US software developers disagree over whether the industry is any closer to achieving the promise of object reuse and whether such a thing is even possible.
During a panel discussion at the Software Development 2000 show in San Jose yesterday, JP Morgenthal, chief technology officer at XMLSolutions, claimed that the promise of reuse is a fallacy.
"It just hasn't happened. We've changed toolsets so many times over the last few years, but there are still no standard binaries [objects]. Until we can all agree on a binary component framework, then we're not going to have the opportunity to do reuse," he said.
"I see us as moving further away from the dream of reuse, rather than closer to it."
But Bruce Eckel, author of a range of books on Java, said that he does not believe that reuse is a fantasy at all.
"About 40 per cent of all programmers are writing code in Visual Basic because they're reusing code like mad. It's not the same as was promised by the object revolution where people said they'd reuse code by redeploying it. But it's not that easy - it's hard," he said.
"Reuse is just not the same as people imagined it would be because it now comes in nice, neat component packages. People had expected it to be a magic bullet that would shorten design times and cut costs dramatically. But if you look at things such as container languages, we reuse them all the time."
But independent consultant Martin Fowler said: "I've no ambition to write software that is reusable. I prefer to write software that is useable and it's very difficult to understand how this software can work well. If you look at how payroll works, for example, it's inherently illogical, so it's very difficult to do."
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