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Next: Discussion Up: Viva la Spaghetti! A Methodoligies Previous: Introduction


I first conceived of this subject during a lunch with a software design team and the customer. Everyone was having cheeseburgers, fish sandwiches, club sandwiches, etc; nice, well structured, layered food. But the primary software design engineer on the project was a renegade: he was having spaghetti! I remarked to the customer "You know you are in trouble when your chief software designer likes spaghetti." Needless to say, we all had a good laugh.

But the concept got me to thinking. We have all tried to eliminate the spaghetti-code from our designs, thinking that this will result in better systems. But software costs have still risen steadily over the years as a percentage of total system cost. It is time we faced the facts; Claude Shannon was wrong: information is not made out of bits, it is made out of spaghetti! The truth is that software structure is not improved by eliminating the spaghetti, but by hiding it. This is just an extension of the information hiding methodology of Parnas and others. The revelation is that the information is in the spaghetti!

Robert J. Brown