Designing for Reuse and Growth

I admit it: PyErrata may be thrifty, but it’s also a bit self-centered. The database interfaces presented in the prior sections work as planned and serve to separate all database processing from CGI scripting details. But as shown in this book, these interfaces aren’t as generally reusable as they could be; moreover, they are not yet designed to scale up to larger database applications.

Let’s wrap up this chapter by donning our software code review hats for just a few moments and exploring some design alternatives for PyErrata. In this section, I highlight the PyErrata database interface’s obstacles to general applicability, not as self-deprecation, but to show how programming decisions can impact reusability.

Something else is going on in this section too. There is more concept than code here, and the code that is here is more like an experimental design than a final product. On the other hand, because that design is coded in Python, it can be run to test the feasibility of design alternatives; as we’ve seen, Python can be used as a form of executable pseudocode.

Reusability

As we saw, code reuse is pervasive within PyErrata: top-level calls filter down to common browse and submit modules, which in turn call database classes that reuse a common module. But what about sharing PyErrata code with other systems? Although not designed with generality in mind, PyErrata’s database interface modules could almost be reused to implement other kinds of file- ...

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