|laziness, impatience, and hubris|
Thou Shall Not Covet thy Object's Internalsby Ovid (Cardinal)
|on Apr 25, 2001 at 23:36 UTC||Need Help??|
We've heard it time and time again: messing with the internal data that an object carries around with it voids the warranty, isn't guaranteed to work and makes your milk go sour. Objects have interfaces and that's how you use them. Period. Don't mess with the internals unless you really, really know what you are doing and why. Then, if you do, still don't mess with them. If the object doesn't do what you want, write a new method. Better yet, write a package that inherits from that object and has the methods. Tell the boss it can't be done if you have to. Just don't mess with those darned internals!
I told him not to do it. I told him he was gaining short-term pleasure at the expense of long-term pain (I realize that I make myself seem so wise in my posts -- what a crock). My ex-boss (he since quit :), who only started using CGI.pm after it became painfully apparent that his hand-rolled version wasn't cutting it, decided that he needed to access the internals of the CGI object to do some "deep" file handling voodoo. I don't know which programs he did this to or how extensive the damage was.
Current scenario: tight deadline to upload a series of scripts that I have written to handle press releases being managed on a company's Web site. The owner promised it would be working today. I uploaded the scripts and they all died a horrible death. Seems I was using a much newer version of CGI.pm than we have on the production server. Can we upgrade safely? Dunno. I've backed up all of the files and in about 1/2 hour, I push the button to install the new version of the CGI module and hopefully my stuff will then run.
I don't have enough time to rewrite my code. No one else here knows exactly where the previous boss put his CGI-diddling code, we just know it's out there. He was bragging about it. Now we're on pins and needles because a large client is demanding my programs, but if I get them running, who knows what else will break?
How could we have avoided all of this "will it break" stress? Reread the title.
Until next time!
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