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Great Design

Equating good design with the ease of maintenance is not a new idea, but stating it this way leads to some interesting conclusions:

  1. Design quality is people-sensitive. Programmers, even those of equivalent competence, have varying levels of expertise. A design that assumes Java idioms may be incomprehensible to a programmer who’s only familiar with Perl, and vice versa. Because design quality relies so heavily on programmer time, it’s very sensitive to which programmers are doing the work. A good design takes this into account.

  2. Design quality is change-specific. Software is often designed to be easy to change in specific ways. This can make other changes difficult. A design that’s good for some changes may be bad in others. A genuinely good design correctly anticipates the changes that actually occur.


  

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