you have to take into account, what design ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Development Approach: User Interface In or Domain Model Out?

While I've never delivered anything using Smalltalk, my brief time playing with it has definitely left its mark. The only way to describe the experience is MVC the way it was meant to be. ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How much time do you spend on design before coding? [duplicate]

In my experience, it is useful to spend a little while sketching plans for a project before getting into code. Such planning usually includes choosing frameworks/tools, writing requirements and ...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

Loose Coupling in Object Oriented Design

I am trying to learn GRASP and I found this explained (here on page 3) about Low Coupling and I was very surprised when I found this: Consider the method addTrack for an Album class, two possible ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

ASP.NET MVC 3 (C#) Software Architecture

I am starting on a relatively large and ambitious ASP.NET MVC 3 project and just thinking about the best way to organize my code. The project is basically going to be a general management system that ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Dependency Inversion Principle: How to define “high-level policy” and “low-level detail” to other people?

I am trying to explain the dependency inversion principle to my (mostly junior) colleagues. How can we define which one is the "high-level policy" and which one is the "low-level detail" in a ...
10
votes
11answers
2k views

Turn away a bug if no reproducible test case exists? [duplicate]

If the customer has problems which are not reproducible because of complexity of actions they took and can't remember step by step, then coders are missing a test case. Indeed, this issue is ...
15
votes
7answers
318 views

What optimizations are premature? [duplicate]

I've been here for nearly a month and it seems that people have a tendency to be eager to use the "Premature Optimization is the root of all evil" argument as soon as someone mentions efficiency. ...
10
votes
6answers
7k views

How does rapid prototyping fit into an agile methodology?

I work for a large company, which dictates the use of agile processes. For example, for our projects, we use cloud-based services that are specifically targeted at managing agile development. The ...
8
votes
10answers
1k views

What should be first - functionality or design? [duplicate]

I've started reading a book from Head First series about OOP and Design. In a first chapter it is stated I have to worry about design of my application just after basic functionality is ready. Basic ...
7
votes
3answers
666 views

Why it is not recommended to have set-only property?

Today at work one of my colleague reviewed my code, and suggested me to remove set-only property and use method insted. As we both were busy with other stuffs, he told me to look at Property Design ...
6
votes
5answers
984 views

Should I always encapsulate an internal data structure entirely?

Please consider this class: class ClassA{ private Thing[] things; // stores data // stuff omitted public Thing[] getThings(){ return things; } } This class exposes the ...
2
votes
3answers
870 views

How can I effectively manage long-term feature development and short-term bug fixing at the same time?

We have a huge C, and C++ code base. There is a plan to add a new feature into the existing system, but, this should happen only after 3 to 4 months. So, we are looking for best possible options. ...
19
votes
4answers
43k views

Best way to unit test methods that call other methods inside same class

I was recently discussing with some friends which of the following 2 methods is best to stub return results or calls to methods inside same class from methods inside same class. This is a very ...