Sunday, May 15, 2005

Windows Hackery

Before Kubi, it had been a lot of years since I last did UI work professionally. It didn't take long on the new job, however, to remind me of what drove nuts about the work - the hackery. By hacks, I mean small chunks of code that do something weird or unobvious that you're required to write in order to solve a problem. This is not to say I didn't need to implement a few hacks while working on the server side, I certainly did, but the amount of them and their prevalence was a lot less. This begs the question, why?


I chalk it up to one major thing, code reuse. Code reuse is one of the panaceas of modern software theory and practice, but it has a dark side. While the reused components may provide desired functionality they often have their own share of issues. If you're lucky enough to have the source code to the shared component and can ship modifications, there's no problem, but if you don't, hackery is often the only solution. Given that Windows is a closed system and is rich in reusable components, it is a fetile environment for hacks.

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