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  • Published: 1 June 2021
  • ISBN: 9780262045490
  • Imprint: MIT Press
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $89.99

Software Design for Flexibility

How to Avoid Programming Yourself into a Corner



Strategies for building large systems that can be easily adapted for new situations with only minor programming modifications.

Time pressures encourage programmers to write code that works well for a narrow purpose, with no room to grow. But the best systems are evolvable; they can be adapted for new situations by adding code, rather than changing the existing code. The authors describe techniques they have found effective--over their combined 100-plus years of programming experience--that will help programmers avoid programming themselves into corners.

The authors explore ways to enhance flexibility by:
• Organizing systems using combinators to compose mix-and-match parts, ranging from small functions to whole arithmetics, with standardized interfaces
• Augmenting data with independent annotation layers, such as units of measurement or provenance
• Combining independent pieces of partial information using unification or propagation
• Separating control structure from problem domain with domain models, rule systems and pattern matching, propagation, and dependency-directed backtracking
• Extending the programming language, using dynamically extensible evaluators

  • Published: 1 June 2021
  • ISBN: 9780262045490
  • Imprint: MIT Press
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $89.99

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