Software erosion and package tangles

Posted by & filed under Complexity, Emergent Design.

My recent post on architectural erosion in the findbugs code-base was generally well received, but there were some skeptical voices. In a comment, Emeric questioned whether cyclic dependencies at the package level are anything more than a smell (if that). Itay Maman was a little more forthright, offering a little series of posts arguing that… Read more »

Software erosion in pictures – Findbugs

Posted by & filed under Complexity, Emergent Design.

My particular area of interest in software these days is the importance of levels of abstraction above the raw code. In Java, the most natural place for these to manifest themselves is through the package structure (though this is certainly not the only possibility). Recently I used Structure101 to do some analysis on the evolution… Read more »

Structure101 V3 Released, Adds Architecture Control for Teams

Posted by & filed under Architecture, Emergent Design, News, Structure101.

Released today, the new version 3 capabilities make Structure101 a nicely rounded architectural control solution in addition to the previous structural analysis and complexity measurement capabilities. For example: You can now define layering constraints on your code-base using simple, intuitive architecture block diagrams Communicate these architecture diagrams to the development team through IDE plug-ins Developers… Read more »

Package design matters – Part 1

Posted by & filed under Architecture, Complexity, Dependency Management, Emergent Design.

Java packages are often used like file-system folders to organize source. But source files differ from “normal” files in that they are highly inter-dependent. Considering this interdependence as a package hierarchy evolves can have significant productivity benefits. Packages as Folders Java packages provide an ideal way to organize code into a scalable, hierarchical structure that… Read more »

Complexity Debt – don’t “fix it”, “keep a lid on it”

Posted by & filed under Complexity, Emergent Design, Structure, Structure101.

So you just discovered that your code-base has racked up a whole load of complexity debt. This  maybe explains why progress seems so painfully slow lately. You briefly think of suggesting a major complexity-reducing refactoring effort. This will delay the next release significantly, but foreshorten the time to the following releases. Plus a cleaner, simpler… Read more »

Spring 2’s architecture – A single dependency cycle slipped in

Posted by & filed under Architecture, Dependency Management, Emergent Design, Structure, Structure101.

The Spring guys have let a single dependency cycle into their architecture. A very small flaw, but it’s a perfect example of why you need to check your code-base at different levels to keep it truly tangle-free. I did a quick analysis of the Spring Framework some time back and sure enough found their claims… Read more »

Tracking complexity debt

Posted by & filed under Architecture, Complexity, Dependency Management, Emergent Design, Structure, Structure101.

Un-monitored, the complexity of a code-base increases with its size. Jboss and Struts are perfect examples. However monitoring complexity helps you keep complexity debt under control, or even down to zero. If you publish the last couple of years worth of releases of your project to a Structure101 repository, you’ll probably see something like this… Read more »

CAT-scan a code-base

Posted by & filed under Architecture, Complexity, Dependency Management, Emergent Design, Structure, Structure101.

Structure101 v2 goes beta today. With it you can walk through the code-base in slices from the class-level, to the package-level and up through the design levels, spotting tangles and seeing how far they have spread. This is a snag of the Slice perspective with the slice selector highlighted: You can now see dependency graphs… Read more »