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I got into this exact argument a while ago.

We have an informal, internal audit of our code base to highlight problem areas, trends, and note if something we're doing is problematic over time. Someone suggested a hard cap of 30 lines per function.

I immediately had a rebuttal with code. We have some functions that are mostly mappers. Ingest code from one place, transform/cast/sanitize/clean it, then send it elsewhere. The types of information for some of these functions can make some of these behemoths 200+ lines. I asked my peer if they would rather follow the trail back-and-forth of 20+ helper functions or look at one monolith knowing that it only maps data?

They wanted helper functions.

To counter, I highlighted a mistake that I made years ago. I traced the revision of a file where a function mapped data that used helper functions. I pointed out that I did the exact thing suggested. There were many helper functions of 3-10 lines mapping data and returning back to a single place in a file.

I'm not that smart. Rather, I've done a lot of academic, clever, and sometimes outright dumb things, I haven't forgotten those lessons learned.




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