Web Frameworks Excessive Complexity

Ulrich Eckhardt ulrich.eckhardt at dominolaser.com
Wed Nov 21 09:33:09 CET 2012

Am 21.11.2012 02:43, schrieb Steven D'Aprano:
> On Tue, 20 Nov 2012 20:07:54 +0000, Robert Kern wrote:
>> The source of bugs is not excessive complexity in a method, just
>> excessive lines of code.
> Taken literally, that cannot possibly the case.
> def method(self, a, b, c):
>      do_this(a)
>      do_that(b)
>      do_something_else(c)
> def method(self, a, b, c):
>      do_this(a); do_that(b); do_something_else(c)
> It *simply isn't credible* that version 1 is statistically likely to have
> twice as many bugs as version 2. Over-reliance on LOC is easily gamed,
> especially in semicolon languages.

"Don't indent deeper than 4 levels!" "OK, not indenting at all, $LANG 
doesn't need it anyway." Sorry, but if code isn't even structured 
halfway reasonably it is unmaintainable, regardless of what CC or LOC say.

> Besides, I think you have the cause and effect backwards. I would rather
> say:
> The source of bugs is not lines of code in a method, but excessive
> complexity. It merely happens that counting complexity is hard, counting
> lines of code is easy, and the two are strongly correlated, so why count
> complexity when you can just count lines of code?

I agree here, and I'd go even further: Measuring complexity is not just 
hard, it requires a metric that you need to agree on first. With LOC you 
only need to agree on not semicolon-chaining lines and how to treat 
comments and empty lines. With CC, you effectively agree that an if 
statement has complexity of one (or 2?) while a switch statement has a 
complexity according to its number of cases, while it is way easier to 
read and comprehend than a similar number produced by if statement. 
Also, CC doesn't even consider new-fashioned stuff like exceptions that 
introduce yet another control flow path.

>> LoC is much simpler, easier to understand, and
>> easier to correct than CC.
> Well, sure, but do you really think Perl one-liners are the paragon of
> bug-free code we ought to be aiming for? *wink*

Hehehe... ;)


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