Wed, 12 Oct 2005

A Well-Tuned Crap-o-meter

One thing I gained from working on the kernel: a good sense of when code is crap. If my code is good, it is not because I am smart, but because I refuse to release stuff which stinks, so I'm forced to spend time cleaning it up. The harsh environment of the linux-kernel mailing list trains you to do this yourself.

I'm reluctant to harshly criticize the code of others, because I am aware how hurtful such words can be. On the other hand, without such harshness, you end up, say, using a helper thread in the implementation of a library. Not because you're stupid, but because you haven't developed a pavlovian shudder at the thought of releasing such a thing.

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