IN THIS CHAPTER
Tweaking your code
Adding new life to old code
Making changes without spending a fortune
Wouldn’t it be nice if every piece of software did just what you wanted it to do? In an ideal world, you could simply buy a program, make it work right away, plug it seamlessly into new situations, and update it easily whenever your needs changed. Unfortunately, software of this kind doesn’t exist. (Nothing of this kind exists.) The truth is that no matter what you want to do, you can find software that does some of it, but not all of it.
This is one reason that object-oriented programming has been successful. For years, companies were buying prewritten code only to discover that the code didn’t do what they wanted it to do. So the companies began messing with the code. Their programmers dug deep into the program files, changed variable names, moved subprograms around, reworked formulas, and generally made the code worse. The reality was that if a program didn’t already do what you wanted (even if it did something ever so close to it), you could never improve the situation by mucking around inside the code. The best option ...