Tolerance

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I just refactored a piece of code. I deleted 6 source code files, and rebuilt the functionality with a bunch of dirty OOP classes shoved in a single file 😱

I used OOP for simplification, and in the process I got rid of type parameters, type classes, and implicit parameters. Plain-old OOP design saved the day, i.e. shove those side effects behind an interface, and pass those objects around, blissfully unaware as to what they do (launching rockets A-OK). It was glorious! I can’t remember the last time it felt this good.

Then it dawned on me that I wrote that code to begin with. This piece already underwent a major refactoring, having introduced extra complexity, without catching the subtleties, or smelling the stench of my own doing. What’s going on?

I started blaming the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been a year since I’ve been lethargic (aka mild to moderate depression), missing the creative energy that I remember since before the world went mad. But then I started giving myself some credit, because the truth is … as I grow old, I tolerate people more, while tolerating BS in programming less.

Here’s some science1:

The normal distribution of BS tolerance, it's all downhill after 30, yikes!

This is another way of saying that you should never forget YAGNI2, KISS3, the Principle of Least Surprise4, or whatever kids call it these days. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, with great power comes great responsibility, learn from my mistakes, etc, etc. Most importantly, sometimes DRY5 is a bad philosophy, monomorphic code is sometimes the best code, copy/paste that shit.


  1. Babies have no tolerance obviously, when they are hungry or sleepy they won’t take no for an answer. Babies eventually get suckered into accepting life’s compromises. When looking at what helps us fulfil our potential, the ability to eat shit is an obvious confounding factor. 

  2. You Ain’t Gonna Need It is what agile developers crave for. 

  3. Keep It Simple Stupid was a hip phrase back in my Ruby days, but searching “KISS Ruby” on Google yielded some strange results, so unfortunately I couldn’t get some of that groove back. 

  4. OOP and FP developers actually understand different things by the rule of least power 🤷‍♂️ 

  5. Don’t Repeat Yourself is not the mantra of Go developers. 

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Tags: FP | OOP | Personal | Programming