The Beauty of Code Reuse

I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but it must be said: code reuse is most excellent!

Today I got a somewhat complex feature working for our customer, and almost all of it was features I’d already written, and due to the organization of our system I could easily reuse most of the code.

Our customer fixes airplane parts. When they fix a part they need to document every single thing they did to the part. We have each operation (more or less) that can be done already defined so that they can at least save those keystrokes (they are actually operation templates.) But there are a lot of operations and a typical work order will be around 50 operations, so choosing the same operations over and over is a waste of time. So we have a feature that lets them look at other work orders that were fixing the same type of part and copy operations (and materials) from that.

It was really easy to use the existing view for operations and materials because the front end is entirely comprised of JS classes. I even used an instance of the work scope grid to list all of the work scopes that are for the given part. The nice thing was that so far I’ve written no new server side code yet. And for the classes I didn’t use inheritance; I used a role style object modification by doing what Moose people would see as an after method on new (called a plugin in ExtJS). With the plugins I could simply change the store to ask for a given part-type’s work orders, hide extra columns, and add listeners to update the operations and materials when a user clicked a row.

Don’t think this is all just JS praise; Perl and Catalyst were help too. But really the benefit here was the use of any web framework in general. Because I’m using a framework I can easily find server side actions that do what I need (which the grids were already tied to in their base classes, but still.) In our other projects I’d be hard pressed to give you a list of all of our “actions,” whereas with CGIApp I can easily make a list of runmodes myself, and with Catalyst the server will make a list for me.


Posted Fri, Aug 14, 2009