Feeds

The 'f' in framework

Now we know what it stands for ...

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Comment There are but 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand the binary numbering system and those who don't. Sadly, I think that's probably the funniest programmer joke I've ever heard. Underlying it, however, is something that has important ramifications in the world of software development - the tendency for human beings to divide everything in the world into categories.

This tendency toward classification is not a bad thing and is, indeed, necessary. It is the very basis of inference. We need to have labels for groups of things so that we can make decisions more easily and make use of the inference engine we carry around in our skulls, the brain. If we classify foodstuffs into edible and poisonous categories it becomes much easier to say, "don't eat anything poisonous" than to list each individual poison in our warning. Similarly, we can define geographic locations as safe to visit or dangerous; fertile or barren; etc, etc.

It's not difficult to see the benefit of this ability and it’s part of our evolutionary make up, which is probably why we are always so keen to practice it even when its use is inappropriate.

You'll all be familiar with the situation at the beginning of a project, when the customer has outlined his requirements and we're discussing how to carve them into stories. It's just about then that someone opines, "The objects in this system all belong to the same category and must, therefore, form a class hierarchy". Then the dreaded 'F' word appears; "we need to build a framework!" is the cry, and from then on the discussion turns to what other objects will be required to interact with our class hierarchy. The next thing you know, we've moved onto design patterns and object models.

Interspersed with the talk of relationships and attributes are the promises of economies of scale gained by having all objects seen as equal by the framework allowing the same code to handle all cases and situations. The 'F' in framework stands for faster development, I've been told.

Promises of extensibility also abound, simply plug your new subclass in and the framework will manage it in just the same way it manages all the other classes in the hierarchy, because they are all related there are no modifications required. Future-proof and flexibility are what the 'F' stands for now.

Six months down the line though, we're wondering why our three-month project isn't finished yet. Each new piece of functionality takes forever, amendments cause so much pain and the whole team is demoralised, wondering how we got to here from our much-lauded framework. So now the 'F' stands for failure! Where did we go wrong?

Seven Steps to Software Security

Next page: Related link

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.