Blanket statements

Looking back at my last post on documenting code, particularly the part which I originally posted as a comment, I realized that it was pretty much exactly what Joel Spolsky was talking about in the latest Stack Overflow podcast:

[…] I didn’t write defensively like I usually have to, qualifying it with every possible e-mail response I could ever get. And so, it actually led to quite a lot of people saying, “No, that’s wrong! […]”

[…] over time you start to realize that there are actually all kinds of weird shades of grey, and slightly different variations on things, and it becomes harder and harder to make absolute statements that are interesting. Because, if I were to write an intellectually honest blog post now, it would be like, “63% of the time–you’re probably in a situation, where, 63% of the time, you should do A, and the rest of the time you should do B. Here’s some cases where you would do A, and some cases where you should do B, and the whole thing would just be too mushy.

I guess the original text where my comment was posted was this sort of absolute statement, and my comment would fall into the “mushy” category, unfortunately.

There’s no punchline to this observation, though, which is kind of a drag. I feel like I should end this post with an insightful conclusion or at least a witty remark, but right now, I got nothing. 😛

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