September 16, 2007

Yeah, that me

long duk dong

MJD has been working on his red flags book for a while, and he's had an open invitation to Perl Mongers groups: he'll speak at your group for free as long as you give him something to talk about. This could be work you'd like to see improved, whatever


I can testify that in the absence of volunteers he'll find other work. In our case, he happened on the Class::Observable module when he came to Pittsburgh last year. I remember walking in just as they were handing out copies of the source code, and seeing '' at the top: my stomach plummeted.

Fortunately, he was extremely fair, and it was difficult to argue with any of his choices. The only one I could raise a tiny objection to was naming: I'd used 'update' to mirror the Java java.util.Observable interface, and on hearing that's why I chose it he said something like, "Oh, that makes sense." I'd also used a set of awkwardly-named methods like "_obs_foo_bar" but that's because I didn't want them overridden and Perl doesn't give you private methods. (At least, not by default.)

Unfortunately, I had to bail during MJD's presentation -- not because I couldn't take it anymore, but because it was early on in Barb's pregnancy and I had a strict time limit on how long I could be away from home. (Long story.) And because I came in late I couldn't explain this to MJD, but I figured that Casey, Tom or Rob would have told him I wasn't the shinking violet sort. (I did tell him later in an email.)

Anyway, I figured that was the end I'd hear of it until the book came out, and given the lead time of HOP I was comfortable with a few years for that. Until I got an email from Rob Blackwell: "You're an international red flag" along with a link to MJD's YAPC::EU presentation.

Ouch. Yeah, that me. But in my defense I think my overengineering tendencies have been greatly curbed in the last few years. And the few recent times at work I've strayed close to the overdesign line I've actually been rewarded when a changed or new requirement came up and it was a piece of cake to handle. We talk about "code smells" like they're so cut-and-dried, but they're not. In everyday work you often get to choose one way of doing things over another, and IMO it's experience with similar choices more than anything else that dictates which one will bear fruit, how successful your choices will be.

Wish I would have been there to see the whole presentation :-)

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