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Case 112

Speak to Me

The timid nun Yíwen opened several source files she had authored barely a year ago, only to find unrecognizable code within. After inspecting their revision history she approached the cubicle of her longtime companion.

“A thousand pardons, Hwídah,” she began, “but it appears that you have completely rewritten my address-management service. Why did you find this necessary?”

“The code was uncharacteristically complex and unintuitive,” answered Hwídah gently. “You created many more interfaces than necessary, nested value objects inside of other value objects, defined abstract classes which have only one concrete implementation, and performed database updates in two separate transactions where one would have sufficed. I have simplified the structure.”

Yíwen bowed humbly, gave her thanks, and walked out.

- - -

The following morning Hwídah approached the cubicle of her longtime companion, bearing a beautiful steel contraption. She dropped it noisily onto Yíwen’s desk.

“I found this waiting for me when I awoke this morning,” said Hwídah. “Explain.”

“Your old spinning-wheel was uncharacteristically complex and unintuitive—do you not agree?” asked Yíwen. “You used many more gears than necessary, placed the fiber basket in a poor location, padded the stands but not the hand cranks, and used two separate flywheels where one would have sufficed. I have simplified the mechanics.”

Hwídah bowed humbly, gave her thanks, and walked out.

She then went straight away to master Yishi-Shing, saying, “Regrettably, I will not be able to participate in your clan’s weekly bicycle rides anytime soon.”