|Perl Monk, Perl Meditation|
Re^2: Looking for examples of well-written modulesby bradcathey (Prior)
|on Aug 27, 2004 at 02:10 UTC||Need Help??|
Cody Pendant, how can you forget George Eliot and her comment about marriage (Middlemarch—considered by many as the greatest novel in the English language),
"Marriage, which has been the bourne of so many narratives, is still a great beginning, as it was to Adam and Eve, who kept their honeymoon in Eden, but had their first little one among the thorns and thistles of the wilderness. It is still the beginning of the home epic—the gradual conquest or irremediable loss of that complete union which makes the advancing years a climax, and age the harvest of sweet memories in common."
(Even music majors can read ;^)
As to the OP, what makes great code?? Style, speed, brevity, cleverness, *or...*usefulness, practicality, applicability? George Eliot, Henry James, and others mentioned here, were some of the greatest technicians to ever take up the pen, but they also had tremendous insight into human nature, religion, the social condition, history, etc., and were able to communicate it persuasively.
I love great code as much as the next monk (some of the answers I've gotten here at the Monastery have made me just smile and shake my head in amazement), but my clients never see it my code. They just want an intuitive interface that makes sense, gets the job done, and doesn't break the bank. Yes, well-written code helps to that end, but as in most disciplines there is always a balance of craft and artistry, of genius and pathos.
We all strive to write the best code, but we also need to serve our users. Let's not let one get too far ahead of the other. I can never get it right, is it form follows function or function....
Update: After I wrote this I got to thinking that there are times in both my design work and my coding that I do things for the sake of doing it right, even though the customer will never notice—like taking the time to kern the letters of a headline or tighten up the scope of some variables in a script. I guess we do some things simply because it's the right thing. I've heard it said that character is what you do when nobody's looking.
"Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up." G. K. Chesterton