Friday, June 19, 2009

On Scaffoldings

Scaffolding is a wonderful metaphor. Was it invented in Ruby on Rails? I am not sure about that - but nevertheless it is RoR that popularized it and undoubtedly it was one of the engines of it's popularity. It is very "Agile" - like a programming sprint - it implementa a feature in the most simplistic way that can possibly work - but instead of a programming team doing the work the code for that feature is generated.

Scaffolding is a wonderful metaphor - and the brilliance of it shows in how it transcends the original area of code generation where it was introduced in Rails. It can be applicable to any reusable software component meant to be temporary support and to be replaced later. An example of that are code samples in manuals - you copy them just to have something working, but then you modify it and nearly completely replace the original code. And since nothing is universal and no library is ideal - it can be used as a generic measure of how well a library supports this iterative development style. And this brings me to the question - what are the qualities of a good scaffolding? One is that it needs to be gradually replaceable.

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