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Case 13

Evolution

A novice studied the Java master’s* code and adopted the master’s style to an exacting degree: the design patterns employed, the naming conventions for variables, the number of spaces used to indent each nested block. Even the comments were written in an impressive imitation of the master’s own voice.

During his next code review, the novice was surprised to find the Java master tremendously displeased.

“But, master,” protested the student. “I have followed your example down to the final semicolon. See, here is a utility class you wrote only last month: is it not as like to my own code as two eggs from the same clutch?”

“And therein lies the problem,” scowled the master. “Yesterday I was a fool, the week before an idiot, and last month an imbecile. Don’t show me code I might have written yesterday. Show me code as I will write it tomorrow.”

* Probably Banzen.