Fix the Broken Window

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ABANDONED. According to Kevlin, this aspect of code care is well covered in other items.

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No code base is perfect. And no manager or architect seems to care.

So why worry when there is some code that is less than optimal? There are so many other code snippets that are just like that, maybe worse.

The code of your system is home and neighborhood. You may spend more time with this code than with most of your friends and relatives. You probably want to feel at home, not just being forced to stay there.

A neighbourhood constantly defines itself. There are different needs and tastes, and there is diversity -- in real life there is no such thing as Levittown, every neighborhood is unique.

When some house is not cared for, it degrades. By and by, the entire neighborhood degrades. New people moving in quickly spot the lack of care and silently join it in attitude. After some time, only new people that already have this attitude move in. You probably have left by that time -- this is one way in which slums are created.

Do not let your system's code degrade. Take time to fix a broken window, allow no temptation for your peers to smash another window. You need diversity, you may not need to paint each wall annually, but you need to fix what is visibly broken.

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