The Post-OOP Paradigm
Ask Me About My OOP Diet
Frederick Brooks, who wrote of the tar pit in the 1960s, followed up in 1987 with an essay on the futility of seeking a "silver bullet," a single magical remedy for all of software's ills. Techniques such as object-oriented programming might alleviate "accidental difficulties" of software development, he said, but the essential complexity cannot be wished away. This pronouncement that the disease is incurable made everyone feel better. But it deterred no one from proposing remedies.
After several weeks' immersion in the how-to-program literature, I am reminded of the shelves upon shelves of diet books in the self-help department of my local bookstore. In saying this I mean no disrespect to either genre. Most diet books, somewhere deep inside, offer sound advice: Eat less, exercise more. Most programming manuals also give wise counsel: Modularize, encapsulate. But surveying the hundreds of titles in both categories leaves me with a nagging doubt: The very multiplicity of answers undermines them all. Isn't it likely that we'd all be thinner, and we'd all have better software, if there were just one true diet, and one true programming methodology?
Maybe that day will come. In the meantime, I'm going on a spaghetti-code diet.
© Brian Hayes