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Re: The cost of unchecked best practices

by Pancho (Pilgrim)
on Mar 19, 2008 at 14:13 UTC ( [id://675000]=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to The cost of unchecked best practices

Since I am currently reading the Conway's PBP book, this discussion has been very profitable, as it underscores a point from the book. Namely, the Best practices are guidelines not hard rules.

However, Moritz, your point though also a valuable reminder that adhering to a set of guidelines should be done actively considering what in fact is going on, and not passively (i.e. blindly) relying on an experts advice. A trap which as a noob in a crunch you can easily fall into.


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Re^2: The cost of unchecked best practices
by amarquis (Curate) on Mar 20, 2008 at 14:47 UTC

    I'm not sure blindly following an expert's advice is always a bad idea.

    I am not saying it is good to cargo cult into your programs everything you see an expert do, without understanding the mechanisms behind it or its context. But consider that some things during the learning process are going to be over the head of the learner.

    When I first started learning Perl, I used strict and warnings because PerlMonks told me to. I was not at a level, however, to appreciate many of the reasons why it was a good idea. Yet, overall it helped me.

    Even today, I have mastery of only a very small subset of the Perl language. I try out all sorts of stuff I see here that would have been beyond my capabilities to come up with on my own, with the intent of increasing my understanding. Recently I've been playing around with test-first design. Never tried it, might like it, might not, but were I not playing around in the edges of my knowledge I wouldn't learn anything.

    I think that it is more important to be in the process of learning about your practices than it is to not "apply "Best Practices" without fully understanding the underlying mechanisms." (as the OP stated). If I limited myself only to what I understood fully, I'm not even sure how much would be left. I guess I could, uh, add and subtract numeric literals. No, wait, just integer literals, floats still do wonky things that throw me curveballs :).

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