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Cover image for Code Smell 57 - Versioned Functions
Maxi Contieri
Maxi Contieri

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at maximilianocontieri.com

Code Smell 57 - Versioned Functions

sort, sortOld, sort20210117, workingSort, It is great to have them all. Just in case

Problems

  • Readability

  • Maintainability

Solutions

  1. Keep just one working version of your artefact (class, method, attribute).

  2. Leave time control to your version control system.

Sample Code

Wrong

findMatch()
findMatch_new()
findMatch_newer()
findMatch_newest()
findMatch_version2()
findMatch_old()
findMatch_working()
findMatch_for_real()
findMatch_20200229()
findMatch_thisoneisnewer()
findMatch_themostnewestone()
findMatch_thisisit()
findMatch_thisisit_for_real()
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Right

findMatch()
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Detection

We can add automatic rules to find versioned methods with patterns.

Like many other patters we might create an internal policy and communicate.

Tags

  • Versioning

Conclusion

Time and code evolution management is always present in software development. Luckily nowadays we have mature tools to address this problem.

Relations

Credits

Photo by K8 on Unsplash

Original idea


That's why I write, because life never works except in retrospect. You can't control life, at least you can control your version.

Chuck Palahniuk


This article is part of the CodeSmell Series.

Discussion (3)

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yoursunny profile image
Junxiao Shi

What if:

  • It's a C function, where optional arguments are not supported.
  • A new version of the function adds an extra argument.
  • Old version cannot be deleted because it would break dependants.

The only way is to keep both old and new functions.

Real example: pipe and pipe2 in Linux syscall

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mcsee profile image
Maxi Contieri Author

Many bad languages introduce unavoidable code smells

We should be aware of them

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elmuerte profile image
Michiel Hendriks

That doesn't change the fact that it is a code smell. Sometimes language or runtime restrictions make code smells unavoidable.