The Wrong Abstraction - Deepstash
The Wrong Abstraction

The Wrong Abstraction

4 ideas


98 reads


Machine Learning With Google

Learn more about computerscience with this collection

Understanding machine learning models

Improving data analysis and decision-making

How Google uses logic in machine learning

Machine Learning With Google

Discover 95 similar ideas in

It takes just

14 mins to read

DRY is not a silver bullet

DRY is not a silver bullet

"Don’t repeat yourself" (DRY) is usually good advice, but you have to get the abstractions right. Otherwise they quickly become unmaintainable.

Here's how it usually plays out:

  1. You write a cool abstraction
  2. Time passes
  3. A new requirement appears for which that abstraction is almost perfect
  4. Programmer B gets tasked to implement it. They feel honor-bound to retain the abstraction, so they alter the code to take a parameter, and then add logic to conditionally do the right thing based on the value of the parameter

Loop these steps a couple of times and you quickly get an unmaintainable mess.


43 reads

Wrong abstractions

Wrong abstractions

If you find yourself passing parameters and adding conditional paths through shared code, the abstraction is wrong. It's no longer right for the codebase.

Wrong abstractions are no longer common abstractions; they are series of conditions mixed with vaguely related ideas. This makes them:

  • hard to understand,
  • easy to break, and
  • hard to modify to implement new features.


22 reads

Fix wrong abstractions

Fix wrong abstractions

In the long run, it's better to fix wrong abstractions ASAP than to add more code and make everything more complicated.

Your goal is to remove the abstraction and conditionals, and to reduce each caller to only the code it needs. Here's how:

  1. Re-introduce duplication by inlining the abstracted code back into every caller
  2. Within each caller, use the parameters being passed to determine the subset of the inlined code that this caller executes
  3. Delete the parts that aren't needed for this particular caller

Once done, you can start anew, re-isolating duplication and re-extracting abstractions.


17 reads

The right way to abstract

The right way to abstract

Start by implementing the problem in the concrete, not in the abstract. Don't try to guess what interfaces you will need. Discover them.

Only after implementing the problem in the concrete, go on to decoupling. Ask yourself: "What do I need to decouple to make it better, to allow it to deal with change as the data or business changes?".

Leaving the code in the concrete is also an option. Don't force abstractions when they are not necessary. Prefer duplication over the wrong abstraction because duplication is cheaper to deal with.


16 reads



Alt account of @ocp. I use it to stash ideas about software engineering


Explore the World’s

Best Ideas

200,000+ ideas on pretty much any topic. Created by the smartest people around & well-organized so you can explore at will.

An Idea for Everything

Explore the biggest library of insights. And we've infused it with powerful filtering tools so you can easily find what you need.

Knowledge Library

Powerful Saving & Organizational Tools

Save ideas for later reading, for personalized stashes, or for remembering it later.

# Personal Growth

Take Your Ideas


Organize your ideas & listen on the go. And with Pro, there are no limits.

Listen on the go

Just press play and we take care of the words.

Never worry about spotty connections

No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.

Get Organized with Stashes

Ideas for your next work project? Quotes that inspire you? Put them in the right place so you never lose them.


2 Million Stashers


5,740 Reviews

App Store


72,690 Reviews

Google Play


Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.

Shankul Varada

Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.

Ashley Anthony

This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!

Sean Green

Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.

Jamyson Haug

Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.

Laetitia Berton

I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!

Giovanna Scalzone

Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.

Ghazala Begum

Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.

Read & Learn

20x Faster





Access to 200,000+ ideas

Access to the mobile app

Unlimited idea saving & library

Unlimited history

Unlimited listening to ideas

Downloading & offline access

Personalized recommendations

Supercharge your mind with one idea per day

Enter your email and spend 1 minute every day to learn something new.


I agree to receive email updates