Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Real Life: Copying code is easier than copying snow dinosaurs

[This was originally posted at http://timstall.dotnetdevelopersjournal.com/real_life_copying_code_is_easier_than_copying_snow_dinosaur.htm]

In Chicago, we get snow at the end of March. The warmer weather makes the snow packy, so we could finally do useful things with it, like make snow dinosaurs:


Actually, it was just one snow dinosaur - which brings me to my point: In the physical world, it's expensive to reduplicate work. For each snowball, I need to find an open patch of snow (material) and manually roll the ball (labor). Unlike software, I cannot just create the "code" once and copy it five times. It's not like some million-line application framework that you can just reduplicate with a single copy command. Hence, after an hour of exhausting snow-ball rolling and lifting, to my son's disappointment, we stopped at just one snow-dinosaur. Now if we just made a Silverlight game with snow dinosaurs, we could add as many as we wanted.

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