Monday, June 18, 2007

On Code-Generation Tools

The 90th Percentile had an article bashing code generation as a programming technique. He is suspicous that visual programming is no better (and in many ways worse) than textual programming. The generated code is often unreadable, and in the case of proprietary tools, you'll be forever dependent on the tool vendor for bug fixes and updates.

The IVR industry is especially wed to visual tools, because they actually work well. For DTMF apps, that is, whose structure is basically a tree. However, the tools promote the anti-pattern of putting all the business logic in the IVR equivalent of the onClick event.

I would defend code-generation for cross-language problems such as build and deploy tools, or backup tools that are a combination of code and scripts.

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