Function Structure

Clean Code, Episode 4

By Uncle Bob

94 minMay 2011

Note: This episode comes with 1 screencast(s). You can find these screencast(s) in the Extras file, linked to above.

In this episode Uncle Bob enlists the help of the craftsmen at 8th Light Inc to expose how functions should be organized and structured. Topics range from error handling, and the debate over checked exceptions, to functional programming and the discipline of Command-Query separation. He talks about the OO and Structured paradigms, and discusses why the Law of Demeter is so important. He tells you why switch statements should be avoided, and what to do about them when you can't avoid them.

In fact, it's really quite startling where this lesson goes. You wouldn't think that the simple topic of function structure would lead you into high level discussions of architecture and team management, but they do. So you'll learn about the importance of independent develop-ability, and the some of the theory behind modular and plugin structure and partitioning. Did you know, for example, that the main program should be a plugin to the rest of the application?

What's the trick to avoiding a morass of XML files that feed the insatiable maw of your dependency injector? How can you avoid temporal couplings by "passing a block". What number and types of arguments should a function have? And is Structured Programming really still important nowadays?

So set aside 90 minutes and get ready for a while ride through some lectures and code. Function Structure is about to begin!