Sessions at Code PaLOUsa 2011 on Saturday 5th March

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  • Infinitely Extensible

    by Alex Papadimoulis

    When faced with a problem, software developers have a natural tendency to introduce another problem, which they will then solve in hopes of more easily solving the first. Of course, this tendency acts recursively, leading many to build a Matryoshka-like nesting of problems inside of problems inside of problems. One of the common patterns that emerge from this vicious cycle is "extensibility"; that is, attempting to develop software that meets some unforeseen and unknowable need through clever engineering, whether that means plug-ins, "mod-ability", or some other esoteric system that allows software to change without actually changing. While extensibility can be useful, it's most often an anti-pattern and serves to the detriment of the software that's implemented it. In this language-independent talk, I'll discuss what types of extensibility can be developed, extensibility design patterns, how to decide when (or when not) to use extensibility, and what happens when extensibility goes wrong.

    At 2:50am to 3:55am, Saturday 5th March