2 minute read

Steve Yegge writes on code bloat:

I recently had the opportunity to watch a self-professed Java programmer give a presentation in which one slide listed Problems (with his current Java system) and the next slide listed Requirements (for the wonderful new vaporware system). The #1 problem he listed was code size: his system has millions of lines of code. […]

So I was really glad to see that this guy had listed code size as his #1 problem.

Then I got my surprise. He went on to his Requirements slide, on which he listed "must scale to millions of lines of code" as a requirement. Everyone in the room except me just nodded and accepted this requirement. I was floored.

Why on earth would you list your #1 problem as a requirement for the new system? I mean, when you're spelling out requirements, generally you try to solve problems rather than assume they're going to be created again. So I stopped the speaker and asked him what the heck he was thinking.

His answer was: well, his system has lots of features, and more features means more code, so millions of lines are Simply Inevitable. "It's not that Java is verbose!" he added – which is pretty funny, all things considered, since I hadn't said anything about Java or verbosity in my question.

The thing is, if you're just staring in shock at this story and thinking "how could that Java guy be so blind", you are officially a minority in the programming world. An unwelcome one, at that.