Chapter 8. Building on Third-Party Code

Programming today is all about doing science on the parts you have to work with.

—Gerald Jay Sussman

Introduction

We’ve shown how we pull a system’s design into existence: discovering what our objects need and writing interfaces and further objects to meet those needs. This process works well for new functionality. At some point, however, our design will come up against a need that is best met by third-party code: standard APIs, open source libraries, or vendor products. The critical point about third-party code is that we don’t control it, so we cannot use our process to guide its design. Instead, we must focus on the integration between our design and the external code.

In integration, we have an abstraction ...

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