Using Frameworks - For Beginners Only?

Source: VCPP mailing list
Date: 10-Dec-97

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o-< Problem: Using frameworks and application builders can definitely help beginners start up with their first application. But is it also beneficial for experienced programmers?


o-< Evan Jones asked:

I have to say that it is really nice that [AppWizard] does so much automatically. However my biggest problem is that I don't know what the hell half of my code does.

So when "professionals" [...] build an application, do they start from scratch or do they use AppWizard or other aids?


o-< Cary Walker replied:

I think we are moving more and more toward an industry of frameworks. This is quite a paradigm shift from the old idea of building an entire program on top of an OS. Now, we purchase a framework like MFC or Borland OWL or Java's class library [AWT]. The advantage is obvious; we can have an entire windows app up and running in minutes. Now I just plug in the part that makes my app special and I'm done. I (hopefully) don't have to fool with low-level stuff like "Where do I place my first window? How do I get the correct background color? How do I perform low-level file I/O?"

So why do you want to know what half of your code does? I would agree that at a high-level its very beneficial, but I tend to only try to figure out lower-level stuff as I need to modify the framework's default behavior. And anytime I do this I ask myself if it's absolutely necessary because the framework probably does it that way for a reason.

So, I think a professional does whatever will put out quality the absolute fastest in our unbelievably competitive profession. If I tried to write my windows app from scratch, I think the result would be a whole lot less attractive than if I used Microsoft's or Borland's frameworks and it would take a LOT longer.

I would buy some good books on frameworks. They know what they're talking about better than I. By the way, did I mention the book Design Patterns? A GREAT book, and it touches on this very subject.

So I would let the Microsofties (or whosoever framework you choose) handle the Windows and other low-level parts of your apps, and you can dazzle us with some of your unique gaming talents that will make your app special!


o-< More Info:

Writing Frameworks - What Does It Take?

Michael Mattsson, Frameworks FAQ

Ralph Johnson, Frameworks Page

Taligent, Leveraging Object-Oriented Frameworks (long)