The CMD-click manifesto

Or CTRL-click or META-click or whatever.
  1. Being able to CMD-click through code >> any other theoretical concerns.
  2. CMD-clickability is the opposite of indirection - how does this function work? CMD-click it.
  3. Non-CMD-clickable codebases are filled with non-meaningful abstractions and tend to be longer.
  4. Static analysis tooling should be easy to write.
  5. Stack traces should correspond with the structure of the code.
  6. Higher order functions break the golden property, use them as a last resort.
    def do_something(data, f: Callable[...]):  
        f(data)  # I can't CMD-click f
  7. Trad Object Orientated code tends to break the golden property (this makes sense as objects are closures), use it as a last resort.
    def do_something(a: Animal):  
        a.meow()  # I can't CMD-click meow
    This case it is ambiguous as meow() could be on any Cat, Lion, Tiger...
  8. Use enum-like information to distinguish between otherwise similar data.
    class Cat(Animal): ...                # bad
    a = Animal(kind=AnimalKind.CAT, ...)  # good
  9. Serializable enum-like discriminants in data can be trivially plonked into databases, regurgitated via JSON, etc.
  10. Choose behaviour based on data, not class hierarchies:
    def do_something(data):
        if data.kind == Kind.A:
            g(data)  # I can CMD-click g
  11. Say arbitrarily complicated things about data, rather than be constrained by inflexible heirarchies.
    class Cat(Animal, FourLegged): ...                  # bad
    def has_even_number_of_legs(a: AnimalKind) -> bool  # good
  12. Strong typing aids CMD-clickability, this property of typing is more valuable than correctness.
  13. Microservices in and of themselves are not bad, however:
    1. Construct your codebase such that CMD-clicking across a service boundary is as easy as within a service.
    2. Typecheck service boundaries as you would any other code.
    3. Use correlation ids and a Datadog-like tool to make cross-service stack traces comprehensible for debugging production.
  14. Where you might have to fall back on grepping - make it easy, use full literals:
    @app.route(PREFIX + "/v1/add")          # bad
    @app.route("/payments/inbound/v1/add")  # good
  15. Good code expresses the smallest possible state space the program could operate in - YAGNI.
    def do_something(data, f: Callable[...]):  
        # f could be anything - big state space
    def do_something(data, kind: Kind):
        # we enumerate the specific things we can do - small state space
        if kind == Kind.A:
  16. Lean in on language features, don't introduce unnecessary abstractions.
  17. There exists deep library code where we want to allow consumers to do anything (extensibility). In application development, this is the exception - you have control over the whole codebase, the code by its nature is extensible.
  18. Ignore this manifesto sooner than code anything outright barbarous.