Jens Schauder is software developer since 1997. He loves software development for the constant challenges and constantly changing environment. A great chance to learn and teach. He is also blogger, author of various articles and speaker at conferences. Jens is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 84 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Embrace Your Legacy Code. But Only Once

09.27.2011
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If you have to deal with legacy code (and we all do) one of the standard techniques to deal with it is to hide it behind a layer of abstraction.

While this is a valid pattern that helps in many cases, it comes with its own anti pattern.

I call it Legacy in an Onion.

It’s what happens when every generation of developer considers whatever they find to be horrible legacy code.
So they create a layer of abstraction. The next generation considers the abstraction to be legacy and adds another layer of abstraction.
After a couple of generations all the different layers start to cause serious problems when trying to understand the code and possibly even when executing it.

So the next time you encounter legacy code and want to add a layer of abstraction, rub the legacy code a little. Maybe you can peel of a layer of abstraction. If you find such a layer, you have multiple options:

  • Improve it so it fits your needs
  • Replace it with your layer
  • Directly work with the stuff below the layer

Just don’t add a layer of abstraction just for the sake of adding a layer of abstraction.

 

From http://blog.schauderhaft.de/2011/09/25/929/

Published at DZone with permission of Jens Schauder, author and DZone MVB.

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