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Re: If it's not broken, don't fix it

by dws (Chancellor)
on Dec 22, 2001 at 02:22 UTC ( #133891=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to If it's not broken, don't fix it

The problem with If it's not broken, then don't mess with it! is that it can become a management mantra that leads to premature code ossification. ("Ossify" means "to change into bone." In the context of code, it means hardening against change.) You want to be able to "mess" with stuff in a controlled fashion. That's what "Refactoring" is all about. If you don't refactor, you end up with Big Balls of Mud.

The last thing you want is some pointer-haired manager wandering about doing the "It's done! Ship it! And for diety's sake Don't Touch It!" That road leads to a place you don't want to go.

I'd rather see this written as

Don't mess with working code unless you have unit tests!
Otherwise, how can you be sure?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
(RhetTbull) Re: Re: If it's not broken, don't fix it
by RhetTbull (Curate) on Dec 22, 2001 at 04:12 UTC
    You and the others here have provided excellent feedback. I've modified the moral(s) of my story accordingly. Thanks for the feedback!

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