Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Abstractions Are Never Perfect

Dr John D Cook (2010) of The Endeavor makes a good point by arguing that it is "better to have a simple system than a complex system with a simple abstraction on top." Leonard Richardson and Sam Ruby (2007, p. xvi) reinforce Cook's point:
Abstractions are never perfect. Every new layer creates failure points, interoperability hassles, and scalability problems. New tools can hide complexity, but they can’t justify it... The more complex the system, the more difficult it is to fix when something goes wrong.
To the above, I will add a quote by Prof Robert W Grubbström (2001, p. 1133):
Simplicity is the opposite of complexity and simplicity is valuable.

Cook, John D (2010), "Abstractions Are Never Perfect," The Endeavor, Retrieved on Jan 13, 2010 from

Grubbström, R W (2001). "Some Aspects on Modelling as a Base for Scientific Recommendations," Kybernetes, 30(9/10), 1126-1138.

Richardson, L & Ruby, S (2007), RESTful WEb Services, Sebastopal, CA: O'Reilly Media.

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