The Broken Window Theory

In a previous entry, I touched on the broken window theory. You might be familiar with the Pragmatic Progammers' take on this:


This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2005/06/the-broken-window-theory.html
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The same thing applies to comment spam, which is why it’s important to fight the good fight and clean it up.

Totally agree. I’ve had that exact thought before when browsing blogs totally overrun with comment spam. When the author has seemingly abandoned his/her blog, It’s hard to take the content seriously no matter how good it is.

Interesting. I noticed the same thing about bicycles in Berkeley (on the campus). I would notice that a bike was in the same place day after day, and it remained untouched. After a week or two, I would notice that one of the wheels had been stolen. After that, the bike had about 3 days before it was stripped down to the frame. (Sometimes a wheel would be left as well if that wheel was locked up, but the wheel would be bent.)

I think this works in reverse, too - I call it the Disney World Effect. The place is so clean, so perfect, that nobody would dare litter. You’ll see people walk across the street to throw away the tiniest piece of trash.

Few people want to be the first person to mess something up. But if the application is already hopelessly packed with bad and incomplete code, what’s a little more going to hurt?

Do you think that this can be attested to people aren’t tidy?

If your windows are boarded up anyway, it’s probably better to just have a wall.

Don’t claim to include features and then tell the user they’re not implemented yet. That’s still a broken window.

+1 WurdBendur - Amen.

I mean fixing a windows has no influence on the rest of the apartment, you just replace the window.

But in code, the window that you’re fixing may be connected to a current line and changing the window, may cause a shorting…

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If an apartment window is broken, bugs can get in (pun intended). :smirk: Replacing old, brittle, broken glass which was not safety glazed (bad code) with modern glazed glass (good code) makes the entire window functional again.

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