Saturday, February 14, 2004

Meta Madness

I was bit twice today by errors related to not keeping meta-data that contained names of classes to load in synch with the classes they named. I had changed the package hierarchy and fixed all the code references but missed updating the properties files. When someone else takes over this code they are bound to make the same mistake too.

I've been pondering how to avoid this problem in the future. Do you generate the meta-data at build time? Do you add a meta-data validation step to the build? If the meta data is all in external files that's not so bad but what if the data is in a String in the code. How do you ensure its integrity?

If anyone has any thoughts on this I'd like to hear them.

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