Sunday, May 24, 2015

Rebecca Wirfs-Brock on Object Design

Building an object-oriented application means inventing appropriate machinery. We represent real-world information, processes, interactions, relationships, even errors, by inventing objects that don't exist in the real world. We give life and intelligence to inanimate things. We take difficult-to-comprehend real-world objects and split them into simpler, more manageable software ones. We invent new objects. Each has a specific role to play in the application. Our measure of success lies in how clearly we invent a software reality that satisfies our application's requirements -- and not in how closely it remembers the real world.

-- Rebecca Wirfs-Brock, Object Design

I pulled this quote from Avdi Grimm's excellent keynote presentation, The Soul of Software as a reminder this very important idea on object-oriented design: that we invent new objects that don't have a corresponding object in the real world. If we limit our domain objects to those that are represented in the real world, we miss opportunities to encapsulate variation in behaviour within our application.

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