Reuse Implies Coupling

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Revision as of 16:27, 31 January 2009 by Kevlin (Talk | contribs)
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Do not make your code depend on some file that is intended to change as the project progresses.

It is very convenient to have a global file that lists all error codes in the system. When starting the new component, you proudly add a handful: look, I am a part of this! Only to find your colleagues moan about the extra build time. How dare you change this file?

Couldn't you just do what everybody does:

  • reuse some error codes that are already in there.
  • when existing codes don't match the intended meaning, document their specific meaning in your component documentation.

The error.h file was intended to provide a great place to look for the meaning of codes. At the same time, it is a central component that is intended to change as the project proceeds. So it is your base, but it is quicksand.

How to get out? Consider this:

  • real generic error messages (in the style of STL exceptions)
  • a distinct error.h file per component
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